“… life, literature, and the pursuit of happiness in the famous Troubadour cellar-club, London’s liveliest and best–loved poetry landmark since the 1950s …”
Former US Poet-Laureate Billy Collins on the Troubadour’s 60th birthday as a writer’s café…
Thanks to the zeal of its many managers and promoters, the Troubadour has evolved over its 60 year history from a hidden-away beatnik coffee house to a world famous center for the performance of music and poetry. Its walls have become storied, and if only the place had halls, they would be hallowed. The Troubadour was the scene of the first reading I gave in the UK, and I count myself among the long line of poets who are eager to return and darken its doorway again.
from Coffee-House Poetry organiser, Anne-Marie Fyfe
Looking forward (after an amazing turnout for Smiths Knoll Pamphlets on Mon 8th), to an even busier, buzzier, & even more diverse selection of guest poets’ poems — on Mon 22nd — on the theme of sizzling summer nights, red-hot chillies, scorching sands, forest fires & just about anything that’s Too Darn Hot! — all in the cellar-club cool of an Earls Court summer evening…
mon 22 jun: too darn hot! invited guest poets celebrate broiling city summers, simmering heatwaves, shimmering mirages, parched deserts & tropical weather: plus music & prize-quiz
Wm. Shakespeare advised us to Fear no more the heat of the sun (advice Clarissa Dalloway took to heart) & Noël Coward noted that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun but poets seemingly can’t avoid sweltering in the punishing sun (Seamus Heaney’s Death of a Naturalist), in that superlatively sweltering month, July (C.P.Cavafy, Bodies), can’t escape the sun’s hot eye (in Matthew Arnold’s A Summer Night), can’t ignore its petalled head of flames/ Continuously exploding (Philip Larkin’s Solar), in country — one afternoon/ Of heat (Edward Thomas in Adlestrop) – or city – It was stifling/ A starless drought (Eavan Boland in The Black Lace Fan My Mother Gave Me).
Heat even produces its own derangements, John Donne & Frank O’Hara actually holding conversations with Phoebus/Apollo at his height, the potential suicide in Sharon Olds’ Summer Solstice, New York City, the killing à cause du soleil at the heart of L’Étranger by Albert Camus, subject of Derek Mahon’s Death and the Sun.
Literary genius is, apparently, only 1% inspiration & 99% perspiration as a host of novel-, film- & song-titles testify: Body Heat, Tropical Heat, Light in August, Under the Volcano, White Heat, Tropic Thunder, Hot-Hot-Hot, Instructions for a Heatwave, Steam Heat, The Heat of the Day, Some Like it Hot, Up on the Roof, August is a Wicked Month, In the Heat of the Night, The Big Heat, Heat & Dust…
So what better way to celebrate the height of midsummer than to join us in our summer in the city cellar-club as invited guests turn the thermostat to max with their own & others’ poems of heat-waves, dog-days, humid afternoons, tropical climates… with just a touch of le jazz hot & our am-I-getting warm? prize-quiz that’s not just for hotshots!
readings - may-jun 2015
mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour
- mon 11 may: spring into summer with r.a. villanueva, miranda peake, inua ellams, tim richardson, scarlett sabet, will burns, roisin tierney, & mark huband with henry fajemirokun
- mon 25 may: what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig with michelle boisseau, robert seatter, frances leviston, huw warren & stuart silver—plus, before the break… letterpresspoets: daphne astor, patrizia longhitano, angela croft, mark huband, teresa mayoub, george beddow, bear shaw, gill petrie, fiona larkin, jim alderson, angela croft, katherine lockton, kate ghyll, derek summers, katy mack, caroline donnelly, mel hormead, marian fielding, michael baron, janet remmington, mary powell
- mon 8 jun: smiths knoll pamphlets: with phil hancock, marianne burton, stephen payne, lydia harris, chris dodd, margaret wilmot, philip polecoff, kath mckay & andrew kerr introduced by michael laskey & joanna cutts
- mon 22 jun: too darn hot! invited guest poets celebrate broiling city summers, simmering heatwaves, shimmering mirages, parched deserts & tropical weather: plus music & prize-quiz
for advance booking: pay via PayPal on our readings page or send cheque payable to Coffee-House Poetry (no credit cards) to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON, W4 1ZP stating event & no. of tickets
classes - may-jun 2015
sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 at the troubadour (yeats walk, sun 21st jun 2.30-5 pm, £18)
- may/jun workshops, further details to follow
- sun 14 jun: a bridge too far: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
- sun 21 jun: land of heart’s desire: a w.b. yeats walk with c.l. dallat
- full programme details below PayPal options
advance booking only as our workshops/classes (limited to 15 attendees) are frequently oversubscribed: pay via PayPal on our workshops/classes page or send cheque payable to Coffee-House Poetry (no credit cards) to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON, W4 1ZP: if overbooked you will be informed by e-mail & refunded promptly