Poetry Readings at The Troubadour: 263-267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5

readings - oct-dec 2016

(photo: some of our oct-dec 2016 troubadour poets)

mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour

for advance booking: pay via PayPal (below programme details) or cheque to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP

  • mon 17 oct: cornucopia: scarlett sabet, paul casey, sue boyle, john greening, afric mcglinchey, heidi williamson, angela kirby & michelle cahill
  • mon 31 oct: troubadour international poetry prize: 2016 judges jane yeh & glyn maxwell read along with prizewinners including abigail parry, kirtsen irving, barbara barnes & many more
  • mon 14 nov: guest-choice: dom bury introduces jon stone, kate wakeling, rachel long, alex mcdonald, & an eclectic set of up-&-coming new voices
  • mon 28 nov: luke kennard, louis jenkins, martina evans. marios takoushis & stuart silver in what we should have said, an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig plus, before the break, live canon’s 154
  • mon 12 dec: here comes the night an end-of-season poetry party with invited guest readers, music & prize-quiz on the theme of darkness, midnight, moonlight…

programme details

readings – oct-dec 2016

mon 17 oct: cornucopia: scarlett sabet, paul casey, sue boyle, john greening, afric mcglinchey, heidi williamson, angela kirby & michelle cahill

Cream of the 2016 crop of new collections & new work with:

  • Scarlett Sabet, London based poet/performer, has read at The Groucho & William Morris House: second collection, The Lock And The Key launched at Shakespeare & Co in Paris, July 2016
  • Paul Casey edits the annual Unfinished Book of Poetry (teenage writing) & founded Cork’s legendary Ó Bhéal reading series: second collection Virtual Tides (Salmon, 2016).
  • Bath-based poetry activist Sue Boyle’s sequence, Report from the Judenplatz, has been performed at poetry & drama festivals: her first collection is Safe Passage (Oversteps, 2015)
  • TLS poetry reviewer John Greening is a Cholomondeley & Bridport winner: latest books, To the War Poets (Carcanet, 2013) & Heath (Nine Arches, 2016, with Penelope Shuttle)
  • Afric McGlinchey is featured as one of Ireland’s ‘Rising Poets’ in Poetry Ireland Review #118: first collection, the lucky star of hidden things, (Salmon, 2012) now also in Italian (L’Arcolaio, 2015)
  • Heidi Williamson’s first, Electric Shadow, was a PBS Recommendation & shortlisted for Seamus Heaney Centre Prize: second collection, The Print Museum (Bloodaxe, 2016), shortlisted for 2016 East Anglian Book Award
  • Angela Kirby from Lancashire lives in London: her poems have been read on BBC TV & Radio4 & appear in four collections, latest, The Days After Always: New & Selected Poems (Shoestring, 2016)
  • & Arc poet Michelle Cahill from Sydney, (b. Kenya), winner of Val Vallis Award & Hilary Mantel International Short Story Prize: latest collection, The Herring Lass (2016)

mon 31 oct: troubadour international poetry prize: 2016 judges jane yeh & glyn maxwell read along with our 2016 prizewinners including first-prize winner, abigail parry…

Join the poetry world in celebrating the Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2016 hear the £5,000 prizewinning poem from Abigail Parry, plus 2nd, 3rd and 20 more prizewinners (click here for full list), plus this year, for the first time, winners of the two Troubadour-Coffee-House sponsored prizes. And a chance to listen to poems (& comments on the prizewinning poems, & on the business of submitting, & winning!) from the highly-respected judges who made those difficult poem-choices from so many poems submitted from around the world:

  • Glyn Maxwell (b. Welwyn Garden City) was named as a Poetry Book Society ‘New Generation’ poet in 1994 & has written novels, libretti, drama, radio drama, & prose including On Poetry & its sequel Drinks with Dead Poets (Oberon, 2016), as well as editing a collected edition of Derek Walcott’s poetry. Glyn’s nine collections of poetry include a ‘selected poems’, One Thousand Nights and Counting (2011) & his latest, Pluto (Picador,2013).
  • Jane Yeh (b. New Jersey, ed. Harvard University) holds master’s degrees from Iowa Writers’ Workshop & Manchester Metropolitan University. Her first collection Marabou (Carcanet, 2005), was shortlisted for Whitbread, Forward, & Aldeburgh prizes; her latest is The Ninjas, (Carcanet, 2012). She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the Open University & was named a ‘Next Generation’ poet by the Poetry Book Society in 2014.

mon 14 nov: guest-choice: dom bury introduces jon stone, kate wakeling, rachel long, alex mcdonald, & an eclectic set of up-&-coming new voices

First in a series of guest-hosts, Troubadour associate Dom Bury selects/highlights what’s new in poetry:

  • London-based Jon Stone won Poetry London’s annual competition in 2014 & 2016, & co-edited, with Kirsten Irving, the four-volume Birdbook project: his School of Forgery (Salt, 2012) is a PBS Recommendation
  • Kate Wakeling studied music at Cambridge & SOAS, debut pamphlet, The Rainbow Faults (Rialto, 2016); Moon Juice, her poems for children, will be published by The Emma Press.
  • Rachel Long is Assistant Tutor on Barbican Young Poets programme, founded Octavia poetry collective for women of colour (at Southbank Centre) & has been commissioned by BBC & Courtauld Institute
  • Alex MacDonald’s poems feature in Best British Poetry 2015: he is a 2016 Eric Gregory Award recipient, lives & works in London, & is one of the editors of the online magazine Poems in Which

plus, in part one, Dom’s ones-to-watch: Edward Doegar, Abigail Parry, Donald Futers, Soul Patel, Ali Lewis, John Canfield, Ella Frears, Raymond Antrobus, Joey Connolly, Rishi Distdar, Rachel Piercy, Susannah Hart, & Rowena Knight

mon 28 nov: luke kennard, louis jenkins, martina evans, marios takoushis & stuart silver in what we should have said, an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig plus, before the break, live canon’s, responses to shakespeare’s sonnets

Sponsored by Cegin Productions

Poetry, harmony & wit on a roll… in the Troubadour’s unique words-&-music rollercoaster featuring three poets:

  • Luke Kennard, one of PBS’s 2014 Next-Generationers, lectures at Univ. of Birmingham & has published 5 collections of poetry including the latest Cain (Penned in the Margins, 2016) with his debut novel The Transition due from Fourth Estate in 2017!
  • Louis Jenkins, wryly absurd Minnesotan prose poet, on a rare London visit for the opening of his play Nice Fish starring (& co-written with) Mark Rylance: latest collection Tin Flag (Will o’the Wisp, 2013)
  • Martina Evans, poet & much-awarded novelist, grew up in County Cork and is currently Assoc. Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck University: her latest publication is a ‘new & selected poems’ from Carcanet, The Windows of Graceland (2016)
  • with pianistic improvisations from film-score composer Marios Takoushis
  • & the perplexing relections & ineluctable wit of the one-&-only Stuart Silver

plus, before the break…
…selected poets from Live Canon’s 154 Poems in Response to Shakespeare’s 154 Sonnets, including Lorraine Mariner, NJ Hynes, Jon Stone, Andrew George, Tim Richardson, Rosie Shepperd, Valerie Darville, Jacqueline Saphra, Robin Houghton, Nick Makoha, Rosie Johnston, Gillie Robic, Lesley Saunders, Mark Huband, Penny Boxall, Sue Wrinch, Nick McKinnon, Anthony Fisher, Miranda Peake, Ann Kelley & Abigail Parry

mon 12 dec: here comes the night: an end-of-season poetry party with invited guest readers, music & prize-quiz

Hey, well here it comes, Van Morrison warns, as someone leaves the world to darkness & to Thomas Gray, Lord Byron forswears so-late-into-the-night a-roving, WH Auden’s Night Mail snorts noisily as she passes, The Platters rhapsodize over heavenly shades of night, John Lennon hears a blackbird singing in the dead of night, Charles Baudelaire reflects on the moon’s tristesse, & Louis MacNeice recalls only that the lamp was dark beside my bed…

How are they for you, the witching hours between twilight & dawn? A Long Day’s Journey, perhaps, into Eugene O’Neill’s Night, into James Thomson’s City of Dreadful Night? Or are they rich with Claude Debussy’s Claire de Lune or a Frederic Chopin Nocturne, as one by one small cafés shut on Seamus Heaney’s warm Night Drive through France?

Tonight, says Leonard Bernstein, won’t be just any night…: John Donne called tonight the year’s midnight. So come along & hear invited guest poets’ favourite odes to the small hours, their own or by famous poets… Enjoy a little night-music, test your night-knowledge with our Hard Day’s Night not-too-literary prize-quiz & join in the excitement of hearing whose gets chosen as winning ’Night-Poem’ of the Night.

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mon 17 oct:
cornucopia (+bonus ticket)
mon 31 oct:
troubadour poetry prize night
mon 14 nov:
guest choice with dom bury
mon 28 nov:
what we should have said...
mon 12 dec:
here comes the night!
Season Ticket: Autumn 2016

archive

readings – may-jun 2016

mon 9 may: across oceans: with d. nurkse, geraldine paine, lynne hjelmgaard, paul deaton, robert peake, claire williamson & joshua weiner plus henry fajemirokun

A US/UK evening featuring voices from both sides of the Atlantic:

  • D. Nurkse lives in New York, has written on human rights issues & worked with Amnesty International, & has published 10 poetry collections including A Night in Brooklyn (Knopf, 2012, CB Editions, 2013)
  • Lecturer & former actress Geraldine Paine lives in Kent, is a founder member of poetry group Scatterlings & has two Lapwing pamphlets, latest, The Beginnings of Trees (2013)
  • Former art-teacher & sailor, Lynne Hjelmgaard (b. NYC), moved to Denmark in 1971 & now lives in London & Copenhagen: latest from Seren, A Boat Called Annalise (2016)
  • Bristol-based art-consultant & runner, Paul Deaton has had poems in The Spectator, PN Review, London Magazine & The Dark Horse: his debut poetry pamphlet Black Knight has just been published by Eyewear
  • US-born Robert Peake (now lives in Hertfordshire) created the Transatlantic Poetry series: Nine Arches Press published his first full-length poetry collection, The Knowledge, in 2015
  • Claire Williamson has written libretti for Welsh National Opera & Bristol Plays Music: latest poetry publication Split Ends (Eyewear, 2016)
  • Boston-born Joshua Weiner grew up in New Jersey, studied at Northwestern & Berkeley, & edited At the Barriers: On the Poetry of Thom Gunn: his latest poetry collection is The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (Univ. Chicago, 2013)
  • plus guitarist & singer Henry Fajemirokun

mon 23 may: sarah howe, michael symmons roberts, caitriona o’reilly, marios takoushis & stuart silver in what we should have said, an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig plus, before the break, faber academy poets

Sponsored by Cegin Productions

Poetry, harmony & wit on a roll… in the Troubadour’s unique words-&-music rollercoaster featuring:

  • TS Eliot 2015 prizewinner Sarah Howe, (Loop of Jade, Chatto, 2015), born in Hong Kong & now Harvard University Fellow
  • Michael Symmons Roberts, who has won Forward, Costa & Whitbread prizes, has written oratorio & has published 6 books of poetry including Drysalter (Cape, 2013)
  • Caitriona O’Reilly, 2016 Irish Times Poetry Now Award winner for her third collection Geis (Bloodaxe & Wake Forest, 2015), an associate lecture at Sheffield Hallam, she lives in Lincoln
  • with musical interpolations by London-based film & television composer Marios Takoushis
  • & freakily philosophical intrusions/infusions from writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver
  • plus, before the break… a selection of current & new faber academy poets read one poem each: Chloe-Louise Adegoke, Brian Buchanan, Aniqah Choudhri, Matthew Dixon, Rachel Donati, Kate Ghyll, Mimi Haddon, Catherine Humble, Jessica Jackson, Ian McLachlan, Steph Morris, Fran O’Leary, Susannah Pentelow, Soul Patel, Miranda Peake, Tim Richardson, Emily Voukelatou & Iain Whiteley

mon 6 jun: the end of the page?: a coffee-house colloquy, with hannah lowe, gregory leadbetter, richard price, carrie etter & c.l. dallat

We all read more & more poems on e-zines & blogs, via e-mails, on poets’ & poetry orgs’ sites & apps, even on social media, as well as consuming whole collections on Kindle, i-Phone or Android.

Fiction & journalism are already registering the impact of change from print to digital… but will poets & their readers still hanker after a ‘proper’ printed page, hold out for the perfect font, crisp endpapers, the heft of a slim volume, the avoirdupois of a lifetime’s collected? Or are we perfectly happy to right-click on link after hyperlink, to Google & surf our way through sonnets & sestinas?

Do new platforms positively increase poetry’s scope? And what’s the negative impact on sales at readings, on book signings? Bring your webworld thoughts, hopes & worries for/about virtual poetry to our Troubadour colloquy, hear four state-of-the-art poets read from their latest (print) collections & join in the biggest poetry publishing debate since Gutenburg!

  • Chick from Next-Gen poet Hannah Lowe won the 2015 Michael Murphy Memorial Award, Long Time, No See was a 2015 BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week & Chan is due from Bloodaxe in June
  • Director of Inst. of Creative & Critical Writing at Birmingham City Univ, Gregory Leadbetter was a scriptwriter on BBC drama Silver Street, writes on Coleridge, & has published The Body in the Well (Happenstance, 2007)
  • Richard Price has worked with musicians, sculptors & digital artists & is British Library Head of Contemporary British Collections (including print, digital, manuscripts, & sound); latest poetry publication, Small World (Carcanet, 2012)
  • Bath Spa University Senior Lecturer Carrie Etter (b. Illinois) edited Infinite Difference: Other Poetries by UK Women Poets (Shearsman) & has published 7 books of poetry including Imagined Sons (Seren, 2014)
  • chaired by poet & BBC R4 Saturday Review critic, C.L. Dallat, latest, The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff, 2009)

mon 20 jun: the hidden life of cities: An end-of-season poetry party with invited guest readers, music & prize-quiz

The most visible, obvious, populous places on the planet, our urban spaces nonetheless abound in hidden quarters, from lost subterranean workings, abandoned bunkers, unused underground tunnels, forgotten alleyways, closed-up shops, secret corners of railinged parks, a night-time roofscape of chimney-pots & parapets…

… to a vanished address in Berlin, an overgrown courtyard in the 8th arrondissement, a figure in a dimly-lit Venetian passagio, a children’s playground amid Manhattan skyscrapers, the 2 am cyclist on Blackfriars Bridge…a couple disappearing into the glow of a Waterloo Sunset, Eliot’s passageways, Wordsworth’s London lying still at dawn or Hopper’s Nighthawks café.

Come to the city’s liveliest cellar-club hotspot & hear invited guest poets read favourite poems, their own & those by famous poets fascinated by the city’s hidden life… Listen to city-themed music & join in our ‘sous-les’pavés’ prize quiz!

readings – jan-mar 2016

mon 25 jan: salon d’hiver with jessica traynor, kate bingham, tamar yoseloff, carole bromley, lesley saunders, owen lewis, greg freeman & maura dooley with henry fajemirokun

The classic Coffee-House Poetry prelude to spring, a scintillating winter salon of new voices & new collections featuring:

  • Jessica Traynor was awarded the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary in 2014 & is a 2015 Troubadour Prizewinner. Her first collection, Liffey Swim (Dedalus, 2014), was shortlisted for the 2015 Strong/ Shine Award.
  • Screenwriter & novelist Kate Bingham has had her poetry shortlisted for a Forward Prize twice. Infragreen (Seren, 2015) is her third collection: full of sensuous, imaginative and beautifully accomplished work (Poetry Review).
  • Tamar Yoseloff’s collaborations with artists include Formerly (with photographer Vici MacDonald) which was shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award. A Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems (Seren, 2015) is her fifth poetry collection.
  • Carole Bromley blogs regularly for digital mag YorkMix & teaches creative writing at York University’s Lifelong Learning Centre. She has won first prize in the Bridport Prize & Bronte Society Prize. The Stonegate Devil (Smith/Doorstop, 2015) is her second collection.
  • Lesley Saunders is a featured poet in Carcanet’s latest New Poetries VI (Carcanet 2015): her latest collection, The Walls Have Angels (Mulfran, 2014) was inspired by a residency at Acton Court, & by its 1535 visitors, Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn.
  • Physician & Columbia University professor, Owen Lewis has won a number of awards for his poetry including London School of Jewish Studies: his collections include March in San Miguel, Sometimes Full of Daylight, and Best Man (Dos Madres, 2015).
  • Poet & former newspaper sub, Greg Freeman, is news editor for the essential poetry gigs & reviews website Write Out Loud. His 2015 Indigo Dreams pamphlet Trainspotters was launched in the pub at King’s Cross Station.
  • Maura Dooley teaches at Goldsmiths’ College & has edited a number of anthologies including Making for Planet Alice: several of her collections have been Eliot-shortlisted & her latest The Silvering, due from Bloodaxe, in spring 2016, is a PBS Recommendation.
  • with guitarist/singer Henry Fajemirokun.

mon 8 feb: the poem as selfie-stick: a coffee-house colloquy with fiona sampson, r.a. villanueva, fiona moore, tim liardet & c.l. dallat

Self-portraiture’s slicker on Smart-phone than it was in Rembrandt’s 17c studio but he managed ninety(!) nonetheless: & would’ve had to change his profile picture every few months on social media. But long before the ‘selfie’, the poem has always allowed us a variety of poses, personae, dressing-up, trying on studied looks, allowed us to explore identity, adopt identities… Is the ‘I’ in poetry always ‘me’? Is it ever really ‘me’? Is the ‘you’ or ‘he/she’ sometimes ‘I/we’?

Hear four significant poets read their work in the first half and, after the break, join in a Coffee-House Colloquy on how they regard, or disregard, the self-portrait in poetry, self-expression, the sense of self, the divided self…

  • Fiona Sampson is Professor of Poetry at Univ. Roehampton, where she is Director of the Poetry Centre & edits Poem: latest colllection The Catch (Chatto, publ. Feb. 2016);
  • R.A. Villanueva (b. NJ, lives in Brooklyn & teaches at NYU) was 2013 recipient of the Ninth Letter Literary Award; latest collection Reliquaria (Univ. Nebraska Press, 2014);
  • Fiona Moore blogs on displacement-poetry.blogspot.co.uk & is Assistant Editor on The Rialto; her second pamphlet, Night Letter, was published by Happenstance Press in 2015.
  • Tim Liardet is Professor of Poetry at Bath Spa University; his poetry collections include The World Before Snow (Carcanet, 2015), shortlisted for the 2015 TS Eliot Prize
  • chaired by poet & BBC R4 Saturday Review critic, C.L. Dallat, latest collection, The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff, 2009)

mon 22 feb: malika booker, peter sansom, paul maddern, huw warren & stuart silver in what we should have said, an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig plus, before the break, a selection of troubadour international poetry prize winners

Sponsored by Cegin Productions

Further adventures & extravagations in yet another episode of the Troubadour’s unique Cegin-sponsored poetry segué with musical & philosophical interventions…

  • writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver offers his own idiosyncratic take on life & its meanings,
  • pianist Huw Warren creates a classical/jazz counterpoint to the poetry pulse…
  • & providing the spontaneous, off-the-cuff, un-prescheduled poetic foreground, our three guest poets:
  • Malika Booker spans literature & education, & crosses genres, disciplines & art-forms: she toured with Bittersweet (1999/2000); featured in Kin (Barbican, 2004); her musical play Catwalk ran at Tricycle (2001) plus UK tour; & her latest poetry collection is Pepper Seed (Peepal Tree, 2013);
  • Peter Sansom is a director of The Poetry Business where he edits (with Ann Sansom) The North magazine and Smith/Doorstop books: he is also guest poet at TES, company poet with the Prudential, & writer-in-residence with Marks & Spencer. He has published Writing Poems (Bloodaxe) & five collections with Carcanet including Selected Poems (2010)
  • Paul Maddern was born in Bermuda and lived in Canada, the USA, and England before moving to Ireland in 2000. In 2009, he was a winner in the Templar Poetry pamphlet competition with Kelpdings. His 2010 collection, The Beachcomber’s Report was shortlisted for the Eithne and Rupert Strong Award for Best First Collection.
  • plus, before the break, a selection of 2015 & previous Troubadour International Poetry Prize Winners including: Sue Rose, Katy Mack, Tiffany Tondut, June Lausch, Diana Pooley, Rishi Dastidar, Alex Josephy, Josh Ekroy, Barbara Marsh, Richard Meier, Pam Johnson, Martyn Crucefix, Jacqueline Saphra, Jenny Vuglar, Karen Green, Rachel Piercey, Mara Bergman, Caroline Smith & Louise Warren

mon 7 mar: the sea, the sea: invited guest poets read their own & others’ poems of sea & shore, of bays & boats, of tides & tempests …plus sea-themed music & nautical prize quiz

La mer, la mer, toujours recommencée, Paul Valery wrote in 1920, giving Iris Murdoch the title for her 1978 Booker-winner The Sea, the Sea, both testifying to the tidal pull the mercurial element that covers two-thirds of the world surface has had on the literary imagination from Jorie Graham’s Sea Change back through Louise Glück’s All her life she dreamed of living by the sea, Mark Doty’s last outpost in the huge indetermination of sea & Seamus Heaney’s timeless waves, bright, shifting, broken glass

via John Masefield’s Sea Fever, Eva Gore-Booth’s Little Waves of Breffny to Shakespeare’s multitudinous seas incarnadine & Homer’s wine-dark sea.

Emily Dickinson relishes the divine intoxication/ of the first league out from land while Matthew Arnold hesitates where the sea meets the moon-blanched land & Walt Whitman indulges in marine metaphors in O Captain! My Captain!. But all is not Baudelaire’s flat, calm, vast mirror, with sea-faring tragedies like Longfellow’s Wreck of the Hesperus, Richard Murphy’s Cleggan Disaster & Gerald Manley Hopkins’ Wreck of the Deutschland.

There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail (as Tennyson says): catch that tide & come along with us to celebrate the thrill of the ocean wave, the lure of harbour lights, in poems by our invited poets &/or by their favourite famous poets, listen to themed maritime music & join in our not-too-nautical prize-quiz…

wed 30 mar to sat 2 apr, AWP (assoc. of writers & writing programs) annual conference

Anne-Marie Fyfe & CL Dallat for Coffee-House Poetry & Troubadour International Poetry Prize at Stand 632, LA Conference Centre, 1201 Figueroa St, Los Angeles CA 90015

readings – oct-dec 2015

mon 19 oct: cornucopia with jonathan davidson, maggie sawkins, kate noakes, matt howard, sarah hesketh, jane clarke, eleni cay & jo bell

  • Latest collection from poet & radio dramatist Jonathan Davidson (b. Didcot, lives in Coventry) is Humfrey Coningsby: Poems, Complaints, Explanations and Demands for Satisfaction
  • Tongues&Grooves (Portsmouth) founder/organiser Maggie Sawkins won 2013 Ted Hughes Award for Zones of Avoidance: collections include The Zig Zag Woman (Two Ravens, 2007)
  • Welsh Academy member Kate Noakes (fifth collection, Tattoo on Crow Street, Parthian, 2015) lives & writes in Paris and London.
  • RSPB-worker (& New Networks for Nature member) Matt Howard was one of the 2014 Aldeburgh Eight: debut pamphlet, The Organ Box (Eyewear, 2015)
  • Former Age Concern Poet-in-Residence Sarah Hesketh was shortlisted for 2014 Kim Scott Walwyn Award: latest collection The Hard Word Box (Penned in the Margins, 2014)
  • The River (Bloodaxe, 2015) is the first collection from Trocaire/Poetry-Ireland-shortlisted Jane Clarke (b. Roscommon, lives in Wicklow)
  • Poet-in-Residence at Westbury Arts Centre (Bucks), Eleni Cay, from Slovakia, has had English-language poems reimagined via film & dance: her collection A Butterfly’s Shivering in the Digital Age is being translated into French & German
  • Poetry Society Canal Laureate Jo Bell lives on a boat in the English Midlands: second collection Kith (Nine Arches Press, 2015)

mon 2 nov: what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig with glyn maxwell, jane draycott, richard douglas pennant, huw warren & stuart silver plus, before the break… faber academy poets

Experience your poetry impromptu, as our poets catch ideas from the ether & respond to each other’s thoughts & themes, to philosophical and philharmonic inventions & interventions…

  • Glyn Maxwell has written plays, novels, libretti, screenplays, nine poetry collections including the Forward-shortlisted Pluto (Picador, 2013), & On Poetry (… the best book about poetry I’ve ever read…, The Guardian)
  • Next-Gen poet Jane Draycott teaches at the universities of Oxford & Lancaster: latest collection Over (Carcanet) was shortlisted for T S Eliot Prize
  • Welsh poet Richard Douglas Pennant divides his time between Cyprus and his native North Wales – collections include The Alabaster Jar (Ogwen, 2008) & Old Stones New Tales (CD, Cegin Productions)
  • plus philosophical interpolations & epigrammatic excursions from Perrier-Award winning writer-perfomer-director Stuart Silver
  • with harmonic counterpoint provided by Huw Warren’s rhythmic grooves & eclectically melodic inspiration

plus, before the break… a selection of current & new faber academy poets read one poem each: alice erskine, charlotte baldwin, matt dixon, robert sloan, rose arbuthnott, rose maher, fran o’leary, deborah sibbald, katy mack, kate ghyll, mark huband, mary powell, tim richardson, miranda peake, jan heritage, susannah hart, daphne astor, geraldine clarkson, alison nolan & soul patel

mon 16 nov: an evening with new-york poet, tom sleigh, reading & in-conversation plus former troubadour prizewinners paul stephenson & mona arshi

  • Award-winning poet Tom Sleigh was born in Texas, lives in New York, is director of Hunter College’s Creative-Writing MFA, & has published ten books of poetry including Station Zed (Graywolf, 2015), plus a full-length translation of Euripides’ Heraklitus & a book of essays, & has had five of his plays produced.
  • plus former Troubadour International Poetry Prize prizewinners:
  • Paul Stephenson (b. Cambridge) lives in Paris, & has won second prize in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize: his first pamphlet Those People was a winner in last year’s Poetry Business book and pamphlet competition, judged by Billy Collins, and was published in May 2015.
  • Mona Arshi, also a Troubadour prizewinner, was joint winner of last year’s Manchester Creative Writing Prize: first collection is the Forward-shortlisted Small Hands (Liverpool University Press, 2015)
  • plus, after the break, Tom Sleigh, in-conversation & Q&A with poet & critic, C.L. Dallat

mon 30 nov: troubadour international poetry prize: 2015 judges john mcauliffe & jean sprackland read with 2015 prizewinners

  • Join the rest of the poetry world in the excitement of discovering who’s won the prestigious £5,000 Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2015, listen to the 23 best poems chosen from all those submitted by poets around the world, & listen to poems (& comments on the prizewinning poems) from the highly-respected judges who’ll have made those choices.
  • John McAuliffe (b. Listowel, Co. Kerry, 1973) has published four books with The Gallery Press: A Better Life (2002), Next Door (2007), Of All Places (PBS Recommendation, 2011) and The Way In (2015). He lives in Manchester where he teaches at the University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing and writes a monthly poetry column for the Irish Times.
  • Jean Sprackland (b. 1962) lives in London and has published four collections of poetry, Tattoos for Mothers Day (Spike, 1997), Hard Water (Cape, 2003), (shortlisted for both the TS Eliot Prize & the Whitbread Award), Tilt (Cape, 2007) & Sleeping Keys (Random House, 2013). She is also the author of Strands: A Year of Discoveries on the Beach (Cape, 2012), winner of the Portico Prize for Non-Fiction. Originally from Burton upon Trent, she studied English & Philosophy at the University of Kent & is Academic Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

mon 14 dec: a winter’s tale: invited guest poets read their own & others’ winter words …plus midwinter music & prize quiz

A sad tale’s best for winter, Mamillius tells Hermione in A Winter’s Tale: & poets have long revelled in the bleak midwinter (Christina Rossetti), the dead of winter (W. H. Auden), a winter’s day/ in a deep and dark December (Paul Simon)…

But winter has other moods: consider the emotional range of Schubert’s Winter Journey, the potential for mystery in Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, satire in Simon Armitage’s Snow Joke, irony in W.R. Rodger’s White Christmas, pathos in Thomas Hardy’s Music in a Snowy Street, optimism in his Darkling Thrush… And what about all those contradictory winter titles: Wild Decembers (Edna O’Brien), Summer in February (Jonathan Smith), The Snow Party (Derek Mahon), December Bride (Sam Hanna Bell)?

Yes, there’ll be poems about snow & ice, poems such as Frost’s Stopping by Woods…, Coleridge’s Frost at Midnight, MacNeice’s snow & the huge roses, Sharon Olds’ True Love, right through to Edward Thomas’ Thaw, Ted Hughes’ Thaw & Louise Gluck’s End of Winter…

But there’ll certainly be poems, too, about winter light & warmth, with lines like …after-image of lamps/ swinging through the yards/ on winter evenings (Seamus Heaney, from Wintering Out), poems about December cityscapes exploding in festive light, about interiors becoming warmer, more inviting, about Christmas, & Twelfth Night, & all the seasonal revelry that dispels the lengthening darkness…

Come along & celebrate some or all of the myriad hazy shades of winter in poems by our invited guest poets &/or by their favourite famous poets, listen to themed midwinter music & join in our seasonal prize-quiz…

readings – may-jun 2015

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

Come along & listen to some of the happening voices in & around London in our spring/summer showcase:

  • R.A. Villanueva (b. NJ, lives in Brooklyn & teaches at NYU) was 2013 recipient of the Ninth Letter Literary Award: his 2014 Reliquaria (Univ. Nebraska) won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize
  • London poet/artists Miranda Peake organises dance classes in schools for Royal Academy of Dance: Florence her first published poem won MsLexia’s 2014 Women’s Poetry Competition
  • Inua Ellams (b. Nigeria, 1984) has published two poetry pamphlets including Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars & his one-man (written & acted) show The 14th Tale won a Fringe First at Edinburgh
  • author/critic/journalist Tim Richardson writes on gardens & landscape design: his first full poetry collection is due in 2015 from Live Canon
  • Scarlett Sabet is a London-based actor, director & poet of French & Iranian descent: her pamphlet Rocking Underground was launched in December 2014
  • one of 2014’s four Faber New Poets, Will Burns abandoned his uni Eng.Lit degree to form a band with his brother & is still in the music industry having been, meantime, a factory-worker, window-cleaner & house-painter.
  • Irish poet Roisin Tierney has taught in Dublin, Granada & Valladolid: Dream Endings (2012) won the Michael Marks Pamphlet Award & her first collection The Spanish-Italian Border (Arc, 2014) was a Forward ‘highly-commended’
  • author & award-winning journalist Mark Huband has spent the past 25 years travelling the world, from Africa and the Middle East to South-East Asia & the Americas: American Road (Live Canon, 2014) is his debut collection.
  • plus singer/songwriter 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

Experience your poetry impromptu, as our poets catch ideas from the ether & respond to each other’s thoughts & themes, to philosophical and philharmonic inventions & interventions…

  • born in Cincinnatti, Ohio, Michelle Boisseau is Eng.Lit professor at Univ. Missouri-Kansas City: her 4th collection is A Sunday in God Years (Univ. Arkansas, 2009).
  • Robert Seatter has worked as an EFL teacher in France & Italy, as an actor & in journalism & broadcasting: his third collection is Writing King Kong (Seren, 2011).
  • Frances Leviston (b. Edinburgh) grew up in Sheffield: her first collection Public Dream (Picador, 2007) was shortlisted for the T S Eliot Prize — a second collection Disinformation is due from Picador in Feb. 2015.
  • plus philosophical interpolations & epigrammatic excursions from Perrier-Award winning writer-perfomer-director Stuart Silver
  • with harmonic counterpoint provided by Huw Warren’s’ rhythmic grooves & eclectically melodic inspiration

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

Joanna Cutts & Michael Laskey publish pamphlets under the Smiths Knoll imprint, initially as end products of a year-long mentoring scheme & now — since the much-loved magazine closed down in 2012 —helping poets whose work they have published & admired to put together short collections.

  • Philip Hancock’s Hearing Ourselves Think (Smiths Knoll 2009) was a Guardian Book of the Year 2010: he has since featured OxfordPoets (Carcanet, 2010) and his short film/poem Jelly Baby was screened at the Budapest Short Film Festival.
  • Lawyer Marianne Burton’s The Devil’s Cut (Smiths Knoll, 2007) was a PBS pamphlet choice: She Inserts the Key (Seren) was shortlisted for Forward Best First Collection 2013.
  • Stephen Payne teaches Computer Science at the University of Bath: his 2010 Smiths Knoll pamphlet The Probabilities of Balance will be followed this year by a full collection from HappenStance.
  • Lydia Harris lives on the Orkney island of Westray: Glad Not To Be The Corpse was the final Smiths Knoll mentorship scheme pamphlet in 2012.
  • Chris Dodd is poetry editor of Canadian magazine Freefall, has lived in Trinidad, near the Rockies in Alberta, Canada, in Houston, Texas & now lives back in the UK: his at-present-untitled Smiths Knoll pamphlet will be launched at this event!
  • Margaret Wilmot (b. California, educ. Univ. Berkeley) taught TEFL in the Mediterranean & New York, now lives in Sussex. Sweet Coffee (Smiths Knoll, 2013) is her first pamphlet.
  • Philip Pollecoff grew up in Birmingham, now lives in Chorleywood & works as a lawyer. His first pamphlet is Carry This With You At All Times (Smiths Knoll, 2013).
  • Novelist/short-story–writer Kath McKay lectures in creative writing. Her first collection, Anyone Left Standing, winner of 1998 Poetry Business competition, was followed by Telling the Bees (Smiths Knoll, 2014).
  • Andrew Kerr from Huddersfield studied religion & anthropology, & now works with drug & alcohol users in West Yorkshire. Sweet Talk (Smiths Knoll, 2015) came out in January.

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 – jan-mar 2015

mon 26 jan: salon d’hiver with rishi dastidar, kate ghyll, agnieszka studzinska, soul patel, angela kirby, jacqueline saphra, nick mackinnon & laura scott with henry fajemirokun

A Troubadour prelude to spring with a sparkling winter wordfest from:

  • Rishi Dastidar is a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen a The Complete Works Fellow was a runner-up in 2011 Cardiff International Poetry Competition, & featured in 2014’s Ten: The New Wave (Bloodaxe, 2014)
  • Kate Ghyll has worked for Poetry Society of America, published short stories, acted in filmmaker Sophie Fiennes’ Front Row Orchestra & is starting an online cultural magazine The Reconnaissance
  • Agnieszka Studzinska’s debut collection, Snow Calling, was shortlisted for 2010’s London New Poetry Award: her second is What Things Are (Eyewear, 2014)
  • strategy consultant & Capoeira (Brazilian dance/martial-arts) practitioner Soul Patel is a Faber Academy graduate & member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen
  • Angela Kirby’s poems have been read on Radio 4 & BBC TV, & translated into Romanian — her 3rd Shoestring collection is A Scent of Winter (2013)
  • Jacqueline Saphra’s The Kitchen of Lovely Contraptions (flipped eye, 2011) was an Aldeburgh First Collection nomination – If I Lay On My Back I Saw Nothing But Naked Women (Emma, 2014) is an illustrated book of prose-poems
  • history teacher Nick MacKinnon lives in Winchester & Cambridge — his recent prizes include 2012 Keats-Shelley, 2012 Hippocrates & 2013 Forward Best Single Poem
  • Laura Scott’s magazine publications include Poetry Review & Tate Etc. – her pamphlet What I Saw (Rialto, 2013) won the Michael Marks Award
  • plus singer/songwriter Henry Fajemirokun

mon 9 feb: blake morrison, theo dorgan, mona arshi, marios takoushis & stuart silver in what we should have said, an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig plus before the break… a selection of troubadour international poetry prize winners

Sponsored by Cegin Productions

Further adventures & extravagations in yet another episode of the Troubadour’s unique Cegin-sponsored poetry segué with musical & philosophical interventions…

  • writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver offers his own idiosyncratic take on life & its meanings,
  • classical pianist/composer Marios Takoushis weaves a musical tapestry behind the words
  • & providing the spontaneous, off-the-cuff, un-prescheduled poetic foreground, our three guest poets:
  • multi-award-winning poet, poetry critic, & creative-writing professor at Goldsmith’s since 2003, Blake Morrison has worked as a literary journalist & written in a wide variety of fiction & non-fiction genres – his autobiographical And When Did You Last See Your Father? became a major feature film with Jim Broadbent – his latest collection is Shingle Street (Chatto, publ. 5 Feb 2015!)
  • Theo Dorgan’s latest poetry collection is Greek (Dedalus, 2010) & his latest novel is Making Way (New Island, 2013) – a former Director of Poetry Ireland/Éigse Éireann, his songs have been recorded by a number of musicians, his texts featured in Riverdance, & he has presented literary programmes on TV & radio for RTÉ
  • former Human Rights lawyer Mona Arshi was a winner in the 2013 Troubadour International Poetry Prize & joint first prizewinner in 2014’s Manchester Creative Writing Poetry Prize – her debut collection Small Hands is due in Spring 2015 from Pavilion Poetry/Liverpool University Press.

• plus, before the break, a selection of Troubadour International Poetry Prize Winners including Katy Mack, Ian McEwen, Alex Josephy, Louise Warren, Robert Peake, Rachel Piercy, Sue Rose, Cheryl Moskowitz, Diana Pooley, Caroline Smith, Christina Newton, Ellen Cranitch, Wendy French, Richard Aronowitz, June Lausch, Mara Bergman, Michael Swan, & Karen Green

mon 23 feb: an evening with john montague: rare chance to hear major irish poet john montague reading & in-interview, with songs from world runners, josie frater & steve taylor

  • john montague is unwell & unable to attend: we’re having, instead, an evening with john montague’s poetry at which guest poets who know john &/or were influenced/inspired by his work will each read a poem with, after the break, a round-table discussion with c.l. dallat, maurice riordan & others…
  • Father-figure to a cohort of 60s Irish poets, Brooklyn-born John Montague was raised in County Tyrone, educated in Armagh & Dublin, has taught at University College Cork & the Iowa Writers Workshop & has lived in Paris, Dublin & West Cork, his cultural life intersecting those of Richard Wilbur, Claude Esteban, Sean O’Riada & The Chieftains, Saul Bellow, Samuel Beckett & several generations of Irish poets in the years since his Forms of Exile (first of a dozen or so seminal poetry collections, plus essays, short-stories etc) first appeared in 1958.
  • plus, after the break, John Montague, in-conversation & Q&A with poet, musician & broadcaster C.L. Dallat
  • plus songs/world-music from World Runners – vocalist Josie Frater & drummer/percussionist Steve Taylor have appeared on Radio 2 & Jazz FM & at Jazz Café, Ronnie Scott’s & Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival

mon 9 mar: big yellow taxi! themed spring/easter reading on yellowhammers, yellow bicycles, yellow brick roads (& just possibly daffodils!) with invited guest poets, music, prize-quiz

After winter’s ‘blue’ what better hue to signal our spring season (and start our Easter break) than the yellows of sweetcorn, buttercups & egg-yolks: not to mention yellow cabs, smileys & custard.

But yellow doesn’t have it all its own sunshiny way. There’s that jinxing one-eyed yellow idol, &, topically, mustard gas: there’s the perjorative ‘yellow-bellied’, & being shown the yellow card & a host of literary & cultural references from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Yellow Wallpaper & Gaston Leroux’s Mystery of the Yellow Room through Aldous Huxley’s Crome Yellow by way of Martin Amis’ Yellow Dog to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun.

Poets certainly spotted yellow in nature — Wordsworth’s host of golden daffodils, the blackbird’s bright yellow beak (in an 11th-century Belfast poem), James Fenton’s Yellow Tulips & Michael Longley’s Gorse Fires, with Yeats wishing men would love Anne Gregory for yourself alone/ and not your yellow hair. But subtler yellows often prevail, with paint-box variations including mimosas, primroses, jasmines, jonquils & ochres — & colour-chart imaginations running to Wild Primrose, Maize, Happy Daze, El Dorado, Egyptian Sand & Lemon Punch.

Lyricisits clearly find yellow’s trochaic mellifluity irresistible with several yellow brick roads, yellow suns, rivers & birds, yellow roses & even a yellow submarine. So there’s the chance to go for gold in our the-answer’s-a-lemon prize quiz with music to match the mellow-yellow mood!

readings – oct-dec 2014

mon 6 oct: stateside troubadours with poets: philip fried, margo taft stever, tim nolan, susana case, robert peake, jennifer militello, daphne warburg astor & owen lewis with henry fajemirokun

In celebration of the Troubadour’s American links over the past 60 years, we present an evening of US poets…

  • Manhattan Review editor Philip Fried, is based in New York; Early/Late: New & Selected Poems from Salmon (2011) draws on his first 4 collections of poetry; his latest Salmon collection is Interrogating Water (2013)
  • Margo Taft Stever founded Hudson Valley Writers’ Center & Slapering Hol Press; her award-winning first collection was Frozen Spring & her latest is The Hudson Line (Main Street Rag, 2012)
  • Tim Nolan’s 2013 Troubadour Poetry Prize poem is shortlisted for the Forward Best Single Poem Prize; Tim is a lawyer, lives in Minneapolis, & has published two collections including And Then (New Rivers, 2012)
  • poet & sociologist Susana Case is a professor at NY Institute of Technology: her collections range from The Scottish Café (2002) to 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple Press, 2014)
  • Robert Peake is a British-American poet living near London, he created the Transatlantic Poetry on Air reading series; 1st-collection The Knowledge due from Nine Arches Press, 2015
  • Jennifer Millitello lives in Goffstown NH, & has taught at Brown Univ. & Rhode Island School of Design in Providence RI; finalist in the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, her first collection is Body Thesaurus (Tupelo, 2013)
  • artist & Faber-Academy poet Daphne Warburg Astor was part of the C4RD online residency & collaborated with Jason Hicklin on From Co. Donegal to the Inner Hebrides: Drawings & Etchings (2009)
  • psychiatrist & professor at Columbia Univ., Owen Lewis has published extensively in professional journals; his first poetry chapbook was March in San Miguel (Finishing Line, 2012) & first collection is Sometimes Full of Daylight (Dos Madres, 2013)
  • with songs from guitarist Henry Fajemirokun

mon 20 oct: what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig with paul farley, jean sprackland, richard douglas pennant, marios takoushis & stuart silver with — before the break — Faber Academy tutors jo shapcott & daljit nagra with recent Faber Academy poets…

Sponsored by Cegin Productions

Further adventures and extravagations in yet another episode of the Troubadour’s unique Cegin-sponsored poetry segué with musical & philosophical interventions…

  • writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver offers his own idiosyncratic take on life & its meanings,
  • classical pianist/composer Marios Takoushis weaves a musical tapestry behind the words
  • & providing the spontaneous, off-the-cuff, un-prescheduled poetic foreground, our three guest poets:
  • poet & broadcaster, Paul Farley, b. Liverpool, has written on John Clare, Terence Davies, & on Edgelands with Michael Symmons-Roberts; won Forward Best First Collection 1998 for The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You; his 4th poetry publication The Dark Film (Picador, 2014) is a PBS Choice
  • Richard Douglas Pennant divides his time and his poetic inspiration between Cyprus and his native North Wales – collections include The Alabaster Jar (Ogwen, 2008) and Old Stones New Tales (CD, Cegin, 2007)
  • Jean Sprackland from Burton-upon Trent is Reader in Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan & has published 3 poetry collections including Sleeping Keys (Random House, 2013), & a collection of essays on landscape, Strand

with — before the break — Faber Academy tutors jo shapcott & daljit nagra reading & introducing recent Faber Academy poets… : catherine humble, miranda peake, bob palmer, sam peters, soul patel, nick sunderland, mark huband, marek urbanowicz, paul crichton, katy mack, jon sayers, rose maher, jan heritage, rishi dastidar, & kate ghyll

mon 3 nov: an evening with roger mcgough: leading liverpool poet, performer & radio4 poetry presenter, roger mcgough, with songs from bernadette reed

  • Ever since his poetry first appeared in The Mersey Sound In 1967 (& sold over half-a-million copies) Roger McGough has been a fascinating & highly popular cross-cultural figure recording three Top-10 singles (& The Liver Birds theme) with The Scaffold, contributing to Yellow Submarine, appearing in a Beatles mockumentary, translating Molière, recording a one-minute version of The Wreck of the Hesperus, publishing around 30 poetry collections (with another dozen or so for kids) & currently presenting BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Please: Roger is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature & President of The Poetry Society
  • plus, after the break, Roger, in-conversation & Q&A with poet, musician & broadcaster C.L. Dallat
  • plus songs from jazz/acoustic singer/songwriter Bernadette Reed whose 2009 album Walking on Water explores sound, form and the silent radiant emptiness that permeates creation: with Ian Salmon (guitar) & Le’Voy Wilson (keyboards)

mon 17 nov: poetry school poets: plus poetry school tutors mimi khalvati & tamar yoseloff with songs from rosie taylor

The Poetry School was founded in 1997 by 3 poets, Jane Duran, Mimi Khalvati & Pascale Petit to provide poetry courses & workshops. Two current Poetry School creative-writing tutors, Mimi Khalvati & Tamar Yoseloff read their own work & introduce a selection of current Poetry School poets including:

  • Inua Ellams, Saradha Soobrayen, Paul Armitage, Subhadramati, Sandra Galton, Matt Bryden, Judith Cair, Liz Devereaux, Mark McGuinness, Marilyn Hammick, Karen Littleton, Dharmavadana, Susan Watson, Samantha Jackson, Vishvantara, Jocelyn Page, Andrew George, Kate Ling, Helen Overell, Juliet Humphreys & Eve Ellis
  • US-born poet Tamar Yoseloff moved to London in 1987: her publications include The City with Horns (Salt, 2011), two collaborative editions with the artist Linda Karshan, & (as editor) A Room to Live In: A Kettle’s Yard Anthology. The Formula for Night: New and Selected Poems is due from Seren in 2015
  • Mimi Khalvati was born in Tehran, grew up on the Isle of Wight & has worked as an actor & director in the UK & in Iran; Poetry School co-founder, & co-ordinator (1997-2004); her eight collections include a ‘selected’ & a ‘new & selected’ from Carcanet, & her latest, Earthshine (Smith/Doorstop, 2013)
  • plus songs from singer/guitarist Rosie Taylor who has performed at Ronnie Scott’s & London Jazz Festival

mon 1 dec: eighth annual troubadour international poetry prize night: neil astley, amy wack & 2014 prizewinners

Join the rest of the poetry world in the excitement of discovering who’s won the prestigious £5,000 Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2014, listen to the 23 best poems chosen from hundreds submitted by poets around the world, & listen to poems (& comments on the prizewinning poems) from the highly-respected poetry-editor judges who’ll have made those choices: Wales based Seren Books editor, Amy Wack b. Florida, studied at San Diego Univ. & Columbia Univ. & Bloodaxe Books editor & founder Neil Astley, studied Newcastle Univ., 1982 Eric Gregory Award, has 2 poetry collections & 2 novels & edited the highly-acclaimed anthologies Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004) & Being Human (2011)

First prize sponsored by Cegin Productions

mon 15 dec: out of the blue! azure-themed end-of-season reading with invited guest poets & favourite poems of blue eyes, Mediterranean seas, indigo nights, deep blue moods…

Time for blue-skies thinking! We all remember Auden’s Refugee Blues & Langston Hughes’ Weary Blues …but blue has myriad lighter shades: in Mary Oliver’s Blue Iris, Lowell’s Waking in the Blue, Louise Glück’s blue sky, blue ice (in Blue Rotunda), Housman’s blue remembered hills, Jane Hirshfield’s net of blue and gold, Wallace Stevens’ Man With a Blue Guitar or the robin’s egg blue tiles in Medbh McGuckian’s Four O’Clock, Summer Street.

Blue abounds, not just in clothing (Hardy’s air-blue gown, Sharon Olds’ Blue Dress, Ted Hughes’ Blue Flannel Suit or Leonard Cohen’s Famous Blue Raincoat) but in nature, from Anne Brontë’s Bluebell, Hardy’s Pair of Blue Eyes, Lawrence’s fountains of blue (in Mystic Blue) & Rattigan’s Deep Blue Sea, to the blue light in Jorie Graham’s San Sepolcro, the azure that triumphs in Mallarmé’s L’Azur…

The only place Billy Collins wants to visit, it seems is The Blue, not the Wild Blue Yonder, but ‘the blue’ that the unexpected comes ‘out of…’

A once-in-a-blue-moon chance to kick away the winter blues: come along & hear invited guest poets read kind-of-blue poems (their own & those by other poets) listen to blue-themed music, & try our prize quiz where the answers come, likely as not, out of the blue

readings – may-jul 2014

mon 26 may: spring into summer: with poets lydia macpherson, ian house, jennifer wong, alyson hallett, barbara marsh, victoria field, jackie wills & special guest louis de bernières

An amazing line-up of new & established poetry voices to launch Troubadour60’s summer season, with

  • special guest Louis de Bernières, selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists found fame with his Colombian Trilogy &, in 1994, with Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (a film based on the book appeared in 2001); his first poetry collection is Imagining Alexandria: Poems in Memory of Constantinos Cavafis (Harvill Secker, 2013)
  • Brighton-based freelance writer & OU associate lecturer Jackie Wills’ fifth collection is Woman’s Head as Jug (Arc, 2013); her Workshop Handbook is due for 2014 publication
  • Victoria Field is a writer & poetry-therapist & has lived & worked in Turkey; her latest collection is Lost Boys (Waterloo, 2013)
  • part of music duo The Dear Janes, Barbara Marsh was born in Rhode Island & now lives & teaches in London; To the Boneyard (Eyewear, 2013) is her first poetry collection
  • Alyson Hallett grew up in Somerset, has been poet-in-residence at the Univ. of Exeter’s Geography Dept in Cornwall & has a poem carved into a pavement in Bath; The Stone Library was published by Peterloo in 2007
  • Jennifer Wong grew up in Hong Kong; her publications include Summer Cicadas (2006) and Goldfish (2013), both from Chameleon
  • Lydia Macpherson was born in the Yorkshire Pennines; published in Poetry London, The North & Poetry Wales; her first collection, Love Me Do, won the 2013 Crashaw Prize and is due from Salt (Spring, 2014)
  • Ian House lives in Reading & has taught in Eastern Europe; Nothing’s Lost (2014) is his second Two Rivers Press collection

mon 9 jun: an evening with paul muldoon: pulitzer-prize-winning poet & New Yorker editor, paul muldoon, with music from christine tobin

  • Paul Muldoon (b. Co. Armagh), studied at Queen’s University Belfast, has worked as a radio producer, has lived in the US since 1987 & in 2007 was appointed Poetry Editor of The New Yorker. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford, where he is an honorary Fellow of Hertford College. His poetry collections range from New Weather & Mules (1973 & ‘77), to Horse Latitudes (2006) & Maggot (2010), with a selected, Poems 1968-1998, published in 2001, he has won the T.S. Eliot Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Shakespeare Prize & Aspen Prize & is regarded as ‘the most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War’ (TLS)
  • plus, after the break, Paul, in-conversation & Q&A with fellow-Queens University-Belfast poet C.L. Dallat
  • plus, songs from Irish-born, London-based, jazz-rooted, world-music-influenced, BBC 2008 Jazz Awards’ Best Vocalist, ‘24-carat-voiced’ singer-songwriter Christine Tobin

mon 23 jun: what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig with huw warren, stuart silver, helen mort, philip gross & imtiaz dharker with (before the break) jenny lewis, john harvey & christina newton

Sponsored by Cegin Productions

Further adventures and extravagations in yet another episode of the Troubadour’s unique Cegin-sponsored poetry segué with musical & philosophical interventions…

  • writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver offers his own idiosyncratic take on life & its meanings,
  • classical/jazz-fusion keyboard virtuoso Huw Warren weaves a musical tapestry behind the words
  • & providing the spontaneous, off-the-cuff, un-prescheduled poetic foreground, our three guest poets:
  • Lahore-born poet, Scottish artist, documentary film-maker & Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Imtiaz Dharker whose five self-illustrated collections include Leaving Fingerprints (Bloodaxe, 2009),
  • Sheffield-born, frequent Foyle Young Poets winner, recipient of both 2007 Eric Gregory Award & 2008 Manchester Young Writer Prize & current Derbyshire Poet Laureate Helen Mort, latest collection Division Street (Chatto, 2013, shortlisted for 2014 T.S. Eliot Prize) &
  • Cornwall-born Philip Gross, professor of creative writing at University of Glamorgan: his 2009 collection, The Water Table, won the T.S. Eliot Prize & his latest collection is Deep Field (Bloodaxe, 2011)

plus, before the break…

  • Jenny Lewis teaches poetry at Oxford University: her 3rd collection is Taking Mesopotamia (Oxford/Carcanet, 2014) & Mulfran Press published her verse drama After Gilgamesh in 2011
  • Alison Hill runs the Rhythm & Muse poetry-&-music series at the Ram Jam Club in Kingston; she was Kingston Libraries’ first poet-in-residence (2012) & her first collection is Slate Rising (Indigo Dreams, April 2014)
  • John Harvey is a crime writer & author of the ‘Charlie Resnick’ novels. He ran Slow Dancer poetry magazine for 20+ years. His poetry collections include Bluer than This & Out of Silence: New & Selected Poems (smith/doorstop, 2014)
  • Christina Newton won the 2011 Poetry London Competition and was a prizewinner in the 2013 Troubadour International Poetry Prize: she has published two collections in her native Spanish and her first in English, Cry Wolf, received a Straid Award in 2012.

mon 7 jul: stop all the clocks! guest poets celebrate the timeless poetics of clock-watching, of punctuality & procrastination, sundials, time-checks, & the relentless ticking-away of minutes, hours, days… in our timely end-of-Troubadour60-summer-season poetry-party!

O let not Time deceive you, Auden wrote, though not in Funeral Blues, where stopping all the clocks marked a life’s end. Andrew Marvell heard time’s winged chariot catching up (or thought it at least a good chat-up line) while W.H. Davies regretted a world in which we’d no time to stand & stare, a line that’s joined a store of phrases about time & tide, killing time, no time like the present, a stitch in time, me-time, saving time, the best of times, wasted time, better late than never & it’s later than you think, not to mention Benjamin Franklin’s time is money & Einstein’s not-quite-so-useful observation, time is an illusion…

Yeats’s midnights were all a-glimmer as he longed for the coming of wisdom with time, there’s, Dennis O’Driscoll’s The Clock, Sinead Morrissey’s Clocks, Charles Simic’s The Clocks of the Dead & Billy Collins’ Bar Time which keeps, as all saloon clocks do, 15 minutes ahead of the outside world…

Novelists, playwrights & film-makers aren’t immune to time’s momentum either, with Priestley’s Time plays, John Ford’s High Noon, McEwan’s The Child in Time, Amis’s Time’s Arrow, Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time, H.G. Wells’ Time Machine & Audrey Nilfegger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife…

Enjoy our guest poets’ poetic version of A Brief History of Time with clock-wise poems from the famous & not-so-famous, & join in strictly-timed literary prize quiz (& the inevitable music round in six-eight time!)

readings – jan-mar 2014

mon 20 jan: salon d’hiver: patricia debney, susannah hart, dominic bury, malika booker, sharon morris, fathieh saudi, jo hemmant & harry man with music from bernadette reed & ian salmon

Coffee-House Poetry’s ‘winter salon’ kicks-off Troubadour60’s celebration year with a dazzling range of individual poetic voices:

  • editor/copywriter Dominic Bury is widely published in magazines including Poetry Wales, Ambit & Iota
  • London-based Poetry-London 3rd-prize-winner (2013) Susannah Hart has also had poems published in Smiths Knoll & Poetry News
  • human-rights activist, translator & former paediatrician Fathieh Saudi (latest collection, Prophetic Children, Blue Lotus, 2012) writes in English & Arabic
  • Harry Man won 2nd-prize in PEN’s Made-Up-Words & 3rd-prize in Cardiff International; pamphlet Lift (Tall Lighthouse, 2014)
  • artist Sharon Morris teaches at Slade School of Fine Art; second collection, Gospel Oak (Enitharmon, 2013)
  • Jo Hemmant (first collection, The Light Knows Tricks, Doire, 2013) is director of Pindrop Press & was a prizewinner in the recent Seventh Troubadour International Poetry Prize (2013)
  • Malika Booker was inaugural Poet-in-Residence at RSC; one of the poems from her 2013 collection (Pepper Seed, Peepal Tree) was a PBS poem-of-the-week
  • novelist & former Poetry-Business overall-winner (2004) Patricia Debney wrote Littoral (Shearsman, 2013) on a Kent-coast beach-hut residency
  • plus songs from jazz/acoustic singer/songwriter Bernadette Reed whose 2009 album Walking on Water explores sound, form and the silent radiant emptiness that permeates creation: with accompanist & former Arena guitarist Ian Salmon

mon 3 feb: what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig with sean o’brien, vona groarke, ian gregson, stuart silver and huw warren

Sponsored by Cegin Productions

Inventions & excursions in our unique words-&-music sequence with impromptu poetry choices, imaginative harmonic interpolations & unexpected philosophical interventions from a vibrant & varied line-up:

  • poet, critic & dramatist Sean O’Brien lives in Newcastle & has published a dozen or so highly-praised collections including Cousin Coat: Selected Poems: 1976-2001 &, most recently November (Picador, 2011)
  • Vona Groarke teaches creative writing at Manchester University; her awards include the Brendan Behan Award & the Strokestown International Prize; her sixth Gallery collection, ’X’, is due in 2014
  • critic Ian Gregson teaches at Bangor University; his Call Centre Love Songs (Salt, 2006) was shortlisted for the Forward Prize; latest collection, How we Met (Salt, 2008)
  • Huw Warren’s thoughtful & exploratory musical creations, fusions and collaborations have long been a gift to the numerous artists and writers with whom he’s worked;
  • to which seamless blend of muse & music, writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver brings his own inimitable musings
  • plus, (before the break…)
  • afterlives: celebrating Troubadour60 by revisiting 21 prizewinning poems from 7 years of the Troubadour International Poetry Prize… with one prizewinning poem each from winners alex josephy, mona arshi, jane kirwan, karen green, katy mack, cheryl moskowitz, chris beckett, michael mckimm, ellen cranitch, jacqueline saphra, wendy french, judy brown, diana pooley, jenny vuglar, june lausch, louise warren, josh ekroy, martyn crucefix, paul stephenson, ian mcewan & ruth valentine

mon 17 feb: coffee-house colloquies: the art of choosing: listen to the poet-editors who bring us the best in magazine poetry: maurice riordan (poetry review), michael mackmin, (the rialto), patricia mccarthy (agenda) & ahren warner (poetry London)

In a Troubadour60 return to our much-loved Coffee-House poets-in-discussion format, come along to hear what makes the editors of our four leading poetry magazines tick! Listen to them read their own poems &, after the break, hear them join in a panel discussion, with audience Q&A, on what makes a poetry magazine & what makes, for them, a magazine poem:

  • Maurice Riordan (ed. Poetry Review), b. Lisgoold, Co. Cork, has taught at Goldsmiths, Imperial & Sheffield Hallam; latest collection The Water Stealer (Faber, 2013)
  • Agenda editor Patricia McCarthy (latest collection, Around the Mulberry Bush, Waterloo, 2013) was born in Cornwall, has lived in Washington, Paris, Nepal, Ireland & Mexico, and won the 2013 National Poetry Competition
  • Rialto magazine & books/pamphlets editor (& keen North-Norfolk bird-watcher) Michael Mackmin was one of the magazine’s founders in 1984; his own collections include Twenty-Three Poems (Happenstance, 2006)
  • Eric Gregory Award-winner Ahren Warner was appointed as Poetry London’s poetry editor in Feb. 2013; his latest collection, Pretty (Bloodaxe, 2013) is a PBS Recommendation
  • discussion chaired by poet & BBC R4 Saturday-Review critic, C.L. Dallat, latest collection, The Year of Not Dancing (Blackstaff, 2009)

mon 3 mar: fame academy! …celebrating 21 of faber academy’s new poets: introduced by poet/tutors jo shapcott & daljit nagra

with music from fabricio mattos & lucas jordan

Faber Academy poet-tutors read from their own award-winning collections:

  • Jo Shapcott teaches at Royal Holloway & Faber Academy, has won the National twice, co-edited Emergency Kit, appeared in Penguin Modern Poets & Bloodaxe’s Poetry Quartets, has published translations, essays & lectures, & six poetry collections including Of Mutability (Faber, 2011)
  • Daljit Nagra’s current masterwork is a retelling in verse of the epic Ramayana (Faber 2013); he was a judge for the Troubadour’s 2010 London New Poetry Award & won both the Forward Best Single Poem Prize, 2004, and Forward Best First Collection Prize, 2007, for Look We Have Coming to Dover

Daljit & Jo will introduce just 21 of the many diverse new voices who’ve honed their craft at Faber Academy over the past few years, names we’ve started to see winning prizes, appearing in magazines &, of course, reading at Troubadour events, including will burns, clair wilcox, nick sunderland, peter kravitz, pnina shinebourne, mark huband, victoria green, marek urbanowicz, aviva dautch, paul crichton, katy mack, jon sayers, sam peters, rosey wilkin, susannah hart, jan heritage, daphne astor, karen rhydings, edward doegar, rishi dastidar, richard scott & kate ghyll

mon 17 mar: wake-up call! themed end-of-Troubadour60-spring-season poetry-party with invited guests reading poems of morning, dawn, daybreak, sunrise, breakfast & new beginnings…

What’s the Story, Morning Glory? Oasis wanted to know, in 1995. Frank O’Hara had his rude awakening fifty years earlier from old Phoebus Apollo himself: ‘Hey! I’ve been trying to wake you up for fifteen minutes…’ (A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island), that same unruly sunne that Donne had challenged four centuries before: Why dost thou thus, through windows, and through curtains call on us? in his aubade (The Sunne Rising).

Aubades, poems of parting at dawn, were a staple of the Troubadour in the Middle Ages, though Philip Larkin offered an even bleaker view of the early hours in his own Aubade. Dymock poet, Eleanor Farjeon, takes a sunnier tack with mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning (Morning has Broken) & some writers focused exclusively on the day of rest: from T.S. Eliot’s Sunday Morning Service & Wallace Stevens’ Sunday Morning (‘Complacencies of the peignoir, and late/ coffee and oranges…’), to Alan Sillitoe’s grittier 1958 novel Saturday Night, Sunday Morning

Forget those Lazy Sunday Afternoons, forget Some Enchanted Evening: dawn, daybreak, the tedium or exuberance of each new day, are where it’s at lyrically from the moment I wake up… not forgetting Wednesday morning at five o’clock, every day she takes a morning bath, my baby takes the morning train, in the early morning rain, you might wake up some morning… even Dormez vous? Sonnez les matines!

Come along & find out if our guest poets, & their favourite poets’ poets, are morning creatures who rise’n’shine with each new day, or who greet the early hours with quotidian desperation. And join in our tous les matins du monde prize quiz!

readings – oct-dec 2013

mon 7 oct: an evening with mark doty: mark doty reading & in-conversation, plus singer/songwriter bernadette reed

A welcome back to Coffee-House Poetry for US poet Mark Doty, Professor/Writer-in-Residence at Rutgers University, winner of (among others) the National Book Award for Poetry & the T.S. Eliot Prize & author of The Art of Description, a handbook for writers, four prose books including Firebird & Dog Years, & eight books of poetry including School of the Arts & Theories & Apparitions (Cape, 2008).

including, after the break Mark, in-conversation & Q&A, with poet & critic C.L. Dallat

plus songs from jazz/acoustic singer/songwriter Bernadette Reed whose 2009 album Walking on Water explores sound, form and the silent radiant emptiness that permeates creation (with guitarist Les Davidson)

mon 21 oct: cornucopia: an autumn harvest: hannah lowe, fiona moore, robert peake, hilda sheehan, alison brackenbury, matt bryden, angela france & kate white with henry fajemirokun

A seasonal gathering-in of the latest crop of new poets & poets with new collections featuring:

  • Hannah Lowe — first collection Chick (Bloodaxe, 2012), shortlisted for Forward/Felix Dennis Prize — lives in London
  • poetry-blogger Fiona Moore lives in Greenwich: first pamphlet The Only Reason for Time (HappenStance, 2013)
  • US-born Robert Peake coordinates Transatlantic Poetry on Air — latest pamphlet The Silence Teacher (Salzburg, 2013)
  • Hilda Sheehan works for Swindon Artswords & Swindon Festival of Poetry, co-edits Domestic Cherry, first collection, The Night My Sister Went to Hollywood (Cultured Llama, 2013)
  • Alison Brackenbury (b. Lincolnshire & lives in Gloucestershire) has published 9 collections including a ‘selected’ (1991) & Then, (Carcanet, 2013)
  • poet/translator Matt Bryden has taught in Tuscany, Poland & Czech Republic — first full collection is Boxing the Compass (Templar, 2013)
  • Angela France is features editor of Iota and runs Cheltenham’s BuzzWords poetry café – her books include Lessons in Mallemaroking, & Hide (Nine Arches, 2013)
  • Poetry Society Membership-Assistant Kate White lives in Islington & won the inaugural Pighog/Poetry School Prize with The Old Madness (2013) &
  • plus singer/guitarist Henry Fajemirokun

mon 4 nov: jo shapcott, chrsitopher reid, richard douglas pennant, huw warren & stuart silver in what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig … plus, before the break, abigail parry, jill abram, roderic vincent & daisy behagg

Experience your poetry impromptu, as leading poets catch ideas from the ether & respond to each other’s thoughts & themes, to philosophical and philharmonic inventions & interventions…

  • Jo Shapcott teaches at Royal Holloway & has won Forward & Commonwealth Prizes, Costa & Colomondeley Awards & the National Poetry Competition, twice, featured in Penguin New Poets & Bloodaxe’s Poetry Quartets & published 6 collections including a ‘selected’ & Of Mutability (Faber, 2010)
  • poet, essayist & cartoonist Christopher Reid is a former Faber poetry editor: his 15 books include Selected Poems (2011), A Scattering, winner of the 2009 Costa Book Award and The Song of Lunch, adapted for BBC TV with Alan Rickman & Emma Thompson
  • Richard Douglas Pennant divides his time and his poetic inspiration between Cyprus and his native North Wales – collections include The Alabaster Jar (Ogwen, 2008) and Old Stones New Tales (CD, Cegin, 2007).
  • plus philosophical interpolations & epigrammatic excursions from Perrier-Award winning writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver
  • and harmonic counterpoint provided by Huw Warren’s rhythmic grooves & eclectically melodic inspiration

plus, before the break —

  • Abigail Parry, lives in London where she works as a toymaker; her work was shortlisted for the 2012 Manchester Poetry Prize
  • Jill Abram is Director of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, was inaugural winner of Poetry Pulse Prize & has been published in Loose Muse anthologies
  • Roderic Vincent is a chartered psychologist, has been shortlisted for Aesthetica, Live Canon & Bridport & has poems in the Iron Anthology of Humorous Verse
  • Daisy Behagg grew up near Brighton & lives in Bristol — she was a runner-up in the 2012 Edwin Morgan & Bridport prizes.

mon 18 nov: magma #57 launch night with editors ian mcewen & hannah lowe — special guests patience agbabi & chris mccabe

A mega-moment in the history of the metropolis’ main mag, as Magma #57 launches with more than 57 varieties of poetry, on-the edge, urban, erudite, imaginative, imagist, esoteric, allusive, even over-the-edge — with a special emphasis in this issue on The Shape of the Poem plus ‘showcase’, ‘presiding spirits’, reviews &c. Latest guest editors Hannah Lowe & Ian McEwen introduce a cast of contributors and special guests including Patience Agbabi (Bloodshot Monochrome , Canongate 2008) who is currently reimagining Chaucer’s pilgrims on a Routemaster bus & Chris McCabe (b. Liverpool) whose Salt collections include Zeppelins and The Restructure (2012).

mon 2 dec: seventh annual troubadour international poetry prize night: george szirtes & deryn rees-jones & 2013 prizewinners

With submissions from all around the world, the annual Troubadour International Poetry Prize’s success is inseparable from the venue’s longstanding association with live literature, and from the significance of Troubadour Prize Night, the poetry-calendar’s mustn’t-miss autumn social gathering. Come along to hear twenty-three prizewinning poets, discover who’s won the £2,500 Cegin-sponsored top prize, and listen to fine poetry readings by the major poets who’ve been our 2013 prize judges: George Szirtes (b. Budapest) latest collection is The Burning of the Books and Other Poems (Bloodaxe, 2009) — his numerous awards include the Gold Star of the Hungarian Republic, & the TS Eliot Prize; & Deryn Rees-Jones (b. Liverpool) who spent much of her childhood in North Wales — chosen as a PBS Next Generation poet in 2004, she has won an Eric Gregory Award & her latest collection, Burying the Wren (Seren) was shortlisted for the 2012 T.S. Eliot Prize.

mon 16 dec: stormy weather… themed end-of-season poetry-party

Stormy Weather, Billie Holiday sang, ‘when he went away…’ as raging weather so often echoes emotional ups & downs, in Ted Hughes’ ‘wind stampeding the fields’ (Wind), in Sylvia Plath’s Insolent Storm Strikes at the Skull, in Adrienne Rich’s Storm Warnings…

Seamus Heaney marvels at the ‘big soft buffettings’ that ‘catch the heart off guard and blow it open’ (Postscript) & Paul Simon notes, on losing love, ‘Everybody sees the wind blow/ everybody sees you’re blown apart’ (Graceland) though Dorothy Parker sagely observes, ‘they sicken of the calm, who only know the storm…’

But unmetaphorical tempests have their own dramatic roles to play, not just in the eponymous Shakespeare play, but in Milton’s Lycidas & Hopkins’ Wreck of the Deutschland. Elizabeth Bishop thought ‘of the storm roaming the sky uneasily’ & Emily Dickinson admits to ‘GLEE!’ that ‘the great storm is over’ even though forty or so didn’t survive that particular tumult…

Come along & allow yourself to be swept off your feet as invited guest poets whip up a whirlwind with their favourite poems of emotional turmoil & tempestuous moments… & try our not-too-meteorological prize quiz!

readings – may-jul 2013

mon 20 may: transatlantic signals: us &uk poets featuring margot farrington, claire dyer, joshua weiner, kim moore, kathryn maris, janet rogerson, linda gregerson & sarah jackson

A change to the usual seasonal kick-off format — new & established voices — this evening’s programme offers a rare chance to hear what’s now & happening either side of the Atlantic with—

  • NYC-based literature, visual-arts & theatre organiser, activist & reviewer Margot Farrington — 2nd collection Flares and Fathoms, Bright Hill Press, NY);
  • Claire Dyer — debut poetry collection, Eleven Rooms, (Two Rivers, 2013) — also has a novel, What If, due from Quercus (October 2013);
  • Joshua Weiner who holds the Amy Lowell Travelling Scholarship & has edited At the Barriers (on Thom Gunn) — third collection, The Figure of a Man Being Swallowed by a Fish (Chicago, 2013);
  • Kim Moore, a peripatetic brass teacher in Cumbria & a 2011 Eric Gregory & Geoffrey Dearmer award winner; If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a 2012 Poetry Business winner;
  • Kathryn Maris from NYC, 2nd collection, God Loves You (Seren, 2013) — her poems appear in Best British Poets 2012 & Oxford Poets Anthology;
  • Janet Rogerson who lives & works in the North-West of England; A Bad Influence Girl (Rialto, 2012) is her debut collection;
  • Linda Gregerson’s Magnetic North was a 2007 NBA finalist; she teaches at Univ. of Michigan & divides her time between London & Ann Arbor;
  • Sarah Jackson’s first collection Pelt (Bloodaxe, 2012) was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award & her pamphlet, Milk, was shortlisted for the Michael Marks Award.

mon 3 jun: simon armitage, frieda hughes, paul stephenson, huw warren & stuart silver in what we should have said: an entertaining, enlightening, innovative & unpredictable spoken-word shindig

A fascinating & radically different way of experiencing music & the spoken word —

  • award-winning poet & dramatist Simon Armitage has published 12 mainstream collections — in addition to small-press pamphlets — since Zoom! in 1989, the latest of which is Seeing Stars (Faber, 2010);
  • poet & painter Frieda Hughes lived in Australia for many years; she has had numerous exhibitions, has published children’s fiction & five poetry collections — latest Stonepicker and the Book of Mirrors (Bloodaxe, 2009);
  • Paul Stephenson won 2nd prize in the Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2012; his poems in Adventures in Form (Penned in the Margins, 2012) have been singled out for praise by the TLS;
  • Huw Warren’s thoughtful & exploratory musical creations, fusions & collaborations have long been a gift to the numerous artists & writers with whom he’s worked;
  • to which magical, musical, metrical mix writer/perfomer/director Stuart Silver brings his own inimitable brand of wit & wisdom, of insight & inventive intervention…

plus, before the break, four new voices…

  • Edward Doegar (grew up in Hull, lives in West London) selected for The Complete Works 2 run by Spread The Word, poems in magazines including The Moth, Poetry Review…
  • Mona Arshi (b. Hounslow, lives in West London) human rights lawyer, studied poetry/creative-writing at UEA, published in Magma & Poetry Review, won first prize in 2012 Magma Poetry Competition
  • Richard Scott (b. Wimbledon, lives in Hackney) teacher, musician, broadcaster, studied at Faber Academy & Goldsmiths College, won Wasafiri New Writing Prize, published in Poetry Review, Poetry London, Wasafiri…
  • Victoria Grigg (b. Hillingdon, lives in Hackney) English tutor/examiner, studied at Sheffield & Birkbeck, short fiction in Mechanics’ Institute Review 9, finalist in 2011 Cinnamon Press Land & Travel competition.

mon 17 jun: a wnaed yng nghymru /made in wales with phil bowen, marianne burton, rebecca perry, robert seatter, judy brown, graham clifford, rhian edwards & kathryn simmonds

New poets, new collections, Poetry Wales Purple Moose pamphlet-winners & a new ‘Beatles’ anthology from Wales-based Seren Books, introduced by Seren editor, Amy Wack

  • Phil Bowen will read from Newspaper Taxis: Poetry After the Beatles which he’s co-edited; with poems by McGough, Armitage, Duffy, Rumens, Ginsberg…
  • Rebecca Perry lives in London; her Purple Moose pamphlet little armoured was a PBS choice;
  • Robert Seatter’s third collection is Writing King Kong (2012) —winner/commended in National, Forward & Poetry London competitions;
  • She Inserts the Key is the forthcoming Seren debut from former lawyer/corporate-banker Marianne Burton;
  • Assistant Head-Teacher Graham Clifford won the 2010 Purple Moose pamphlet prize with Welcome Back to the Country;
  • Wordsworth Trust poet-in-residence, Judy BrownLoudness (Seren, 2011) — won the Manchester Poetry Prize (2010) & the Poetry London Competition (2009);
  • Clueless Dogs (Seren, 2008) is Rhian Edwards’ first collection; her pamphlet Parade the Fib was a PBS choice;
  • Kathryn Simmonds’ Sundays at the Skin Laundrette won the Forward First Collection Prize — her next is The Weather in the Blood (Seren 2013).

mon 1 jul: magma #56 launch night with special guest, david morley

With guest editors Julia Bird & Helen Mort, magma #56’s sure to dazzle, delight, & deliver (as every magma does) an evening of edgy, engaging, eclecticism. to the invariably capacity Coffee-House crowd: hear what’s going on in the metropolis’s major-est mag, discover the gems in the current issue (theme: ‘clothes: workwear to haute couture’,) meet the members of the magma team, discover new ‘showcase’ poets & listen to special guests David Morley, author of nine poetry collections & editor of six anthologies of new fiction and poetry. His next collection of poems is The Gypsy and the Poet, (Carcanet, 2013) with a New & Selected Poems due in 2014 and Eric Gregory Award-winner Jack Underwood who teaches at Goldsmiths College and at the Poetry School, co-edits Stop Sharpening Your Knives, & reviews for Poetry London & Poetry Review.

mon 15 jul: simply red! themed end-of-season poetry-party

Happiness writes white, they say, but love, violence, fire, danger, wine, carnival, red-blooded passions, fury, and ruddy good cheer all call on shades from vermillion to crimson for their special effects: think of Red Riding Hood, the red, red robin, O’Casey’s Red Roses for Me, Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, Warren Beatty’s Reds, Mark Haddon’s The Red House, Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, Conan-Doyle’s Study in Scarlet, H.E. Bates’ The Scarlet Sword & Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage.

In poetic terms there’s Tennyson’s now sleeps the crimson petal, William Carlos Williams’ absolute dependence upon a red wheelbarrow, Yeats’ blood dimmed tide (and Red Hanrahan), Sarah Corbett’s Red Wardrobe, Louise Glück’s The Red Poppy, and Sharon Olds’ visceral He is wearing red/ like the inside of the body/ exposed (‘On the Subway’).

Come & listen to invited guest poets’ favourite poems, and their own poems, red in tooth and claw… and win vin rouge (ou vin blanc) in our come-on-you-reds not-too-literary prize quiz for the well-red!

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