Poetry Readings, Classes and Prizes at the Troubadour: 263-267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5

“… 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

Welcome to a new Coffee-House Poetry year, & to our headline January news!!

First up’s the announcement that 2020’s Troubadour International Poetry Prize is up online & open for submissions to this year’s judges, Mark Doty & Mona Arshi. Note that this year’s prize deadline’s June (Mon 22 Jun), rather than October, but everything else stays the same, major prizes, low submission fees, short judging period, judges read all poems etc. (That’s 2019 first-prize-winner Michaela Coplen collecting her £2,000 cheque in pic above: check out her poem — & other winning entries & judges’ reports, 2019 & prior — on our poems pages.)

Cellar-club #poetrymondays continue with a welcome return by Michigan poet/undertaker & BBC Radio 4 essayist, Thomas Lynch, in a pre-Valentine Feb 10th love & death stand-off between Cupid’s arrows & the Grim Reaper’s scythe, with 25 of our favourite Troubadours each with a new poem specially commissioned for the night (see next event right, with more events details to follow).

Classes & courses go from strength to strength: our 6-wk Jan-Feb Tue-night Between the Lines close-reading/critical-masterclass is full through to end-of-series (Feb 18th) but watch out for the start of a second series.

Next — & final — outing for latest #memorycloud theme, House — The Home Movie is also fully booked but do keep an eye on our classes page, or sign up for advance e-news via our Coffee-House Poetry newsletters for new workshops.

Summer Poetry in the Glens of Antrim was oversubscribed almost as soon as it went online (sorry to those who were disappointed but we’re at absolute limit on numbers). Looking forward to an amazing August coastal week with an island trip thrown in!

And looking forward meantime, of course, to seeing lots of you on Feb 10th for an evening of Poems of Love & Death!


mondays 8-10 pm, £7 at the troubadour

for advance booking: pay via PayPal (on readings page) or cheque to Coffee-House Poetry at PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP

  • mon 10 feb: poems of love & death with US undertaker-poet thomas lynch plus twenty-five Troubadours with new takes on desire & demise…

See full details of poetry readings

next event

mon 10 feb: poems of love & death with US undertaker-poet thomas lynch plus twenty-five Troubadours with new takes on desire & demise…

Love & Death…an unlikely pre-Valentine’s pairing, though both come wreathed in roses, & both, it would seem, are all that poets ever write of: the death of love, a love of death, undying love, dying for love, Eros & Thanatos.

Even The Loved One’s simply a US euphemism for the just-departed, so to headline our slightly un-Valentine-ish theme we welcome back #coffeehousepoetry’s favourite undertaker-poet, Thomas Lynch from Michigan, author of several poetry collections, & of Bodies in Motion & at Rest: On Metaphor & Mortality, The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, & New & Selected Essays: The Depositions (Norton, 2019). 

Plus twenty-five great Troubadour poets with their newly-written-for-the-occasion poems of love, death or both! That’s Ingrid Leonard, Ian McLachlan, Jo Roach, Heather Moulson, Tim Waller, Lady Poe, Michael Dench, Karen Rydings, Tessa Anslow, Dino Mahoney, Mary Mulholland, Adam Buckley, Katie Griffiths, Warren Czapa, Caroline Hammond, Mark Chamberlain, Fiona Larkin, Michelle Penn, Steve Boorman, Kiran Chitta, Mary Powell, Katarina Grabowsky, Matthew Paul, Jude Vermeulen & Fran O’Leary

classes & courses

  • advance booking only via PayPal or cheque to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP
  • tue 14 jan—tue 18 feb, 7—9pm: between the lines, new 6-wk close reading & critical masterclass course with cahal dallat
  • sun 19 jan & sun 2 feb, 12—4pm: memory cloud#2: house — the home movie, two-part poetry workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • mon 10—sat 15 aug: summer poetry in the glens of antrim with anne-marie fyfe & cahal dallat

See full details of classes and workshops

Poems: copyright © various named authors. All rights reserved.

Other content: copyright © Coffee–House Poetry 2008–2020. All rights reserved.

The Troubadour is at 263–267 Old Brompton Road, London SW5.

See www.troubadour.co.uk for details, and our contact page for directions and a map.

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