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

Off tutoring an Arvon week right now (Mon 18th—Sat 23rd Sep) after which I’ll be posting (& e-mailing, if you’re on our e-list) details of our full ‘alternate Mondays’ programme through from Mon 16th Oct to Mon 11th Dec plus the first of our Sunday workshops.

Meantime, advance news of a great first event, Twenty-Firsts, (see ‘next event’ on right) on Mon 16th Oct, to celebrate the start of our 21st Coffee-House Poetry Autumn season at the Troubadour, bringing together some of today’s mega poets who were new names in our first Troubadour year with some of today’s great new & up&coming names in the poetry world!

And don’t forget that Mon 16th Oct is also the deadline for this year’s Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2017 so, check out prizes, judges & rules on our prizes page & submit your poems now!

readings - oct-dec 2017

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 16 oct: twenty firsts: with jo shapcott, maura dooley, michael laskey & mimi khalvati plus twenty-one first-half readers including rachel donati, eleni cay, fran o’leary, charlotte baldwin, ingrid leonard, fahima sahabdeen, elaine baker, katy mack, mark huband, caroline hammond, scarlett sabet, katrina grabowksy, matthew paul, jenny wong, fiona larkin, tessa anslow & lesley sharpe
  • mon 30 oct — mon 11 dec full programme details posted here by mon 2 oct

See full details of this season’s poetry readings

classes - may-jul 2017

sundays 12-3.30 pm, £28 at the troubadour

(coming soon: watch this space for details of oct—dec 2017 classes)

advance booking only as our workshops/classes (limited to 15 attendees) are frequently oversubscribed: pay via PayPal (see classes page) or cheque to Coffee-House Poetry, PO Box 16210, LONDON W4 1ZP: if overbooked you’ll be informed by e-mail & refunded promptly

  • sun 21 may, 12-3.30 pm: a tree grows: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 28 may, 12-3.30 pm: masterclass: critical workshop with d. nurkse (now fully booked)
  • sun 11 jun, 12-3.30 pm: genre bending: writing workshop with thomas lynch (now fully booked)
  • sun 18 jun, 12-3.30 pm: a tree grows: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe
  • sun 25 jun, 2.30-5 pm, £18: land of heart’s desire: a wb yeats walk with cl dallat
  • sun 2 jul, 12-3.30 pm: a tree grows: themed writing workshop with anne-marie fyfe

See full details of this season’s classes and workshops

next event

mon 16 oct: twenty-firsts: with jo shapcott, maura dooley, michael laskey & mimi khalvati plus twenty first-half readers

Celebrate Coffee-House Poetry’s twenty-first Troubadour year with four major names in poetry who first read here in our first year, all award-winning poets & poetry-activists:

  • Jo Shapcott (Of Mutability, Faber, 2010) has won the National Poetry Competition (twice), the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, the Costa Book of the Year Award, a Forward Poetry Prize and the Cholmondeley Award & has co-edited Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times with Matthew Sweeney & published her Newcastle University lectures in The Transformers;
  • Maura Dooley’s collections Kissing a Bone & Life Under Water have both been shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize: a former Arvon centre director, she has directed the South Bank Literature Centre & is Reader in Creative Writring at Goldsmiths College, University of London; latest collection, The Silverings (Bloodaxe, 2016);
  • Michael Laskey co-founded (& directed for a decade) the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, founded & co-edited Smiths Knoll poetry magazine & is currently editor of The Garlic Press, as well as publishing five collections, including Weighing the Present (Smith/Doorstop, 2014) & a new-&-selected poems, The Man Alone (2008);
  • award-winning poet & teacher, Mimi Khalvati founded, co-ordinated for many years, & has edited three anthologies for, The Poetry School: her work has been translated into 9 languages & her 8 Carcanet collections include The Weather Wheel, The Meanest Flower & Child: New & Selected Poems 1991-2011, a PBS Special Commendation.
  • plus, before the break, twenty poets making their mark today in our twenty-first year, many with first publications, first pamphlets, first collections & first prizes to their credit, including Rachel Donati, Eleni Cay, Fran O’Leary, Charlotte Baldwin, Ingrid Leonard, Fahima Sahabdeen, Elaine Baker, Katy Mack, Mark Huband, Caroline Hammond, Scarlett Sabet, Katrina Grabowksy, Matthew Paul, Jenny Wong, Fiona Larkin, Tessa Anslow & Lesley Sharpe



Date: 6th January 2017

Dear Poetry Fans

A surprising Christmas to New Year break with bright days, clear skies, mild nights, & some time for blue-skies thinking, quite literally, as our first Sunday Gallery workshop, In the Clouds, explores clouds in all their impressive & oppressive magnificence & tedium, our first party night, Weather Report, celebrates meteorological poetry (or poems with at least a tenuous weather connection!) & Planet Earth, our midsummer celebration — under classic clear solstice night skies — will have us listening to (& reading) poems on planets, perseids, meteor showers & every known form of heavenly body.

But time for metaphorical blue-skies thinking too, as our recent programmes (& the very successful autumn season which kicked off our 20th Coffee-House Poetry at the Troubadour year) show, it’s very much your Troubadour, with more & more of our first-halves affording new & aspiring poets a chance to read on the famous Troubadour stage, whether as Dom Bury’s ‘before the break’ guest choices or Live Canon’s Shakespearean sonneteers last season or, this time, University of North Florida MFA students, & poetry alumni of London’s Faber Academy.

Both our showcases (in January & May) feature eight new poets or poets with new collections: & our party nights allow an increasing number of invited guest poets, Troubadour favourites & poets who are regular audience or workshop members, to read to an always-imaginative theme.

And when we talk of Troubadour favourites, among the outstanding

Read more …

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

Other content: copyright © Coffee–House Poetry 2008–2017. 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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