I have been going up to Troubadour for over two years. What a discovery it has been. Where else can one have access to the amazing range of poets that Anne-Marie Fyfe, who is a well established poet in her own right, attracts to her Coffee House Poetry nights. Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Paul Muldoon, Mimi Khalvati and Tamar Yoseloff, Faber poets and poets from the Poetry School among others. Her husband Cahal Dallat both poet and musician, often performs as a solo artist or as part of the proceedings.
Last night was a session where poets were invited to read a poem, their own or one by a well known poet that they admire on the theme of yellow. It could be taxis, submarines or anything else one could think of, poems by Louis MacNeice, Philip Levine, Kei Miller, Gillian Clarke, Medbh McGuckian, & Frances Leviston were among those chosen. Half way through the evening there was also a lively quizz.
The poets at Troubadour are always so eloquent that I was both daunted but also excited to have been invited to read a poem too. Then as luck would have it I found I had written a poem that I still liked called ‘The Yellow House’.
We were in groups of 6 and limited to maximum of 25 lines. With no preamble off we went. What an enormous range of subjects there were – gentle reflections, a heart rending political poem, funny poems, people poems, art poems and one I particularly loved about the famous female pilot Amy Earhart.
There is always a friendly welcome at these evening, the tables are small with a huge rose on each one and I have always struck up a conversation with someone new.
At first I thought it would be a huge effort to travel up from Brighton, but I love trains and as I was born and bred a Londoner, it always feels like returning home. Now, however I find that several new people also travel up from the coast which proves that it really is worth the effort!
Sorry I did not take pics. this time, which was a pity as several people made the effort to wear something yellow, even if for one poet, it was his socks!
Anne-Marie’s website http://www.annemariefyfe.com/
Coffee house website http://www.coffeehousepoetry.org/
Next season starts 11th May.
Stop press – Plenty of pics of everyone taken by Anne-Marie on her facebook page now, she very kindly took this one, wearing a pair of mittens made by my friend Catherine Meek knitted in yellow of course!