Category Archives: Events

Poems for Spring at the Questors

Ah Spring!  Season of lambs and mellow daffodils. Definitely in the top four of seasons, and long an inspiration for artists and nature alike.  So we shall be celebrating by presenting some of the finest poems written about it, however tenuously, from the whimsical to the sardonic via the witty and enraptured – all read by some of the finest actors in The Questors, fresh from a-Maying with the whitethroat and the wise thrush.

But this year also marks the centenary of the Armistice of the Great War, and to note the occasion we will also be reading some of the war poems from the time, not those familiar ones dealing with the hell of the trenches, but rather about the aftermath, including by female poets who had a very different kind of war.

And since we are occupying the Dark Monday during the run of Peer Gynt (thanks, guys !), we will also be taking a short detour up a fjord or two to see what Scandinavian poetry looks like – don’t worry, it has been translated !

So come to the Studio on Monday 21st May to join Thomas Hardy, William Wordsworth, Charlotte Mew, Rupert Brooke and Emily Dickinson among many others.  Oh, to be in Ealing, when all’s right with the world !


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Reading – Michael Harris – 10th May 2018

Those of you in easy reach of Castleblayney in County Monaghan will lose no time in booking your place to the Iontas where Michael Harris (of this parish) is due to read at an event organised by the fine folk at Monaghan Arts Network. Those of you still making use of Facebook will be pleased to learn that you will be able to experience the event virtually by ‘tuning in’ to where the event will be streamed.

We wish Michael all the best with his reading, not that he needs our encouragement.

Sláinte mhaith to all concerned.

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Daphne Gloag – Pitshanger Book Shop

It would be most remiss of us not to remind you of a rare opportunity to see and hear Daphne Gloag (of this parish) read at the Pitshanger Book Shop, (141 Pitshanger Lane, Ealing) this week on Thursday the 19th April.

The whole shebang starts at 7PM – the first half comprises readings from her Time sequence, How Long Is Not Long. The second half includes extracts from her previous publications, including Beginnings. James Priestman will be there to read some poems, adding his own drama and panache to proceedings.

See you there!

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Real Actual Live Poetry at The Questors Theatre

Our landlord is hosting its own poetry event on the Sunday before Christmas.  We are always happy to promote a suitable appreciation of the muse:


A Partridge in a Pear Tree – An Evening of Seasonal Poetry

Do you know what is missing from the modern Christmas?  Soot-covered urchins, perhaps, or extra helpings of figgy pudding?  Or maybe it’s the naked candles perched on the tinder-dry Christmas Tree?

Actually, it’s none of those.  What’s most missing from a modern Christmas is Poetry!  Gone are the days of families gathered around the fire on Christmas Eve to regale each other with witty verse and dodgy accents.  No more the lovers sharing a sonnet beneath the mistletoe.  And who will save the grand old tradition of forgetting the half the words?

We will, that’s who!  We have gathered together some of Questors most Christmassy actors for an evening of good clean family fun that’s not too heavy on the piety and doesn’t overdose on the rosy-cheeked orphans.  There will be some familiar favourites and some forgotten treats.  There might even be the odd humbug.

Come one, come all to the Studio on Sunday 20th December for 7:45, and we promise to have you in the Grapevine by nine.  Tickets are £5/£4 concessions, which is a bargain when you calculate the words-per-pence.  There will even be a free mince pie (if we don’t run out), just as long as you promise not to throw them at the readers.

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Workshop 7th October 2014

Hello all. I must begin by apologising for the lack of a Blog this week. Due to circs not entirely beyond my control, there will be no Blog. I advise any of my loyal readership who believe themselves to be reading the PP Blog at this moment to fetch themselves off to their local head doctor and have themselves checked over for hallucinations. The fact is, I am all of a ferment, having just wasted a day attempting to get into Westminster Abbey to visit Poets Corner. I would have made it too, except that my Poetic License lapsed last Thursday and my new one is, according to Mr Alan Bennett, who is running the whole Poetic Verbiage Licensing Administration, ‘in the post’. He tells me that he is far too busy dealing with a huge uptick in slam poets applying for licenses following the Kate Tempest effect. It seems that Hipsters want not only beards and short hair, tweed jackets, Doc Marten’s and a punch in the mouth but also Poetic Licenses, and demand has exceeded supply. Of course I could have spent eighteen sponds like the next gullible tourist but I believe that spending money to enter a House of God is the Thin End of The Wedge and will be followed by the gradual, creeping privatisation of religion.

It’s a shame there is no Blog this week because last night’s Workshop was one of the best. Only three poets turned up (and where were you?) but this gave us plenty of time in the calm and refined atmosphere of Questor’s elegant, MDF-panelled Library to mull over the works on offer. Alan Chambers brought an old piece about a Blue Crane (lifting apparatus, not bird) which will be highly presentable once it’s had a good going over with the grease gun. Owen Gallagher wrote a sharp, authentic piece about the saw mill where once worked in Glasgow, which featured just enough death. Finally Nick Barth brought us a slightly acid poem about the value of Human Resources (the department, not the song by the ice-pixy Bjork), which featured just enough ducks.

Talking of licenses, I read in this week’s copy of ‘The Estate Agent’s Hyperbole’, which I take for the knitting patterns, that Blue Plaques are being dished out this week. Specifically, one is being pinned to the rather nice detached residence in South London where the hard-boiled crime writer Raymond Chandler lived during is education at Dulwich College. It is not widely known, but Chandler was a regular at Pitshanger Poets for a short period before the Great War and his return to America. The young writer was clearly still to find his voice, attracting such comments as ‘Mr Chandler needs more similes like the King needs more brandy’, and ‘Mr Chandler belongs in the world of poetry like a pickled onion belongs in a banana split’. The Pitshanger Poets secretary at the time notes that Chandler was unable to answer when asked whether he had a fountain pen in his pocket or was simply glad to have met her. Of course you have not been reading, but if you imagine you have been, thank you.

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Troubadour Poetry Prize – submissions by 20 Oct

Latest News: New £5,000 first prize for Troubadour Poetry Prize 2014 sponsored by Cegin Productions
Coffee-House Poetry are delighted to announce that long-standing poetry supporters Cegin Productions are now sponsoring a top
prize of £5,000 for the Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2014. Second & third prizes have also been increased as have
the 20 additional prizes. (For 2013 winners and details see below, for 2013 and all previous years’ winners and winning poems see our Poems page.)
Troubadour International Poetry Prize 2014
Sponsored by Cegin Productions
judged by amy wack & neil astley with both judges reading all poems prizes: 1st £5,000, 2nd £1,000, 3rd £500
plus 20 prizes of £25 each
plus a spring 2015 coffee-house-poetry season-ticket
plus a prize-winners’ coffee-house poetry reading
with amy wack & neil astley
on mon 1st dec 2014
…for all prize-winning poets
submissions, via e-mail or post, by mon 20th oct 2014

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Ealing Autumn Festival Poetry Competition 2014

George Szirtes, one of the leading living poets writing in English, is to judge a poetry competition on the theme of Constellations as part of the Ealing Autumn Festival 2014. The Festival is inspired by the 450th anniversary of the birth of Galileo, the star-gazer and astronomer. 

George Szirtes is an experienced judge and is himself the recipient of many major awards including the prestigious T S Eliot Prize for Poetry.

The competition is open to anyone with cash prizes totalling £500 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize-winners.  There are two categories including a special category for 18 years and under. The winning poems will be published on the Ealing Autumn Festival website.

Gillian Spragg, Artistic Director of Ealing Autumn Festival said: “we are obviously excited to be able to announce the Festival’s first poetry competition but even more delighted that such an eminent and well-loved poet should have accepted our invitation to judge it.

Constellations is an inspiring theme: looking at the stars always sparks something special in the imagination and we are looking forward to receiving both interesting and outstanding writing.”

George Szirtes will announce the winners and present the prizes on Tuesday 21 October when he will be taking the stage at the Ealing Autumn Festival with an event entitled George Szirtes and a family in artistic collaboration. Competition winners will also be invited to read their poems at this event.

Closing date for entries for the poetry competition is 5pm, Monday 8th September 2014.

Further information:

 020 8567 7623

The Ealing Autumn Festival is organized by West London Arts Scene Limited, a not-for-profit company promoting arts, culture, heritage, science and educational activites.

West London Arts Scene Limited, 76 Milton Road, London W7 1LE.


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