Torriano Meeting House is a user-funded grass-roots volunteer-run arts and community organisation in Kentish Town. We are best known for our poetry events but we have many other long running strands including storytelling for adults, writing and storytelling workshops, hosting local political campaigning groups, theatrical events, left wing folk club, and we very much support grass-roots creativity and social change.
Torriano is a space for you to organise events and projects.
“What is the purpose of resisting corporate globalization if not to protect the obscure, the ineffable, the unmarketable, the unmanageable, the local, the poetic and the eccentric? So they need to be practiced, celebrated and studied too, right now.” – Rebecca Solnit
Please bring a mask to events.
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Monday 22 May . Explore your voice through Georgian folk music with actor and musician Annalie Wilson. Annalie is a firm believer that singing is for everyone. If you can speak you can sing! This workshop is therefore open to all, beginners and professionals.7.00-9.30pm. Sliding scale starting at £15. For more info and booking
James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ covers a single day in Dublin: June 16, 1904. Today, it’s known as Bloomsday.
Our celebration, ‘Full Bloom’, captures the rollicking spirit of Joyce’s masterpiece with a series of readings, interspersed with live music.
Two film and TV actors, Veronica Quilligan and Oengus Macnamara, will be doing the readings, which conclude with the final part of Molly Bloom’s astonishing monologue.
Blacktooth Productions is a small, not-for-profit performance group specialising in themed literary events. Past subjects include Bob Dylan and WB Yeats, alongside themes such as Europe, the Animal Kingdom, Great Eccentrics and the Chelsea Hotel.
We have two great readings coming up. Come and be an audience on a warm summer evening!
7.30pm. £6/£5 according to pocket, cash or card reader on the door. Poets from the floor welcome.
Sunday 14th May Dinah Livingstone
Dinah Livingstone had a rural childhood in in the West of England and has lived in Camden Town, London, since 1966. She has received three Arts Council Writer’s Awards for her poetry. She is also a translator and editor of the magazine Sofia.
Her tenth poetry collection Embodiment was published in July 2019 with a London launch at Torriano Meeting House. Previous collections include The Vision Splendid (2014), Poems of Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park (2012), Kindness (2007), Presence (2003) and Time on Earth: Selected and New Poems, published by Rockingham Press in 1999. Her first published book collection of poems was Saving Grace, published by Rivelin Grapheme in 1987.
Her most recent prose book The Making of Humanity: Poetic Vision and Kindness (2017) explores poetry and theology as sister arts and moves towards a kindly humanism.
Dinah ran the well-known Camden Voices Poetry Group from 1978 to 1998. Her Poetry Handbook for Readers and Writers (Macmillan 1993) is dedicated to them.
Sunday 21st May Pratibha Castle and Mary Mulholland
introduced by Pauline Sewards
Mary Mulholland’s poems are published most recently in Finished Creatures, Raceme, Stand, The Rialto, Aesthetica, and in anthologies including Arachne, Brian Dempsey, Candlestick Press, Corrupted Poets.
This year she’s been longlisted for the National Poetry Prize, and Rialto Nature & Place competition, placed in Wolves Lit Fest and Teignmouth competition, and shortlisted for the Bedford prize.
Her debut pamphlet, What the sheep taught me was published last summer by Live Canon. Her collaborations with Vasiliki Albedo and Simon Maddrell, All About Our Mothers and All About Our Fathers, are published by Nine Pens (2022,2023). She runs the platform Red Door Poets and co-edits The Alchemy Spoon.
Pratibha Castle is an Irish born poet living in West Sussex. Her award-winning debut pamphlet A Triptych of Birds & A Few Loose Feathers (Hedgehog Poetry Press) was published in 2022. Inspired by a working class Irish Catholic background, her writing touches on women’s empowerment and voicelessness. The natural world, her anchor and solace during childhood is a recurrent theme.
Widely publicised in journals and anthologies including Agenda, High Window, Lighthouse, Ink Sweat & Tears, London Grip, Friday Poem, she is highly commended, long-listed in competitions including The Bridport Prize, Bray Literary Festival Competition, Slipstream Open Poetry Competition, Binsted Arts and Sentinel Literary Journal Poetry Competition. Her second book, Miniskirts in The Waste Land – a trip through Notting Hill and India in the Swinging Sixties – also published by Hedgehog Poetry Press, is due out this year.
7.30pm £6/£5 according to pocket. Poets from the floor welcome.
Guest readers: Peter Daniels’s third poetry collection is My Tin Watermelon (Salt, 2019). He has translated Vladislav Khodasevich from Russian (Angel Classics, 2013), and wrote the obscene Ballad of Captain Rigby. Website: http://www.peterdaniels.org.uk
Kate Noakes’ new collection, Goldhawk Road (Two Rivers Press) has just been published. She is researching a PhD at the University of Reading on the breath in contemporary British and American poetry. She lives in West London and when not writing is a printmaker. Her website is www.boomslangpoetry.blogspot.com
7.30pm £6/£5 according to pocket. Poets from the floor welcome.
For many years Dominic Fisher was an English language teacher before turning his full attention to poetry. He is a co-editor of Raceme magazine, and a member of poetry performance group the IsamBards. His poems have won competitions, been widely published, and sometimes broadcast. He lives in Bristol near the allotment he shares with sparrows and foxes, and his second collection, A Customised Selection of Fireworks, was published by Shoestring Press last May.
Kathy Pimlott’s collection, the small manoeuvres, was published by Verve Poetry Press in spring 2022. She has two pamphlets with the Emma Press, Elastic Glue, (2019) and Goose Fair Night (2016). Her poems have been published widely in magazines, including Magma, Mslexia, Rialto, The North, Poem, Finished Creatures and Under the Radar and in many anthologies Kathy lives in Seven Dials, Covent Garden, home of the broadsheet and the ballad.
– knit – note – knot – quote – weave – word – sew – song – thread – thought – text – textile – TEXTUS –
TEXTUS: An exhibition this summer at the Torriano Meeting House, Kentish Town
TEXTUS: An exhibition exploring the entangled relationship between text and textile
TEXT US: Calling all poets, artists and designers whose work explores this relationship. Whether you use the language of fabric in your poems, draw upon the poetics of cloth in your art, or design lyrical garments, we warmly invite you to TEXT US.
TEXTUS will run from the 8th July until the 3rd of September, with an opening night featuring poetry readings from our contributors. Following the opening night, we will run a collaborative workshop in response to the selected poems and exhibited artwork. Open to all.
Sunday 12 March, 7.30pm. £6/£5 according to pocket. Poets from the floor welcome.
Viv Fogel’s first poem was published in Peace News when she was sixteen. A second-generation adopted child of Holocaust survivor refugees, she is passionate about human rights.
In the early 80‘s she was part of a feminist quartet of performance poets The Evettes. For many years she co-ran local poetry benefits and events. Last year she took part in the Poets for Ukraine benefit, opening the event with her poem Prayer for Peace (since published, and which was also distributed in a refugee trauma-counselling newsletter on the Polish borders.) Recently, as part of Exile Ink Writers, she co-organised a Flames of Remembrance poetry event to honour Holocaust Memorial Day – not just for 2nd or 3rd generation, but for other oppressed countries – with a poet from the Uyghur region and one from Iran.
She has one previous poetry collection Without Question (2006) and two pamphlets Witness (2013) and How it is (2018). For 40 years Viv has worked as a psychotherapist.
Julian Bishop’s first collection of eco poems called We Saw It All Happen was published earlier this year by Fly On The Wall Press. The book asks whether bearing witness to the climate emergency is enough or whether it’s an excuse for disclaiming responsibility.
A former environment journalist turned poet, he lives in Barnet with his family and dog and runs a small media company. He’s worked for many years as both reporter and producer with the BBC and also on ITV’s News At Ten. Many of his poems are based on news stories.
Sunday19 March Louise Warren & Alan Price with pictures by Charlotte Harker & Herve Constant
7.30pm; £6/5 according to pocket Louise Warren’s latest collection is ‘Sometime, in a Churchyard’ a collaboration with artist Charlotte Harker . Inspired by visits to St Pancras Old Churchyard and published by Paekakariki Press. There will be an exhibition of drawings and prints from the book on display at Torriano during March, and a chance to meet the artist after the reading.
Alan Price has collaborated with the Moroccan born abstract artist Herve Constant in ‘Bewilderment’ (The Martello Press 2022. His interest in the visual arts is also on show in ‘The Cinephile Poems ‘(The High Window Press 2023) a book of prose poems illustrated with B & W film images.
Wednesday 22nd March, 3 -5 pm, Teas
As part of Torriano Teas Charlotte Harker and Louise Warren will host a salon in which there will be a short introduction to the Sometime in a Churchyard project followed by an interactive session where participants are invited to respond to the drawings with a poem/drawing or both.
Exhibition in March: Sometime in a Churchyard: Drawings, Prints and Collages by Charlotte Harker
Sometime in a Churchyard is a collaborative project which began in 2020 between Artist, Charlotte Harker and Poet Louise Warren.
The drawings, prints and collages by Charlotte Harker in this exhibition are inspired by many visits to the Old St Pancras Churchyard in London.
Some of work in the exhibition is included in the publication Sometime in a Churchyard published in 2022 by Paekakariki Press with poems by Louise Warren. In this publication the poems and drawings are arranged like a journey through the churchyard. The drawings do not illustrate the poems but rather respond to them and in some instances the poetry was created in response to the drawings.
The drawings and prints depict incidental detail, for example, the edge of a tombstone, a flower on the ground, as well as viewpoints within the churchyard, the clock tower of the Old Church and beyond the churchyard boundaries, the boundary railings, for example. The drawings depict architectural and natural features and collectively are an observation of what creates a sense of place.
The collages included in this exhibition reflect a recent development in the artists work inspired by the collaborative project. The collages shown in this exhibition combine the artists photographs as well as found images.
Charlotte Harker is an artist whose work has been supported by, amongst others, Arts Council England and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York. Her work has been exhibited both in the UK and in Europe, USA and Australia. She has been shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize and was the inaugural Artist in Residence at the Heath Robinson Museum in North West London. Supported by the LB Tower Hamlets and Chisenhale Studios, she has been Artist in Residence at Victoria Park, London. Her work is in both Public and Private Collections.