Torriano Meeting House

Torriano Meeting House outside

Poetry Art Politics Community 

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
 

Saturn to Saturn

You are invited to

Saturn to Saturn

New classes at Torriano

T’ai Chi

From Tuesday 31 May, weekly, 10-11am. Led by Neil Rogers. More info 020 7609 2758

L0036007 Daoyin tu - chart for leading and guiding people in exercise

 Credit: Wellcome Library, London.

Almost Nonstop until Saturday night

In two hours the New Factory of the Eccentric Actor begins the epic 24 hour play The Non Stop Connolly Show by Margaretta D’Arcy and John Arden. The life of James Connolly enacted at Torriano Meeting House from 10am to 10pm this Friday and Saturday. Drop in and out at any time. Refreshments throughout. Free. Donations in the hat.

 

Winners of the Torriano Competition 2015/16

Many thanks to all who entered the Torriano Poetry Competition. There will be a reading by the winners on 24 April.

Judged by Ann Drysdale

1st Ian McEwen (Bedford) Rooks in the Wind
2nd Gill Learner (Reading) In Consideration of Sticks
3rd M. Lee Alexander (USA). Local Hussy at the Kilkenny Village Fete, 1722

Commended (in no particular order)

M. Lee Alexander (USA). Sestina of Turku in Winter
Anne Stewart (Kent) My Shoes Leave Me
Dilys Wood (W. Sussex) Mild Weather
Bill Lythgoe (Lancs) The House that Jack Built
Emma Cousin A Mouse lives in our Broken Oven
Pat Borthwick (York) Murphies
Susan McLean (USA) Burning the Journals

 

Rooks in the wind

Like a crescendo,
the small wood on the hill,
bare still, clear as twigs, a graph

of the great breath
it grows through.
But here already

rooks stick broken bits
into its axils, a raucous
puberty of nests.

Over and between
their bouts of cranky purpose
off they launch

gyroscope
spirograph
stott

and whammel,
jink, slide, flaunt
and fool
themselves,
trick the sky with letters:

mucking about,
something nobody gets paid for.

I said I wouldn’t write another
fucking bird poem but if
the irresistible for some is God
or Death or Mum
or Dad today it’s
tumble and caw,

the rooks that make
what loudnesses they can,
small clappers
ringing in a bell of air.

Ian McEwen

In Consideration of Sticks

Mine’s hazel, sacrum height. An extra leg
on hard-packed snow, over ditches,
stepping stones; it whacks at brambles,
brakes descent, draws maps in sand.

It was Nana’s years ago, a baton for
conducting hens before the fall which fixed her
in a Ward 3 bed, zig-zag, pillow under knees,
reading fly-spot constellations.

Then Connie’s in a nursing home,
blazoned against ‘borrowing’ with scarlet tape,
holding firm while Parkinson-reluctant feet
were chivvied: ‘left-right, left-right’.

Once I coveted a cane of micocoulier, spalted
gold-brown, toughened by Pyrennéan winds,
drawn tall by the sun of Roussillon,
shelter for scops owls and golden orioles.

But this – varnish scuffed, its tiny eyes
and cracks familiar, the handle buffed
with half a century of weight, curving
to my palm – this stick will see me out.

Gill Learner

 

Local Hussy at the Kilkenny Village Fete, 1722

Let the fifers fife and the pipers play,
to the madrigals’ songs we’ll sail away

with mandolin and lute and lyre:
Sweet William, the lady, the rose and the briar

penny whistle serenades, silver and strong
dulcimer entices us, so won’t you come along

cry well-a-way and well-a-day!
sing Blackberry Blossom and Far Away

flutes weave a melody sweet and low
harmonies from his fingers flow…

I’ll dance along the riverbank with ribbons in my hair,
paradiddle on the drum and catch me if you dare:

so laugh and reel and rosin your bow
and show me all the tricks you know –

notes mixing memory and desire
and fiddle my love til the strings catch fire!

  M. Lee Alexander

 

Torriano Poetry this Sunday: Amir Darwish

Amir Darwish is a British/Syrian poet of Kurdish origin. He was born in Aleppo in 1979 and came to the UK as an asylum seeker during the Second Gulf War. His poetry has been published in the USA, Pakistan, Finland, Morocco and Mexico and in the anthology Break-Out. He lives in Middlesbrough.

He will be reading from Don’t Forget the Couscous, a book of poetry about exile and home, love and loss. It is a beautiful love-song to the Arab world – Syria, Kurdistan, Morocco, Palestine and his native Aleppo. It is a memoir of the failed Arab Spring and the civil-war that has turned his native Syria into a ‘fountain of blood’. It’s a bitter account of the demonization of Islam in the West, and the violent interference of the West in the Islamic world. It is about being a Muslim and not a terrorist.
Amir Darwish draws on the magical-realism of Naguib Mahfouz, the social satire of Muhammad al-Maghut and the love poetry of Rumi to describe the experience of Islam in Europe – from ‘a Friday night doner kebab after a good night out’ to a ‘girl who has taken off the hijab in order to feel safe’ and ‘a mosque with broken windows’. It is a book about travel and love, and an apology on behalf of Muslims everywhere for having contributed nothing to the modern world except astronomy, coffee, clocks, algebra, falafels, apricots and doner kebabs. And don’t forget the couscous…

Sunday 13 March, 7.30pm, £5/£4 according to pocket. Readers from the floor welcome.

The Twenty Four Hour Non Stop Connolly Show

An epic play by Margaretta D’Arcy and John Arden of the life of James Connolly performed as a reading by The New Factory of the Eccentric Actor to mark the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising in Ireland.

The single performance will be presented over two days: Friday 29 and Saturday 30 April, 10am to 10pm.
Arrive and leave at any time. Refreshments will be provided. Free entry. Pennies in the hat.

Connolly poster final colour

 

A response to Howard Fritz: writing workshop

“What is happening?” A workshop suitable for new and experienced poets and prose writers, responding to the paintings of American artist Howard Fritz currently exhibited at Torriano until early March. With poet Katherine Gallagher.

Friday, 26 February, 2 – 5pm, £10 per person. All these workshop fees go to support the Meeting House. Booking with Katherine on 0208 881 1418 or <mail[replace with@ sign]katherine-gallagher.com>

‘All the pictures on display at the Torrriano were painted in London but they draw on both American and British influences. Fitz’s work can be described as figurative but with the particular twist that it features accurate representations of people and objects set in unlikely combinations, for which the term ’surreal’ would probably be appropriate’. (Mike Bartholomew-Biggs, London Grip).

Bartholomew-Biggs’ comment points to the tone of the Exhibition: what is happening? These are atmospheric pictures packed with detail, a sense of danger, a world askew. . .chains of suspense, escape, alarm, juxtapositions – it’s all deadly serious, expectant, with few smiles and lots of irony.

For the workshop, there’ll be some writing-prompt-handouts, discussions, with time to write and shape poems. Followed by readbacks if participants wish. Hopefully, we’ll have some new poems and stories – maybe prose-poems. The Workshop is for new and experienced prose and poetry writers.

http://www.katherine-gallagher.com

mishap

Only four days left to write a winning poem!

TPComp 2015Torriano Poetry Competition 2015

FIRST PRIZE £250 | SECOND PRIZE £150 | THIRD PRIZE £75

Adjudicator: Ann Drysdale
ALL POEMS WILL BE READ BY THE ADJUDICATOR

No entry form required
• Poems should be written in English, to a maximum of 40 lines, typed on a single side
of A4 paper.
• Poems must be original, unpublished and not accepted for publication. No translations.
• A separate sheet of A4 should contain the titles of poems, name and email or postal address and phone number of entrant.
• Entry fees: £3 one poem, £5 for two, £10 for five.

Cheques payable to ‘Torriano Support Fund’.
To use PayPal, log into your PayPal account and send your payment to anderwest@sky.com. We will email you a receipt.
If you submit your poetry online, please add £0.50 for each poem.

Entries
By post: Patricia Griffin, 4 Cundishall Close, Whitstable, Kent CT5 4DA
By email: Anthony Anderson
anderwest@sky.com
Enquiries: Tel: 01227 276951 or email: june.english@outlook.com

Results will be posted on http://www.torriano.org
The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the results.
Closing Date: 31st January 2016
Winners will be notified by 20th March 2016
Proceeds to support Torriano Meeting House, a meeting place for the arts and the community.

Winning poets will be offered featured readings at the adjudication and prize-giving event on Sunday April 24th 2016 at
Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, London NW5 2RX

Just four days left to write a winning poem. Torriano Poetry Competition 2015-16

Layout 1

Torriano Poetry Competition 2015

FIRST PRIZE £250 | SECOND PRIZE £150 | THIRD PRIZE £75

Adjudicator: Ann Drysdale
ALL POEMS WILL BE READ BY THE ADJUDICATOR

No entry form required
• Poems should be written in English, to a maximum of 40 lines, typed on a single side
of A4 paper.
• Poems must be original, unpublished and not accepted for publication. No translations.
• A separate sheet of A4 should contain the titles of poems, name and email or postal address and phone number of entrant.
• Entry fees: £3 one poem, £5 for two, £10 for five.

Cheques payable to ‘Torriano Support Fund’.
To use PayPal, log into your PayPal account and send your payment to anderwest@sky.com. We will email you a receipt.
If you submit your poetry online, please add £0.50 for each poem.

Entries
By post: Patricia Griffin, 4 Cundishall Close, Whitstable, Kent CT5 4DA
By email: Anthony Anderson
anderwest@sky.com
Enquiries: Tel: 01227 276951 or email: june.english@outlook.com

Results will be posted on http://www.torriano.org
The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the results.
Closing Date: 31st January 2016
Winners will be notified by 20th March 2016
Proceeds to support Torriano Meeting House, a meeting place for the arts and the community.

Winning poets will be offered featured readings at the adjudication and prize-giving event on Sunday April 24th 2016 at
Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, London NW5 2RX

Just four days left to write a winning poem

Layout 1

Torriano Poetry Competition 2015

FIRST PRIZE £250 | SECOND PRIZE £150 | THIRD PRIZE £75

Adjudicator: Ann Drysdale
ALL POEMS WILL BE READ BY THE ADJUDICATOR

No entry form required
• Poems should be written in English, to a maximum of 40 lines, typed on a single side
of A4 paper.
• Poems must be original, unpublished and not accepted for publication. No translations.
• A separate sheet of A4 should contain the titles of poems, name and email or postal address and phone number of entrant.
• Entry fees: £3 one poem, £5 for two, £10 for five.

Cheques payable to ‘Torriano Support Fund’.
To use PayPal, log into your PayPal account and send your payment to anderwest@sky.com. We will email you a receipt.
If you submit your poetry online, please add £0.50 for each poem.

Entries
By post: Patricia Griffin, 4 Cundishall Close, Whitstable, Kent CT5 4DA
By email: Anthony Anderson
anderwest@sky.com
Enquiries: Tel: 01227 276951 or email: june.english@outlook.com

Results will be posted on http://www.torriano.org
The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the results.
Closing Date: 31st January 2016
Winners will be notified by 20th March 2016
Proceeds to support Torriano Meeting House, a meeting place for the arts and the community.

Winning poets will be offered featured readings at the adjudication and prize-giving event on Sunday April 24th 2016 at
Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, London NW5 2RX

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