The glorious new 2017-2018 CB1 Poetry series is now underway. Events are at CB2 Café on fourth Tuesdays -- watch this space for more details of the programme. For our October event we're thrilled to present the brilliant Mark Waldron, and hot on the heels of her fantastic debut from Carcanet, our very own Claudine Toutoungi.

24th October - Mark Waldron and Claudine Toutoungi

Mark Waldron was born in New York. He has published two collections with Salt, The Brand New Dark in 2008 and The Itchy Sea in 2011. His highly acclaimed third collection, Meanwhile, Trees was published by Bloodaxe in 2016.

'Nobody does a controlled explosion quite like Mark Waldron... riotously enjoyable'  Abigail Parry in Poetry London

He was selected as a Next Generation Poet by the PBS in 2014.

'Waldron has enough wit and imagination to sink a battleship... His work reveals an authority it might at first seem far from seeking. The outcome is poetry that might count for something.'  Sean O'Brien

Claudine Toutoungi’s poems have appeared in PN Review, Poetry (Chicago), The Tangerine, The Financial Times, Magma, The North, Poems in Which, The Literateur and the anthology New Poetries VI (Carcanet, 2015). Her debut collection Smoothie is just out from Carcanet.

'A superb new collection.'  Ian McMillan on Smoothie

She also writes theatre and her play Slipping featured in New York’s Lark Play Centre’s HotINK series and premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Her plays Slipping and Deliverers have also aired on BBC Radio 4 as has her comedy drama series The Inheritors.

'The surreal extravaganza of Piano Lessons for Adults... is a tour-de-force.'  Pascale Petit


what a saint you are, shining on everything,
drawn to the world like flames are to moths,
like honey to bees. So readily do you dole
yourself out, and in such abundance so that
we might operate our otherwise redundant eyes.
For they’d be useless even as shiny bibelots
that studded the otherwise dull surfaces of faces.

No, in your absence, in that total darkness
the eyes wouldn’t see or even be seen. And they
would soon shrivel up and desiccate, die out
from pointlessness like the little toe will
(unless we can find a way to reverse its long
decline). Hey, plump eyes! Isn’t it time you put
your tiny wet hands together for the light!

Mark Waldron


Nobody questions the birds.
Their trills are never subject to inspection or
forced to satisfy requirements.
Light-boned libertarians
(the opposite of confidential)
they cannot keep it in.
You will not see them lining up in rows
reeling off content-approved medleys
to a committee of creatures who know
nothing of song and who
certainly don’t have wings.

Claudine Toutoungi

Event Information and Venue

We continue at our new home of CB2 for Autumn 2017-Summer 2018. Events will be on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 8pm. Doors open from 7.30pm; ask for the sign-up sheet to secure one of our strictly-2-minute open mic slots. (N.B. it's first-come-first-served, though slots may well still be available at 8pm). All events are £5 / £4 concessions, payment by cash on entry. The venue is the lovely CB2 Bistro Café on Norfolk Street, which has a great bar/café where you can get all manner of drinks, cakes and savoury delights with a discount on meals for CB1 Poetrygoers. Here is our venue information page. Now, we realise there is a slight possibility of confusion, so to be clear... we are still called CB1 Poetry, but we are at CB2 Café, not at our origin/namesake of CB1 Café on Mill Road. Good to get that off our chest...