Welcome to The Woodstock Bookshop

The shop opened in May 2008 and is on the main road in Woodstock, just next to the bus stop. We can supply most books to order by the next day and have several thousand books in stock: to order books ring or email the shop. We have a large selection of children's books and are happy to advise and recommend. We can also supply second-hand and out-of-print titles. We offer discounts for school orders and for book clubs and have a free local delivery service.

We were on the regional shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2009, 2013 and 2017, and listed in the Independent's Top 50 UK Bookshops.

BOOK GROUPS
Two monthly book groups take place at the bookshop - a poetry group, initially formed to read collections submitted for the annual T S Eliot Prize and now following a slightly wider brief; and a book group focusing more on fiction. Both are open to everyone but occasionally space is limited - please contact us for details.

BOOKSHOP TALKS
We hold a series of informal talks and readings throughout the year. If you buy any book at the talk the cost of the ticket will be deducted. Please ring or email to book a place - early booking advisable.

WOODSTOCK POETRY FESTIVAL
This year (November 9-11) is the 7th Woodstock Poetry Festival - organised entirely by the bookshop. Full details soon.

The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.

Twitter: @WoodstockBooks

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Woodstock Poetry Festival 9-11 November 2018


Here it is! The programme for this year's Woodstock Poetry Festival, our seventh. Booking is now open - please note, tickets can be bought for each separate event or, if you plan to attend several events, you can buy a festival ticket for the whole weekend.

Friday 9 November
7pm Wendy Cope reads from her latest collection, Anecdotal Evidence – poems about childhood, friends, love and growing older: 'Wendy Cope is without doubt the wittiest of contemporary English poets, and says a lot of extremely serious things' - Rowan Williams. £10

8.30pm Kayo Chingonyi, Kumukanda. This exploration of masculinity, race and identity won the Dylan Thomas prize. Kumukanda, the name given to the initiation rites a boy from the Luvale tribe in Zambia passes through to become a man, is the inspiration for these poems which speak of the 'loss which attends moving from one place to another'. Jackie Kay called it a 'wonderful debut… A subtle and affecting, lyrical and powerful collection that explores boyhood, rites of passage, the ancient and the modern world'... 'a natural performer. He reads his poems with an immediacy that gives each one to you like a present' – Kate Kellaway. £10

Saturday 10 November
12pm Niall Munro, director of Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, introduces three poets published by ignitionpress, the poetry pamphlet press established by the Centre in 2017. Mary Jean Chan's A Hurry of English was the Poetry Book Society's Summer Pamphlet Choice; her first full collection is published by Faber next year. Natalie Whittaker's first pamphlet is Shadow Dogs. Belinda Zhawi was a 2015/16 London Laureate and the 2016/17 Institute of Contemporary Arts Associate Poet. Her debut pamphlet is Small Inheritances. £6

2.30 pm Christopher Reid – Old Toffer's Book of Consequential Dogs. A 'companion volume' to T S Eliot's Book of Practical Cats, discussed by Eliot and written at the request of the Eliot estate, Old Toffer's Book celebrates a variety of dogs in similar spirit. Christopher Reid is a former poetry editor at Faber and the author of many books of poems. Come and meet Flo the Philosophical Foxhound, Frazzlesprat, who'd rather be a cat, and other consequential dogs. Family event, followed by tea. £5

4pm Liz Berry & Esther Morgan. The Republic of Motherhood, Liz Berry's first collection since Black Country, sings of the rawness and joy of new motherhood. Esther Morgan's fourth book, The Wound Register, explores her family's response to her great grandfather's death at the Somme & her own experience of motherhood. £10

6pm James Harpur & John F. Deane. John F. Deane founded Poetry Ireland and the Dedalus Press. Dear Pilgrims uncovers a map of spiritual pathways, both external and internal. James Harpur's The White Silhouette meditates on the divine, and explores pilgrimage and loss. Both poets are members of Aosdana, established by the Arts Council to honour artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland. £10

7.30pm Treelines: launch of the fourth anthology selected by Janie Hextall & Barbara McNaught, who brought you Washing Lines, Shorelines & Strings of Pearls – this time, poems about trees, woods & orchards; introduced by Esther Morgan. £5

Sunday 11 November
3.30pm Sean O'Brien & Jamie McKendrick address timely and contemporary issues in their new collections. Europa, Sean O'Brien's ninth collection, looks at the shared heritage of European identity; Anomaly, the seventh collection from poet and translator Jamie McKendrick, tackles interconnectedness. £10

5.30pm Isabel Galleymore, Abigail Parry & Imtiaz Dharker. Isabel Galleymore's first full-length collection, Significant Other, is published next year. Jinx is Abigail Parry's first book: 'These are outstanding poems' – Jo Shapcott; Imtiaz Dharker won the Queen Gold Medal for Poetry in 2014 and her latest book is Luck is the Hook: If there were to be a World Laureate, then for me the role could only be filled by Imtiaz Dharker.’ - Carol Ann Duffy. £10

7.30pm Jenny Lewis of The Poets House, Oxford, will introduce open mic, the popular platform for local and unpublished poets, following the launch of Gilgamesh Retold, her re-telling of the world's oldest poem, composed in Mesopotamia four millenia ago. Open mic is open to all but should be booked in advance. £5

Tickets and information: 01993 812760 or info@woodstockbookshop.co.uk
Festival ticket giving entry to all events - £60, children and students half price
Tea and cakes are included in the price of all afternoon events
Friday's readings are held in St Mary Magdalene Church;

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Gordon Giltrap - Friday 5 October, 7.30pm

An Evening with Gordon Giltrap to celebrate the launch of his biography
Friday 5 October, 7.30pm, Woodstock Social Club (44 Oxford St, Woodstock OX20 1TT)
Tickets £10 from The Woodstock Bookshop.

We are holding an unusual book launch on Friday 5th October when composer and guitar legend Gordon Giltrap comes to Woodstock Social Club to celebrate his new biography, Perilous Journey. Gordon will discuss his life with author Steve Pilkington and will also play solo guitar. Heartsong, a three-track single, will be released the same date.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

10 years ago today

10 years ago today - it was a bank holiday Saturday, May 3 2008 - I opened the doors of The Woodstock Bookshop and my first customer came in at 9.30 on the dot. Did we have a book on edible flowers? I had thought of many books we should stock but that wasn't among them. The order haunted me for weeks - the book was about to be printed, not yet printed, printing postponed. From time to time the customer rang, asking what was happening, where the book was. It was not the most auspicious start!

But that first day was tremendous. Person after person came in, stood by the door with widespread arms, saying 'Welcome to Woodstock!' - and they also bought books. They have continued to buy books and to welcome the shop and support the monthly talks and the poetry festival we started in 2011. We ran a series of talks in the old skittle alley by The White Horse pub at Stonesfield - Writers at the White Horse, which sadly came to an end when the pub turned the skittle alley into a house. We worked closely with Andy Morgan who organised 100 Wootton Village Hall Talks, and our tenth anniversary talk is taking place in the splendidly appointed Wootton Village Hall next week on May 11. We have run book groups in local primary schools and several book groups in the shop too. We have a thriving poetry group - reading poems together, not writing them.

There have been so many high points it is not possible to include them all. One was when Henning Mankell came with the BBC World Book Club and we all packed St Mary's Church while he talked about his work. Another was when the shop window (and every conceivable spare wall inside the shop, too) was filled with poems and illustrations by children from Woodstock Primary School. The support of local writers has been heartening and the Woodstock Poetry Festival has flourished thanks to the support of all the poets living in and around Oxford and to musicians Mick Henry and Nick Hooper, without whom we wouldn't have had last year's tremendous finale to the festival when Peggy Seeger joined Bernard O'Donoghue and Nick Hooper's band for an unforgettable evening at Woodstock Social Club.

Finally, I would like to thank Janie, Merle and Nikki, who run the shop when I am away and offer sound advice when I am around. You keep things going.



Thursday, 26 April 2018

Now we are 10! Come and celebrate at Wootton Village Hall

Now we are 10! An evening of Fact and Fiction: Carys Davies and Julie Summers, 11 May, Wootton Village Hall, 7.30pm

We would love you to come and celebrate the bookshop’s 10th anniversary at Wootton Village Hall, where we have sold books for so many of the Wootton Village Hall talks. The evening will comprise two short talks – the first about a very special first novel, published on 3 May (the date the bookshop opened its doors in 2008), and the second a welcome return to Wootton by Julie Summers, this time to tell us about Blenheim during the war.

Carys Davies has previously published two volumes of outstanding short stories and won the 2015 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. She will be discussing West, her first novel. Recently she was interviewed on Radio 4's Open Book and you can hear that here

Julie Summers will talk about her latest book, Our Uninvited Guests - the secret lives of Britain's country houses 1939-45, which includes a section on Blenheim Palace.

This is a celebration of the shop's 10th birthday and an opportunity for some of the shop’s many customers to get to know each other. During the past ten years we have held many talks and six poetry festivals. The bookshop has been shortlisted three times for independent bookseller of the year and made it to the Independent’s Top 50 bookshops in the country. None of this would have been possible without our customers and your support and we would like to say a very big thank you to you all.


Entry (at £5) includes a glass of wine; and wine and sandwiches will be served following the talks. Please book in advance by ringing or emailing The Woodstock Bookshop.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

How do you get your child to read books?


I love this. It's so true, too - how often do adults sit and read in front of their children? I remember once travelling by train with two of my younger children - as we pulled in to the station the woman opposite bent forward and said, 'I just wanted to say how much I admire the way all three of you have been reading for the whole journey.' The children were a bit puzzled - what else would they have been doing!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Animals in the shop

Just had the sweetest child in the shop who rearranged all the animals (and many of the books)


TS Eliot Prize Shortlist 2017

The 2017 TS Eliot prize shortlist



(Poets marked with an asterisk are appearing at Woodstock Poetry Festival)


The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx, Tara Bergin (Carcanet)

*In these Days of Prohibition, Caroline Bird (Carcanet)

*The Noise of a Fly, Douglas Dunn (Faber & Faber)

The Radio, Leontia Flynn (Cape Poetry)

So Glad I’m Me, Roddy Lumsden (Bloodaxe)

Mancunia, Michael Symmons Roberts (Cape Poetry)

Diary of the Last Man, Robert Minhinnick (Carcanet)

The Abandoned Settlements, James Sheard (Cape Poetry)

*All My Mad Mothers, Jacqueline Saphra (Nine Arches Press)

Night Sky With Exit Wounds, Ocean Vuong (Cape Poetry)

For more information see here