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.

are both suspended during the pandemic. We hope to start again as soon as it is safe to do so.

The bookshop started and runs Woodstock Poetry Festival, a completely independent festival that has now been running for 8 years.

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

Twitter: @WoodstockBooks

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Don Paterson in Oxford

Yesterday evening I went to the first of four talks Don Paterson is giving at St Anne's in the next couple of weeks as Weidenfeld Visiting Professor of European Comparative Literature. The talk was very fast and also very funny - he was discussing 'how do you get a poem from one head into another' and quoted Antonio Porchia, as translated by W.S. Merwin:
Que te he dado, lo se. Que has recibado, no lo se
which Merwin translates as 'I know what I have given you; I do not know what you have received.' He contrasted this with a more 'precise' translation and pointed out how Merwin's version is better, as it pays more attention to the natural rise and fall of words and emphasises their meaning in a way the more faithful translation doesn't - faithful, therefore, in a different way.
'Codal incompetance...is a hallmark of bad translation.'
'In poetry we are not trying to communicate accurate information.'
'We are used to meeting poems halfway...poetry is as much read in by the reader as written by the poet.'
He talked of how one could read too much into poems - 'the doors of perception are very easy to fling open and very difficult to shut again' - and of 'cryptosemia - to read signs not apparent to others'. It can be easy to develop the idea that ' meaning is something which poets deliberately and sadistically withold' and 'if you reads poetry slowly and carefully enough you will find many things that aren't there.'
'Poems of course don't really mean anything other than what we make of them.'
He talked about poems by Prynne - 'I used to call this stuff difficult. It's not, it's just bracing.'
He talked for some time about the music of poetry, the rise and fall, and how important it is for conveying meaning - 'daleks have trouble conveying irony'. 
Three more to go! There's no charge but you may have to book.

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