All but two of the readings for this year's Woodstock Poetry Festival will be held upstairs in Woodstock Town Hall (there is a chair lift and disabled access but please warn us if you need to use this). Tony Harrison's reading on Sunday 15th November is held in St Mary Magdalene Church, the parish church near the Town Hall, and the final event of the festival - the evening of Irish music and poetry - is in Woodstock Social Club. The social club is much larger than it looks from the road - not just a lovely Georgian house, it extends a long way at the back and beyond the bar is the ballroom where the music and readings are being held.
We are serving tea and cakes between afternoon events and wine on Friday evening - with sandwiches between Friday's readings as there will not be time between the readings to have supper. Woodstock Social club has a bar where you can buy your own drinks.
Most talks and readings last up to an hour - there will be time after Tony Harrison's reading to have something quick to eat in town before going on to the social club for 8pm but you might have to order it in advance...
We are not able to use Woodstock Methodist Church this year as it has building work going on at the back.
Please ring if you would like any further information about the festival.
WOODSTOCK POETRY FESTIVAL
Friday to Sunday, 13 - 15 November 2015
FRIDAY 13 NOVEMBER
7 pm Don Paterson & Kei Miller. Kei Miller's recent book won the 2014 Forward Prize; Don Paterson's new collection is 40 Sonnets: £8 to include wine and sandwiches.
8.30 pm Sarah Howe, Choman Hardi & Liz Berry. A very welcome return by Liz Berry, reading new work, with Kurdish poet Choman Hardi's second collection Considering the Woman, and Sarah Howe's debut Loop of Jade. £8
SATURDAY 14 NOVEMBER
2.30 pm Patrick McGuinness & Rian Evans discuss the work of Rian's father, John Ormond, whose Collected Poems was published this year. £8
4 pm Elaine Feinstein & Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards won the Costa Poetry Prize for his first collection; Elaine Feinstein's latest collection is Portaits: both explore people - family, friends and heroes (super and literary...). £8
6 pm Kathleen Jamie reading from The Bonniest Companie - her first poetry collection since The Overhaul - a visionary response to the past year in Scotland. £8
7.30 pm Katrina Porteous reads from her own work and launches Shorelines, the third anthology edited by Janie Hextall and Barbara McNaught. We invite you to celebrate Shorelines and the new edition of Washing Lines with wine and sandwiches.
SUNDAY 15 NOVEMBER
2 pm Jenny Lewis introduces Sarah Watkinson, Catherine Faulds, Jennie Carr and Lyn Thornton from the Poet's House, Oxford, followed by tea and an open mic session (please contact us to book a slot). £5
4 pm Poetry in Performance £8
Katrina Porteous, Horse – inspired by the Uffington White Horse, this poem with electronic music by Peter Zinovieff was commissioned by Radio 3 and is performed live by Katrina Porteous, whose recitals are inspirational and mesmeric. It lasts 28 minutes. There is a limited edition of the poem, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill who also provided the cover art for Kathleen Jamie's new book.
There will be a short interval followed by
Helen Mort & Alan Buckley, 'The Body Beautiful' - questions, observations and challenges about our bodies and how we live through them (approx. 45 minutes).
6 pm Tony Harrison, winner of this year's David Cohen Prize for literature.
'slangy, rooted, erudite, rhythmic, Harrison is a titan among poets, a unique Yorkshire brand of Auden, Byron, Brecht and Kipling with a slug of Roman satire' – Boyd Tonkin, Independent
Tony Harrison has written and directed his plays for the National Theatre and abroad, and also created film-poems for TV and cinema: 'I believe that, maybe, poetry, the word at its most eloquent, is one medium which could concentrate our attention on our worst experiences without leaving us with the feeling, as other media can, that life in this century has had its affirmative spirit burnt out.' Recently the London Review of Books published Polygons. This is a rare chance to hear him read: carpe diem! £10
8pm Bernard O'Donoghue & Tom Paulin, with Irish traditional singer Mick Henry and guitarist Nick Hooper. Back by request, traditional Irish singing and music, with recent poems by Bernard O'Donoghue and readings by Tom Paulin. Woodstock Social Club: drinks are available at the bar. £8
All readings except the final event are held upstairs in Woodstock Town Hall
Festival ticket giving entry to all events - £50. Children & students half price
Tea and cakes are included in the price of all afternoon events
Tickets and information: 01993 812760
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 recent Independent's Top 50 UK Bookshops.
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.
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.
The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.