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
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

Monday, 25 November 2013

Alice Oswald talking about Memorial

Those of you who came to hear Alice Oswald at the Woodstock poetry festival might enjoy seeing a little clip of her reciting the final section here, and also a fascinating interview with David Morley (who read the following day), when she was given the Warwick Prize. She talks about bringing a poem to life - 'the god passes through the room when you get a poem alive...when you hear it in a room something quite supernatural happens' -which is perhaps the best description of what did happen when she gave us Memorial.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Woodstock Poetry Festival review

First, a huge thank you to everyone, poets and audience, who made the second festival go so well. We are planning the third.

We were so grateful that Pam Ayres came to open the festival. The church was full, and she performed brilliantly - her timing was spot-on, her rapport with the audience immediate and excellent. What I love about her work is that she brings poetry to so many people who would normally run a mile at the word 'poetry'. She is witty and acute and warm. She is also a very kind supporter of independent bookshops and festivals.

The rest of the evening was like a local, community version of Pam Ayres - A Funny Way With Words drew in large numbers of people from Charlbury - the book was written and produced there, published by Jon Carpenter. And Kathy Clugston held everything together in the best possible BBC style.

Peter McDonald and Patrick McGuinness in the bookshop gave a totally different reading of their work to a very good audience (including three small boys, one of whom quizzed Patrick McGuinness on his use of a poetic alter-ego), I was very sad to miss the readings by MsCellaneous as I had to collect someone from the station - I heard it went very well and we all ate the cakes all weekend!

Alice Oswald was extraordinary. She asked for the lights to be dimmed, and we sat in the dusk as she recited Memorial - I have had several emails from people who were in the audience, among them -

I wanted to say a huge thank you for bringing Alice to the festival.
It was a magical experience and one that will stay with me always.
 

I wanted to tell you how affected I was by the 'happening' that you 
arranged... I sat ,mesmerized, not conscious of the time, and completely 
beguiled by Alice. Her voice- the sheer astonishment that she could 
recite so much by heart, and by the beauty of her words and poetry.
Loved it and won't forget it
.

Julia Copus came next - if anyone could follow Alice Oswald, it was Julia. Quite different, just as powerful. She wrote afterwards, 'What a magical thing the Woodstock Festival is. It is already gathering something of a reputation in the writing world, and deservedly so.'

The New Libertines finished off the evening in style - if you didn't come this year, do try and catch them next year. The term 'performance poetry' might frighten potential audiences into thinking they are going to be faced with alien and terrifyingly trendy stuff, which isn't the case. Not that they aren't trendy, of course, but they are very good poets who are also good at performing their work and, like Pam Ayres, engaging with the audience.

David Morley read on his own on Sunday as Liz Berry couldn't be with us. He talked about John Clare and about Romani language and culture and read from his new book. 

For a detailed account of David Constantine, Sasha Dugdale and Olivia McCannon, see  here. And at the end we went into the Woodstock Arms where Jenny Lewis had organised a pub full of people and sixteen readers - the fire was going, people were drinking and chatting, it was the best possible way of ending the festival.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Pam Ayres

Thursday November 14, 5.30pm, St Mary Magdakene Church, £10.
Pam Ayres will be reading from her latest poetry collection, You Made Me Late Again! Pam's poems are observant, witty and poignant in equal measure - her subjects are the everyday and the universal. Most of the poems in You Made Me Late Again! are brand new, and it also features several favourites from her stage shows, published here for the first time, such as 'The Make-Up Lady' and 'Tippy Tappy Feet'.



Pam Ayres has been a writer, broadcaster and entertainer for nearly forty eyars since winning the talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1975, and she has become an audience favourite for her sharp perception of the comic detail of everyday life. She is the author of several bestselling poetry collections and a memoir, The Necessary Aptitude. Pam and her husband have lived in Gloucestershire for over twenty-fice years, where they have a smallholding with cattle, sheep, bees, chickens and guinea fowl. She was awarded the MBE in 2004.







A Funny Way with Words - with Kathy Clugston

Thursday November 14, Woodstock Methodist Church, 8pm, £5. Four performance poets bring their recent book to life in an original show including storytelling, music and theatre - held together by radio presenter Kathy Clugston. The book is by Charlbury publishers Rob Stepney and Ed Fenton, plus musician John Lanyon and graphic designer Adrian Lancini. Several of the poems have local connections, including one which includes 31 Oxfordshire place-names...

A Funny Way With Words (Wychwood)

Peter McDonald & Patrick McGuinness

Friday 15 November, 7pm, £5
Peter McDonald is a poet and critic - he lives in Woodstock and teaches at Christ Church, Oxford, where he is Christopher Tower Student and Tutor in Poetry. His Collected Poems was published by Carcanet  in 2012. He is currently editing the poetry of WB Yeats.



Patrick McGuinness is a Professor of French and Comparative Literature at St Anne's, Oxford.  Jilted City is his second collection of poetry

MsCellaneous

Saturday 16 November, 3pm, £5 to include tea and cakes. MsCellaneous are an Oxford-based group of eight women who have been meeting and writing poetry together for nine years. One of their works is currently on display in the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock - a renga written jointly after a visit to the museum and inspired by some of the exhibits.

Alice Oswald reciting Memorial

Saturday November 16, 4.30pm, tickets £5. 
Alice Oswald is the winner of this year's Warwick Prize, the first time a poet has won the prize. She will be reciting Memorial, her reworking of Homer's Iliad, This is a magnificent and mesmerising performance, all the more remarkable for being recited from memory.


'Oswald has achieved a miraculous feat. She's exposed a skeleton, but found something magnificently eerie and rich. She has truly made, to borrow a phrase from Stephen Spender, a "miniature Iliad", taut, fluid and graceful, its tones knelling like bells into the clear air, ringing out in remembrance of all the untimely dead' Telegraph.