Situated in the heart of Sydenham, close to the station, Kirkdale bookshop is a combination of award-winning bookshop and cultural hub. We have an extensive collection of new and second-hand books for all age groups and interests. Do come and see us!


poetry at kirkdale bookshop

Matthew Caley launches his fifth collection, Rake (Bloodaxe).

Thursday 25th February 2016



Matthew’s début, Thirst, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. His subsequent work, most recently the collection Apparently, has been met with great acclaim.

Rake is a spell-binding look at a social type which ought to be more familiar than it is, given today’s headlong drive to dissolution. Travelling across time and space, from ancient Egypt to the Wild West, these poems offer landscapes of desire and excess. Matthew Caley is a chameleon of poetic style and this collection is perfectly pitched between euphoria and desolation.

Matthew will be reading from Rake and signing copies of the book (available from us at £9.95).

‘Formally outrageous, culturally light-fingered, Caley’s vision and wit make for poems that turn a wondrous, great lamp on the inter-relatedness of all things. An important poet.’ – John Stammers

‘Gleeful cultural cannibalism. Hauntingly lovely, immaculately constructed. Apparently is one of those collections which makes you see the world as suddenly more complex, strange and fascinating.’ – Imogen Robertson, Poetry Book Society Online

‘Satirically playful, self-parodic, yes, but unable to conceal an emotional intelligence that lends depth and vulnerability to Caley’s voice even at moments of humour.’ – Jane Holland, Poetry Review

‘The most inventive user of the sonnet form currently writing.’ – Laurie Smith, Magma

Tickets: £3.00 (redeemable against book)

Reservations: mail@kirkdalebookshop.com

272 Kirkdale, Sydenham, SE26 4RS

Tel: 020 8778 4701

Our Next Book Group:

Wednesday 23rd March, 7.30pm


Émile Zola


Zola’s masterpiece of working life, Germinal (1885), exposes the inhuman conditions of miners in northern France in the 1860s. By Zola’s death in 1902 it had come to symbolise the call for freedom from oppression so forcefully that the crowd which gathered at his State funeral chanted ‘Germinal! Germinal!’.
The central figure, Etienne Lantier, is an outsider who enters the community and eventually leads his fellow-miners in a strike protesting against pay-cuts – a strike which becomes a losing battle against starvation, repression, and sabotage. Yet despite all the violence and disillusion which rock the mining community to its foundations, Lantier retains his belief in the ultimate germination of a new society, leading to a better world.