Kirkdale Bookshop

Matthew Caley To Abandon Wizardry
Tuesday 28th Nov 2023

JOIN US as we welcome poet Matthew Caley back to Kirkdale Bookshop to read from his 7th collection of poetry:
To Abandon Wizardry

Matthew’s seventh collection explores a world where it’s harder and harder to tell what’s real and what’s not. Where our political and cultural reality seems so unbelievable, we search for a plot and find one that comes from the Harry Potter playbook. Our sky proves CGI, our touchstones AI. Our screens full of wonders, our streets full of decay. We could nod at Deep Fake, QAnon, fake news versus the ‘truth’ of official news, all manner of waning national myth, or ponder the elsewhere we always think of escaping to, that will no doubt prove equally illusory.

Set within this almost parallel world, To Abandon Wizardry features a long central poem where someone enjoys an alfresco Americano in Shadwell, London, while in dialogue with a mesh-protected sapling that transmits all the polyglot talk of the city. Either side of this we encounter revenants, disembowelled wizards, talking horses and flying houses, as the book forges its aesthetic out of the simulation, hyper-association, and over-stimulation of living in the 21st century. And it’s all true.

‘…chief among British poets Caley takes seriously the vision of synesthetic abundance laid out in Mallarmé’s essay ‘Crisis and Verse’…Caley is a great poet of transposition and vibration…`at his very best, an offhand philosopher and bard of the demi-monde, gently blowing our minds’ – Dai George, Poetry Wales

‘…demonstrates the diffident confidence of a poet at the height of his powers, an extremely thought-provoking collection, with confluent continuous threads throughout that tease and pulsate, staying with me long after I had read it…a book worth buying and cherishing.’ –
Nicki Heinen, Tentacular


£5 plus a small booking fee