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To Abandon Wizardry, front cover

To Abandon Wizardry

Matthew Caley’s 7th Collection

published November 16th 2023 Bloodaxe Books

To Abandon Wizardry, Matthew Caley's seventh collection, speeds through a world where it's harder and harder to tell what's 'real' and what's not.

We could say Harry Potter World is an alibi for the rest of England, because the rest of England is Harry Potter World. We could nod at Deep Fake, QAnon, fake news and official news, all manner of waning National myth. Or ponder the 'elsewhere' we always think of escaping to, that will no doubt prove equally illusionary.


A long, episodic central poem has someone enjoying an alfresco Americano in Shadwell, London, in dialogue with a mesh-protected sapling that seems to transmit all the polyglot talk of the city. Either side are revenants, disembowelled wizards, talking horses and flying houses. To Abandon Wizardry forges its aesthetic out of the simulation, hyper-association, and over-stimulation of living in the 21st Century. And it's all true.

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