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poetry, essays, ideas
"[O]ne artist we know of shredded William Shakespeare's sonnets, which seems to us a fairly meaningless activity, a little bit silly and pointless. Is there any legitimate reason to subject Shakepeare's poetry to shredding rather than a telephone directory for instance?" Simon Morris and Nick Thurston in conversation with Ross Simonini • ArtInfo
"Only that rare city which is both unvisited and intimately known–-the Crescent City of New Orleans in 'For Sidney Bechet'–-exists perfectly." Sean O'Brien on Larkin • TLS
"Yet it is almost unknown to find two contemporaries, each the greatest poet of his language, who were friends and collaborators in verse. This alone makes the relationship between the Scots-language poet Hugh MacDiarmid and the Gaelic poet Sorley MacLean extraordinary." Robert Crawford on Sorley MacLean and Hugh MacDiarmid • TLS
"Poems are the antithesis of the sound bite." Kathleen J. Graber • Five Books
"[A] poet’s idiosyncratic sensibility, while skewed, often provides a valuable two-way lens and in fact is one of the reasons we read poet-critics. Think of Eliot’s Donne, Baudelaire’s Poe, Hughes’s Shakespeare." David Yezzi • Contemporary Poetry Review
"Technically prose but not narrative, assuming many of the liberties we associate with poetry, [We Press Ourselves Plainly] slips between and out of generic expectations, another breach." Christina Mengert • The Constant Critic
"That poets can still hold to [the sonnet's] strict measures and succeed so often is testimony to its singularity among standard poetic forms." John Poch • Contemporary Poetry Review
"An aphorism is always an oversimplification, but in piling dozens of them on top of each other, [James] Richardson at once delights and raises questions about the human capacity for knowledge and wisdom. His oversimplifications serve as a natural counterpoint to his dense, lyric explorations of a limited, yet potentially infinite universe." John Deming• Coldfront
"[Wallace Stevens] is making huge areas of apparently unpoetic language available to poetry, and only a few poets have done this because only a few poets employ generalized diction with such unerring precision." James Longenbach in conversation with Greg Gerke • Big Other
"This is when discussions about e-poetry quickly transition from the technical to the existential." Alizah Salario • Poetry
"In Maggot, Muldoon continues the series, but abstracts the form even further. Two poems here employ the 'Incantata' rhyme scheme, with its opening (or closing) pair of '-arrow' and '-ink.' Unlike the earlier elegies, however, both seem determinedly anti-autobiographical." Jeremy Noel-Tod • Telegraph
"Nothing one ever makes is quite as massive, integral, intricate, mysterious, as a house. The house of a poet is her greatest poem, lost forever the minute the poet, in Wodehouse’s immortal phrase, passes in his dinner pail." Robert Kelly • Rain Taxi
"Forbidden to correspond in any language but English, the poet—who was actually fluent in English—refused on principle to correspond with anyone at all. This spirit of defiance characterized him." Martín Espada on Clemente Soto Vélez and other Puerto Rican poets • The Massachusetts Review (pdf)
"[P]oetry's patience (or obliviousness, you could call it)—the degree to which it is exceedingly insulated (unlike the art world, say, or fiction) from an economic and cultural sphere increasingly dominated by finance capital and advertising—gives it a chance to play a vital cultural role in an era of pressing ecological and economic crisis." Adam Roberts • The Atlantic. Part Two here. Part Three here. Part Four here.
"A century ago Rainer Maria Rilke told a story about a French poet expiring in a hospital who heard a nurse mispronounce a word and corrected her with his dying breath. 'He was a poet, and hated the approximate.' That is to hold the poet in bounden duty to get things right, which he is. But to accept that duty, and that responsibility, the poet would have to recover a sense of what right is." George Watson • Times Higher Education
"His summary of the 'classic formula' novel-–'a beginning, a muddle, and an end'-–would fit the plot of his own life." Dennis O'Driscoll on Philip Larkin's letters • Irish Times
“'Good literature is produced by a few queer people in odd corners; the use of a review is not to force talent, but to create a favourable atmosphere' in which it might thrive." Joseph Epstein on T.S. Eliot • Commentary
“'L’Extase de M. Poher' has often been cited by Prynne’s admirers as a post-1968 manifesto piece ('No / poetic gabble will survive which fails / to collide head on with the unwitty circus: / no history running / with the French horn into / the alley-way, no / manifest emergence / of valued instinct, no growth / of meaning & stated order')" Robert Potts on J.H. Prynne and Prynne Studies • TLS
"If you look back, you often find that someone else tried a particular effect you thought you invented. When innovation takes place, it’s often by accident. We think we’re imitating, but change enters, and the work mutates into something new." Alice Fulton in conversation with Les Kay • Memorious
"The sentimental obsession with family, childhood, and self blunts the intellectual verve of much otherwise promising new poetry." William Doreski on first books • Harvard Review
"The poet finds ways to pour her energies into mystery rather than injustice, and does so on a scale that takes a while to sink in." D.H. Tracy on Ange Mlinko and Gjertrud Schnackenberg • Poetry
"I've always hated poetry that solemnly lectures the reader. I feel bored and patronised and sometimes stupid when poets pontificate without any variety of tone or perspective." Bill Manhire in conversation with Mark Story • Hawke's Bay Today
"No reader of this book could guess at the fastidiousness of Paterson's poetry... The experienced poet who feels that criticism should "honour the spirit of play in which the work was conceived" has nothing in common with the overwrought blogger who was saying, two paragraphs before, "The man's pain is intolerable."" Adam Mars-Jones on Don Paterson on Shakespeare's sonnets • Observer
"Our relationship is loving, I'm proud to say. It's survived a lot of drama, most of it drummed up. When my first book was being published, for example, our joint editor at Faber's made me change the title of it from "The Electric Orchard" to "New Weather", so it would seem like an ironic comment on "Wintering Out", Seamus's book of the previous year." Paul Muldoon • The Economist
"She says in section 1.3 “Herodotus is an historian who trains you as you read.”" W.N. Herbert on Carson, Gluck and Funk • Poetry Review
"[I]t was tricky to avoid looking ridiculous paralleling a mule-cart driver or a 14-year-old track victor with Apollo or Hercules, and the form itself was as regimented as one of those medieval cathedrals." Steve Donoghue on Pindar • Open Letters Monthly
"They didn’t approach the water, just stared at it. Then one asked for a bottle. I gave him my empty beer bottle. No, that wasn’t right, it had to be a bottle that you could seal well. So I bought a bottle of cheap Chilean red, had it uncorked, and poured the wine out into the sand. We sent the bottle to the kitchen to be cleaned as carefully as possible. Then the men took the bottle and went, without a word, to the shoreline." Werner Herzog on the Absolute, the Sublime and Ecstatic Truth • Arion
"Heaney is thrusting his words far beyond the fact of his own silence and into the living, clamorous textual spaces of posterity." Maria Johnston • Tower Poetry
"My condition was in every way that of the ancients." Leopardi • Poetry

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Elisa Gabbert Sink Review

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Anne Marie Rooney Gulf Coast

Rachel Wetzsteon The New Criterion

George Moore InDigest

James Richardson New Yorker

Rupert M. Loydell Shadowtrain

Thom Donovan TRNSFR (pdf)

Ian Duhig Poetry Review

Sarah V. Schweig Boston Review

Mark Tursi Upstairs at Duroc

Walcott, Gluck, Tate... New York Times

Peter O'Leary Cultural Society

V Khodasevich Poetry Review

Rebecca Lehmann Contrary

Timothy Donnelly Poetry Daily


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The Page is edited by John McAuliffe, Vincenz Serrano and, since September 2013, Evan Jones at the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester. It was founded in October 2004 by Andrew Johnston, who edited it until October 2009.
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