The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"It is a technique [Don] Paterson has refined over the years: a way to deal with a wrenching issue indirectly, thus avoiding putting the case too strongly, while the details of the poem—what Eliot would have called the objective correlative—become metaphors for the terrible matter at the center." Jan Schrieber • Contemporary Poetry Review
"I do not write memoirs. I do not write novels. I do not write short stories. I do not write plays. I do not write poems. I do not write mysteries. I do not write science fiction. I write fragments. I do not tell stories from things I’ve read or movies I’ve seen, I describe impressions, I make judgments. The modern man I sing." Édouard Levé • Paris Review
"[John] Ashbery allowed himself to translate these Illuminations the way [Arthur] Rimbaud probably wrote them—on impulse, feeling his way through rather than letting rules dictate style." Katherine Sanders • Words Without Borders
"One has the sense of [Arthur] Rimbaud stringing together some of his favorite words to create in a breath a sense of rapturous identity. How does one become a genie? By making love to one." Donald Brown • Quarterly Conversation
"[D]espite a love for teaching his students, their generation is not living up to the radical attitude his own almost took for granted. But nevertheless, there is a feeling of bathos. Of sorts an ode to possibility, The Poetry Lesson unfortunately leaves the reader feeling a little deflated. Entertained, yes, and wiser, for sure. But not exactly inspired." Rupert Thomson • Berlin Review of Books
"The politics of poetry has partly to do with its character of resistance, its recalcitrance, its awkwardness, understood as a crucial space for reflection and thought on the political realm, on values." Charles Bernstein • Poetry Daily
"His green world, beautiful but barbaric was enriched by the attention he gave to a more ancient world, the bog, which is not only our timekeeper, but a graph of our consciences." Michael Hartnett reviews Seamus Heaney in 1975 • Irish Times
"You won't want to leave Rapid City, but if you've learned anything from it, you'll know that you have to." Sean Colletti • Stride
"[Vasko] Popa thus offers us poetry that does something, that believes in an active language whose intention derives not from an author but from the power of words themselves, simultaneously avowed and disavowed in the impossible exactitude of the curse: ‘God give you a gold coin weighing a ton, so you can’t carry it or spend it, but have to sit beside it begging.’" Sophie Mayer • Modern Poetry in Translation
"For this crop of British and Irish poets, as their anthology’s title suggests, the first duty of poetry is to reckon with the submerged and potent forces of personal identity. The best poets—and there are many good ones here, beyond [Paul] Batchelor, [Jacob] Polley and [Anthony] Rowland—have the vision to use this as a through-route to social redress and the wider world." Dai George on Identity Parade • Boston Review
"This, perhaps, is how poetry can be 'useful.'" Siobhan Phillips on Matthew Zapruder • LARB
"In April 1965 at SUNY [Andrew] Crozier produced a foolscap anthology of Thirteen English Poets, titled SUM, which reflected his clear sense of a dialogue taking place between poets of both countries. If the Grove Press anthology was to make the little islanders aware of what was taking place in America, then Crozier was determined that the innovative poetry, far distant from the acceptable face of Faber & Faber, that was being written in England should be presented to his American hosts." Ian Brinton • PN Review
"It’s intriguing to see that in resistance to the general drift towards the international—a game of polarities if you like, where one trend is confirmed by the extent to which it provokes its opposite—there is also a flourishing of dialect poetry, texts comprehensible only for a very small community (I cannot understand the poetry of my close colleague Edoardo Zuccato in the Milanese dialect). But such poetry is almost always published with an Italian translation alongside it, suggesting the poet’s desire for intimacy and authenticity on the one hand and an eagerness, perhaps anxiety, to be widely understood on the other. Any eventual translations, of course, will be made from the Italian, not the dialect." Tim Parks • NYRB
"Name-dropping Beyoncé and Courtney Love, as any teenager knows, does not a cool authority figure make." Rachel Abramowitz on David Orr • Oxonian Review
"Such a powerful apprehension of change and decay could render a weaker poet conventional, but Shapcott has managed a continual refreshment of her powers of scrutiny, so that mutability is not, as some writers would seem to suggest, a condition towards which we are perpetually heading but one by which we are already occupied." Sean O'Brien • Poetry Review (pdf)
"[In L.A.] it felt like all the waiters and waitresses were on stage, waiting to be discovered—the smiles were megawatt but skin deep, and attempts at conversation often swayed very swiftly to auditions." Nii Ayikwei Parkes in conversation with David Shook • Molossus
"Freedom is what [Álvaro de] Campos seeks: ‘No! All I want is freedom!/ Love, glory, money – they’re prisons’, he exclaims in an untitled poem from 1930; and freedom is also what the heteronym bestows on [Fernando] Pessoa himself." Karen McCarthy Woolf • Modern Poetry in Translation
"Yet though nearly 150 years have intervened since Rimbaud’s first declaration of independence, many readers in our own age, too, still prefer a coherence of imagery, a sameness of tone, a readable sequential message, even, ultimately, what amounts to a prose narrative broken into lines." Lydia Davis • NYT
"For [Reginald] Shepherd, the history of poetry isn’t a series of erasures. Rather, it is an accretion of styles, many of which persist long after newer styles have risen. As he puts it in the essay 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Poetry,' 'the definitional incoherence at the core of the modern notion of poetry is a sign of its historical evolution.'” Robert Archambeau • Poetry
"Yeats was educated not by a university but by an early adult mania for anthologising the past. He accumulated anthologies the way a scholar accumulates degrees." Thomas McCarthy on Roy Foster's Yeats • Irish Examiner
"If the poem were a sit-com, the ghost of James Merrill would have made a cameo as a friendly conductor who chats with the kids and then punches [Daisy] Fried's ticket. Fried is unable to turn to any more-experienced guide for succor. That is a part of her torment, and maybe a diagnosis for our age." Daniel Bosch • Critical Flame
"Evocation needs more than notation: it needs impetus. You can’t Just Add Hot Water And Serve." Clive James • Poetry
"What if, on the other hand, Hoagland’s speaker were a clownishly reactionary bigot spewing racial slurs, someone clearly not the poet. How easy it would be to put that character where he belonged: not me. Nothing to do with me." Daisy Fried • Poetry
"‘A gonomony is any strange object that is difficult to name, that is curiously unlike anything else, and that serves no useful purpose. Gonomonies abound in the houses of glots.’ Words . . . have a sound and a shape, in addition to their meanings. ‘Sometimes the sound is the meaning.’" Iain Bamforth • PN Review
"[Philip] Larkin combines so many opposed elements of lyric tradition and modern consciousness that he comes close to being the writerly equivalent of a folly—and he has a folly’s ability to seem simultaneously monumental and embarrassingly personal." David Orr • Paris Review
"Dylan, like Williams, Whitman, and others of their poetic, patriotic ilk, sucks the marrow from America, gnaws on its bones and slurps—not so much concerned with decorum but getting the flavors—the grease stains on his sleeves, the gristle stuck in his teeth, evidence of the contact." Buzz Poole • The Millions
"[Norman Finkelstein] advances the argument that American experimental poets continue to dwell on the sacred, even in a secular age. . . . [N]ot only is religious experience still relevant, but it is also the concern of poetic communities that privilege innovation." Jonathan Fedors • Jacket2
"[A]rt, according to [WG] Sebald, both the artist and the physical object of art, the printed page, the drawing or the altarpiece, are all utterly historical and datable. In that aspect art has the position and function of a witness. But it can also transcend any one specific historical context through the complex web of inter-textual borrowings and loans, homages, appropriations, and misappropriations. And it is in that sense art can and must transcend history." Dorothea von Mücke • Nonsite
"Download the manifesto so you can zoom in and out like a super-intelligent housefly or a perfect icarus." Kaffeeklatsch
"For all her submissiveness in the letters . . . [Emily Dickinson] does not give in and she does not give up on the poetry. She continues to trust her instincts and to write in her own 'spasmodic' gait, as she called it." Emily Fragos in conversation with David O'Neill • Paris Review

New poems

Sadaf Halai Granta

Jean Valentine Barrow Street

Paul Hostovsky Shampoo

Kit Schluter Otoliths

Hilary Sideris Barrow Street

Guillaume Apollinaire, trans. Stephen Romer Modern Poetry in Translation

Sharon Olds Granta

Miklós Radnóti, trans. Stephen Capus Modern Poetry in Translation

Cecily Parks Memorious

Jamie McKendrick Poetry London

Bill Neumire Guernica

Dan Chiasson Paris Review

John Montague Irish Times

Roseanne Carrara Harp & Altar

John Beer Jacket

Bradley Harrison Memorious

Simeon Dumdum, Jr Philippines Free Press

Anthony Thwaite Standpoint

Aimee Nezhukumatathil Barrow Street


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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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