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poetry, essays, ideas
"[W]hen we look back at the past 10 years, we will recognize it as the decade when America slept, mired in security concerns (Will I let the airport agent touch me?) and revenge (Which Al Qaeda leader is our target today?), its citizens so absorbed in personal issues that they ignored the plain reality that power was rapidly shifting elsewhere." Marjorie Perloff • Chronicle of Higher Education
"The ambition that has driven her for years has, at the moment of its greatest necessity, suddenly abandoned her. When her editor at the magazine asks what she plans to do after graduation, she surprises herself by skipping her usual overrehearsed litany—professor, editor, author of books of poems—and telling the truth: ‘I don’t really know.’” Emily Gould on Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar • Poetry
"There’s a tendency in poetry of the last forty years, a decrease in paraphrasable substance, a diminution of affect and increase in aesthetic polish. This tendency leads straight to a hyperaestheticized (and campy if you ask me) kind of work that the popular kids wrote and liked five or ten years ago." Jordan Davis • The Constant Critic
"Though The Times had described him as 'the man with the keys to the Paradise of English poetry,' his emotional and artistic energies had been drained by criticising other people’s work." Sameer Rahim on Matthew Hollis and Edward Thomas • Telegraph
"The picture is far from idyllic or idealised. As Edward Thomas meets up with his 'mentor,' the visiting American poet, Robert Frost, the narrative bi-locates. As the poets go about their countryside 'talks-walking' about 'natural expressive rhythm' and other poetry matters, we see, often through wily Frost’s eyes, 'the English class system in action.'" Gerald Dawe • Irish Times
"Noble, charismatic, wise: in the years since its composition, 'The Road Not Taken' has been understood by some as an emblem of individual choice and self-reliance, a moral tale in which the traveller takes responsibility for—and so effects—his own destiny. But it was never intended to be read in this way by Frost, who was well aware of the playful ironies contained within it, and would warn audiences: 'You have to be careful of that one; it's a tricky poem—very tricky.'" Matthew Hollis • Guardian
"There are many of us drawn to reductive fictions, though—the lie of the causal narrative, love’s ciphers, the one-dimensionality of the star in the telescope—and pretty much the only thing that really comes on like two dimensions (in a way that isn’t contingent—like paint, or gold leaf—on some third thing) is the sheet of paper. It’s a sort of impossibility, in its way. That’s why we’re wowed by things like very flat TVs, the MacBook Air, the book of poems." Don Paterson • Brick
"Riley's Cambridge University pedigree is clear, and anyone fearing obscurity may latch on to 'Fifteen Ekelöf Incipits,' a poem that consists exclusively of 15 small black squares down the left-hand margin. The prosaic explanation for this cryptic behaviour would seem to be a last-minute copyright dispute, but British poetry today is not without black boxes of its own obscuring the scale of Riley's achievement for the larger audience it deserves." David Wheatley • Guardian
"On a winter day in 1883, aboard a steamer that was returning him from Marseilles to the Arabian port city of Aden, a French coffee trader named Alfred Bardey struck up a conversation with a countryman he’d met on board, a young journalist named Paul Bourde. As Bardey chatted about his trading operation, which was based in Aden, he happened to mention the name of one of his employees—a 'tall, pleasant young man who speaks little,' as he later described him. To his surprise, Bourde reacted to the name with amazement. This wasn’t so much because, by a bizarre coincidence, he had gone to school with the employee; it was, rather, that, like many Frenchmen who kept up with contemporary literature, he had assumed that the young man was dead." Daniel Mendelsohn • New Yorker
"It is through Frost, [Edith Tiempo] writes, that she learned how 'the rhythm tells us how to go.' From the innate grace in the internal shifts of her poems, and her insights on the haiku, the pantun, and kakekotoba, one supposes that her own 'how' has been nurtured more by Asian, rather than Western poetry." Kristine Domingo on Edith Tiempo • High Chair
"I’ll ask my students to read a poem, and whether they like that poem or not, to find something that they would like to steal from that poem. Whether it’s the length of the line or the way the poet handles his cæsuras, or the tone or even a particular line that could use as a quote or as an epigraph. And I do that all the time, myself. I do that to learn about other poems to learn new tricks for myself, and it’s a way of apprenticing one’s self." Kimiko Hahn in conversation with David St. Lascaux
"The transformation of an entomological image (bees swarming from a damaged hive) to a religious, then finally a technological one (swarm of bell sounds), is a startling metaphor for the translation of beauty in a high tech age." Mark Irwin • The Offending Adam
"[Elizabeth Bishop] is clearly not a fireworks and champagne kind of birthday girl." Magdalena Edwards • The Millions
"He starts off with a disarming anecdote about the poet D.J. Enright, who told him that he had once gone to give a reading and taken ten of his latest books with him to sell, which he laid out on a table. He then held a reading, which went marvellously, 'the audience laughed and wept and all the rest of it.'. He went back to the table of his books with anticipatory pleasure: there were eleven." Kit Toda on Mark Ford • The Literateur
"The poet's role has become, in the literal sense, that of a word processor, finding how best to absorb, recharge, and redistribute the language that is already there." Marjorie Perloff • Jacket2
"His presence in American poetry is so immense that it is no hyperbole to say that Carl Phillips is an institution; when my Canadian fiancée asked what American poetry was like, I gave her Quiver of Arrows." Broc Rossell on Carl Phillips • Harvard Review
"Large, commercial publishers and glossy magazines do not necessarily represent higher judgments of literary merit. In the short term, they might offer access to larger audiences. What they do represent—you could argue 'enforce'—is a fairly limited set of social and aesthetic choices. Saying that you should publish in the New Yorker is not merely a wish for greater success for you but an insistence that you become a different kind of poet, that you change your subject matter, your poetics, and your voice in order to find a shiny place among the hotel and jewelry ads. Saying that you should publish with Knopf has the same effect. I would be happy if on your own terms you were swooped up by either or both, but not if you tried to remodel yourself and your work to suit what you imagine they want." Michael Anania • TriQuarterly
"Any break in the clouds saw me down tools and declare the day a holiday as we set off to explore everything from megalithic tombs and early Christian sites to the Neolithic field patterns turning up 20 feet under the blanket bog at Loughadoon. My husband was sure I had gone slightly mad and was more than once heard to murmur in his own language (Turkish) the first lines of the classical poem Asik’a Bagdat sorulma z, 'Don’t ask a poet directions how to get to Baghdad, their imagination runs beyond the horizon.'" Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill • Irish Times
"[A] poem, when it works, is an action of the mind captured on a page, and the reader, when he engages it, has to enter into that action. And so his mind repeats that action and travels again through the action, but it is a movement of yourself through a thought, through an activity of thinking, so by the time you get to the end you’re different than you were at the beginning and you feel that difference." Anne Carson in conversation with Will Aitken • Paris Review
"[John] Donne changes as you look at him: across genres (the epigram; the verse satire; the love lyric, the religious sonnet; the epithalamium; the sermon), and across roles (student of law; soldier; secretary to my Lord Egerton; husband; diplomat; theologian; cleric; living memento mori)." Robert Fraser • TLS
"This exhilarating style marks a break, and an improvement, from most of Smith’s five earlier books." Stephen Burt on Bruce Smith • NYT
"There are brighter moments in this treasure-trove of a book, such as his description of a visit to Yale in the 1960s by Auden, wearing 'a frayed, buttonless overcoat, which my wife insisted on mending.' And 'His luggage was an attaché case containing a large bottle of gin, a small one of vermouth, a plastic drinking cup, and a sheaf of poems.' We are told that Auden described Bloom as 'a dotty don,' and then assured him he liked dotty dons." John Montague • Irish Times
"And Reiss has his own take on that Englishness as he notes in the poem ‘The Great’, in which one of his characters asks ‘rhetorically’, ‘You who cling to Englishness - which of you could say when Englishness / supposedly began?" Ian Pople • Manchester Review
"But the young poets who have grown up writing on an electronic medium, something is happening to their hearing. They don’t hear. And poetry begins with the light but it has to begin with the light of hearing it. I think that is one of the conditions of poetry. I don’t think poetry is the printed word. I think poetry may, eventually, be the printed word, but it is really the spoken word to begin with." WS Merwin • Kenyon Review
"I’m just looking for what it takes to get through the day, endlessly negotiating a combination of roles, all of which are marginal, and none of which you ever completely live up to." JT Welsch in conversation with Lee Smith and Claire Trevien • Sabotage
"Life, this text suggests, is like that: we grumble about our fates until the cheese course comes and we try to decide which to sample." Marjorie Perloff • Codex
“'Who knew that humus might lie beneath ‘humane’?' There is a maggot-like etymology here, as [Paul] Muldoon makes connections between words, as well as creatures, by breaking them down into their smallest parts." Laura Marsh • The New Republic
"Disagree with me, and we have something to talk about, [Charles] Bernstein repeats time and again. In short, he is a nice guy who believes in poetry with the devotion of a devout rabbi or priest." Douglas Messerli • LARB
"A question for the left is whether it has developed a critical vocabulary that can fully differentiate between work that generically 'stands' for politics and work that makes room to address the political spheres: literature that can expose suffering and make it seem possible to act against it, possible to see what needs to be done while expanding the possibility of seeing." David Micah Greenberg • Boston Review
"[T]o look at the scenes outside us and around us, so potent with prompts for moment-by-moment imagining, is also to wonder what we will do to them, how they will—as we will—disappear." Stephen Burt on Allan Peterson • Boston Review
"I fear that you and I have been made victims of a particularly stupid practical joke." Flann O'Brien on Patrick Kavanagh (1949) • Irish Times

New poems

Mary Lou Buschi The Collagist

Roberto Bolaño Poetry Daily

Kerri Webster Super Arrow

Rodney Jones The Kenyon Review

Jo Shapcott Telegraph

Rodney Jack Boston Review

Kay Ryan Guardian

Edith Tiempo Poetry

Adrian Matejka American Poetry Review

Cirilo F. Bautista Electric Monsoon

Susan Howe Poem Flow

Paul Muldoon The New Yorker

Matthew Zapruder Floating Wolf Quarterly

Mónica Gomery Word For/Word

Jared Joseph TRNSFR (pdf)

John Koethe Boston Review

Eric Gamalinda Philippines Free Press

Tomaž Šalamun Sidebrow

Leif Haven TRNSFR (pdf)

George Gömöri Asymptote

Melanie Graham Anderbo

Vona Groarke Poem Flow

Camille Guthrie Conjunctions


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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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