The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"Perhaps she took Whitman seriously when he urged the poets of the future never to humble themselves to anyone." Philip Levine on Ruth Stone • NYT
"The brief quatrains of poems like ‘The End of Marriage’ and ‘The Catch’ are metrically unpredictable, altering their pace to admit half-dissonant notes. In the latter, the speaker tellingly confesses that “It’s not the theme that interests me / but the variation”. Greenlaw has conclusively mastered the poetry of provisionality, of sidelong looks." Chloe Stopa-Hunt • Poetry Review
"I have so far mentioned just a few of the poems in this collection, and I should do more to point out its stylistic breadth. That’s quickest done by leaping from De’Ath to W.N. Herbert, with his 'Errant' (or an extract from it). Within the context of this anthology, Herbert seems deeply unfashionable. He rhymes in a way that is rare here—and fashion (or lack of it) is an idea he plays about in the early lines." Aime Williams • Oxonian Review
"One could, of course, write a more contemporary Conference of the Birds, with ever increasing dangers to the birds on their pilgrimage." Melissa Kwasny • Pleiades
"Why, I wondered, is a workshop supposed to make a poem 'better'? And in making a poem 'better' by implicitly turning to a set of inherited conditions that have proven their worth over the course of nearly a century, am I secretly pushing students into a place of received values that, in the end, undermines exactly that sort of complicating work poetry does, and for which I love it so deeply? Am I myself a product of such molding?" Dan Beachy-Quick • Poetry
"What gets [Anne] Wilkinson out into the sunshine, however, is the manner in which she shakes Thomas’s ghost. Because even as she welcomes the apocalypse, she is frustrated by it, turning and twisting the prophetic with a shake of her head. Hers is what Northrop Frye called a “parody-apocalypse”." Evan Jones • Poetry Review
"I was already a keen fan of his Homer translations. To my delight and confusion, not long after first looking into the Homer, I took a date to see Ken Russell’s The Devils and there was Christopher Logue as Cardinal Richelieu." August Kleinzahler • LRB
"With a generation of children raised on Horrible Histories, Armitage's version might do for alliteration what Eliot's Practical Cats once did for rhythm." Sean O'Brien • Guardian
"Painful though it must have been to write about the horror of the Troubles, an even more difficult task, as Heaney acknowledges in his essay “Feeling into Words” (1974), was to achieve “the perspective of a humane reason” at the same time as granting “the religious intensity of the violence its deplorable authenticity and complexity”." Andrew McCullough • TLS
"The preference, as always, is for a body of shared knowledge. In this, at least, she is quite unlike Bishop who is more than willing to report back from unfamiliar terrain." John Redmond on Kay Ryan • Tower Poetry
"[T]he past few years have seen a steady stream of Poet’s Novels, a phrase I’m borrowing from the subtitle of Eileen Myles’s Inferno: A Poet’s Novel and using here to describe the not-quite-genre of fiction (a) that features a poet as a protagonist and (b) in which said poet’s status as poet is materially relevant to the story—i.e., not purely symbolic, not used as some kind of idiot shorthand for indicating any version of a 'poetic' nature, and not a cheap way for the novelist to avoid writing a book about a novelist." Justin Taylor • Poetry
"Living in Britain is an incredibly intense linguistic experience, and a lot of that relates closely to geography: your accent, your dialect, your background, your class. Many poems are expressions of that, even subconsciously. At some level I knew my vocabulary was a product of my landscape." Simon Armitage • Guardian
"With a composite speaker as a sort of open secret underpinning the sequence, emphasis in Canto falls instead upon questions of construction. In their chosen verse-form for this effort—terza rima, but modified through careful use of slant-rhyme—[Dan] Beachy-Quick and [Srikanth] Reddy turn a lyric form based in recollection instead towards an anticipatory uncertainty." Andrew Rippeon • Jacket2
"[P]oetry criticism should also be impossible: if a poem is any good it should exceed and complicate any statement that you want to make about it--the trick is to say things that are true nevertheless. (If you do not feel that your task is impossible to execute completely then you are doing it wrong, or else you are discussing a very minor poem.)" Stephen Burt • PN Review
"He was an autodidact, a village explainer. As Gertrude Stein wrote of Ezra Pound, "fine if you were a village; if not, not". I was happy to be a village. He was habitually under-awed." Craig Raine • Guardian
"Few poets as far on in their careers as Mahon remain capable of poems as strange, compelling and lovely as “Shandon Bridge”. Derek Mahon is one of those poets, and is one of the sovereign imaginations of our time. Up and down though it is, like a mountain range, New Collected Poems still harbours a glorious and inexhaustible body of work." David Wheatley • DRB
"I think it's often assumed that the role of poetry is to comfort, but for me, poetry is the great unsettler. It questions the established order of the mind. It is radical, by which I don't mean that it is either leftwing or rightwing, but that it works at the roots of thinking. It goes lower than rhetoric, lower than conversation, lower than logic, right down to the very faint honest voice at the bottom of the skull." Alice Oswald • Guardian "Perhaps there is something else we should consider – poetry's power to heal. Take it from the rich, give it to a poet and reader. The TS Eliot prize cleans the money." Gillian Clarke • Guardian
"I’m always surprised by the panicked fear Conceptual writing can elicit from other poets, as if they’re going to have to abandon their writing and be forced to transcribe newspapers for the rest of their careers." Craig Dworkin in conversation with Katie L. Price • Jacket2
"Our own language prompts us in one direction, but the text we are trying to respect says something else, or says the same thing in a way that feels very different. We have come to what Paul Celan meant when, despairing of translating Baudelaire, he remarked that 'poetry is the fatal uniqueness of language.'" Tim Parks • NYRB
"[E]very generation burrows into its own hard-earned defenses, and it is the prerogative of the young to challenge—yes, and shock—their elders." Rita Dove • NYRB
"Yeats, in 'The Fisherman,' thought a poem should be 'cold/And passionate as the dawn'—that it should embody, along with the rising passion of inception, the cold inquisition of detached self-critique. It is not a goal easily attained, and it is never attained by most of the poets of any century, in any country, of any race." Helen Vendler • NYRB
"[Mina] Loy shows herself to be better at manipulating Futurist conventions in idiom than the Futurists themselves, even as she is skewering the misogynist posturing and rhetoric of the movement." Keith Tuma • Jacket
"Is it any wonder that W. H. Auden grumbled that the Lidice massacre had inspired nothing more than 'versified trash'?" Joanna Bourke • TLS
"While we who teach in M.F.A. programs can show our students how to write a strong pedagogy statement and stage mock interviews, the best job training we can give is to help students write a good book, cajole them into finishing and revising that book, and give them advice on getting it published." Elise Blackwell • Chronicle of Higher Education
"The editors have selected a large body of the shorter poems in Old English and printed their texts faced by new translations by what Michael Matto calls 'a panoply of voices', drawing on a considerable number of the leading current poets in English from both sides of the Atlantic. That is an achievement in itself: it is unusual to have transatlantic poets appearing in the same context at all; indeed they often hardly know of each other's existence." Bernard O'Donoghue • PN Review
"[L]ike the Picasso of Gertrude Stein’s famous portrait, [John] Cage (who, incidentally, had had relationships with men long before he married Xenia) 'was always working.' His was not a struggle against anything as abstract or clichéd as 'an oppressively heteronormative society' or 'the sanctioned symbolic order' of patriarchy. Rather—and, one might say, more ambitiously,—he seemed to want nothing less than to transform the arts of his time. In this endeavor, there is now no doubt that he succeeded." Marjorie Perloff • LARB
"He was no follower of the regime, but, as the title of Cuomo’s investigation Career at the Cost of Compromise suggests and his investigation then shows, had certainly not sung songs 'which go against expectations.' His 'songs' had met them rather: numerous pieces of light, folksy entertainment, as demanded by the authorities, precisely to 'lull' the German audience 'asleep.'" Axel Vieregg on Gunter Eich • Berlin Review of Books
"Imitation in Dryden’s sense of the word meant an English version of a poem in Latin aimed at people who knew Latin—a sort of cover version. I use existing translations and commentaries and essays to tell me what’s going on; after that I’m on my own. That is why, when talking about War Music or Kings to myself, I call them my 'Homer poems.' But in public I call them 'an account,' a word I chose because it has a neutral, police-file air to it." Christopher Logue in conversation with Shusha Guppy • Paris Review
"When the feed-mill co-operative where he worked was taken over by Amalgamated Farmers in 1991, Reading refused to wear the company overalls, and was promptly dismissed. Of course, overalls are all right for 'other' people, 'the gross sub-species and freaks, swilling at the bar,' say, that Reading writes about in 5x5x5x5x5." Ian Sansom • TLS
"We are out of the Commonwealth loop, [Jose] Dalisay asserts, and while American colonization gave us the English that we use for our writing, we all seem to have forgotten that, and we’re like the bastard children that appear at the family Christmas dinner. There are no favors to be had from our colonial fathers here, and it can only be difficult to deal with expectations." Katrina Stuart Santiago • GMA News Online
"Each separate version is a testament to the dictum that every translation is a single critical reading. Multiple translations speak to one another in a conversation as lively as if the translators were in one room, in one reading group, at one time." J. Kates on Anne Carson • Harvard Review

New poems

Rory Waterman Manchester Review

Margaret Gibson Georgia Review

Nathaniel Mackey Blackbox Manifold

D Nurske Threepenny Review

Kerry Hardie The Bow-Wow Shop

Kathleen Jamie Poetry Review

Charles Wright Kenyon Review

CK Williams Threepenny Review

Graham Foust Gulf Coast

Mark Strand Kenyon Review

Helen Mort Blackbox Manifold

Mads Bajarias Philippines Free Press

Campbell McGrath Ploughshares

Emmalea Russo Anderbo

Henry Israeli Fail Better

Eliza Victoria Stone Telling

Vona Groarke Poetry Daily / Poetry Ireland Review

Claire Crowther Blackbox Manifold

Caroline Manring 2River View

Javier O. Huerta Three Candles

Glyn Maxwell Poetry Review

Paul Batchelor Manchester Review

Alice Lyons Poetry


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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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