The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"[P]lagiarism is something different from appropriation for me. Plagiarism signals not making the reader aware of the source text; appropriation (again, for me), hinges on the relationship between the source text and the new text that appropriates the source text." Andy Frazee in conversation with Stephen Daniel Lewis • HTML Giant
"So much the worse, [Philip] Larkin's enemies might say. Not only does Larkin behave badly. When he's caught out he uses his literary gifts to throw a consolatory film of aesthetic propriety over what was in fact nothing more than a shabby betrayal. What such a riposte would miss, however, is also the main revelation of this corpus of letters, namely that literature and literariness were, for Larkin and Monica, the ground and medium of their exceptional intimacy." David Womersly • Standpoint
"In altering and fictionalizing a past period of his own artistic production, therefore making it both further from himself (through falsification) and nearer to himself (through recollection), [Ben] Lerner calls to mind fellow poet, Rilke, whose 1910 novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge similarly reimagines the travails of a fledgling alter ego--in both cases, importantly, a less promising and less capable persona than the 'authentic' poet-novelist." Laura Kolbe • Open Letters Monthly
"They had hit me hard enough so that I was sore for days, but not hard enough to leave much of a mark. I wasn’t so badly off. One of my colleagues, also a poet, Geoffrey O’Brien, had a broken rib. Another colleague, Celeste Langan, a Wordsworth scholar, got dragged across the grass by her hair when she presented herself for arrest." Robert Hass • NYT
"Leibowitz seems to think that poets deploy their poems primarily as evidence for biography." Daisy Fried • NYT
"An audience member asked [Robert] Hass what it was like spending decades translating Milosz. He answered: 'Like being alive twice.'" Cynthia L Haven • TLS
"He was, and he liked to play, the provincial versifier relishing his distance from “the literary world”; at the same time he liked to know about that world and to be known by it." Alan Jenkins on Peter Reading • TLS
"The [French poetry] we read as new today looks more like the European poetry of 100 years ago than that of either 150 or 50 years ago, a fact based in a revitalized sense of poetry’s potential political role, or at least its obligation to try for one. While honoring Mallarmé’s dictum to give 'a purer meaning to the language of the tribe,' it more closely parallels a cultural project that began a little later, in the work of the early avant-garde writers at the turn of the previous century who used poetry and performance to register social resistance and to demand a different relationship between art and daily life." Cole Swensen • Aufgabe
"[A] writer might radically employ or engage tradition or 'the old.' Depending on who is doing the seeing, 'old' is sometimes quite unique and can even come across as 'unfamiliar' which might appear, to some writers, to be 'new.' Jill Magi • Aufgabe
"[N]o phrase better captures [Shane] McCrae’s ability to startle lyric’s most timeworn materials back to life than this one from 'Crows': 'spring the trees / Are raw with birds.'" Five microreviews from Boston Review
"In his own words, this combination of painstaking care and "ninety percent misanthropy" is the "slick prestidigital art of Not Caring/Hopelessly Caring"." Robert Potts on Peter Reading • Oxford Poetry
"[C]urrently Lowell's cork is being swamped by proximity to Bishop's. In this case gender politics, the demise of grand public poetry, the triteness of much confessional writing and the centrality of post-modern poetry (with its linguistic playfulness) play their part in the changing fortunes." Tony Roberts on Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop • PN Review
"This was slam poetry as our grandparents practiced it, or at least witnessed, in town plazas and similar public spaces where verses were interwoven with current topics and concerns of the day, engaging the community, long before electronic beats, B-boys, baseball caps, and jeans worn low on the hips arrived on the scene." Luis H. Francia • Inquirer
"We are, it seems, hopeless and inevitably subject to the limitations imposed by conditions that keep us engaged with the plane of immanence. So be it." Johanna Drucker • Aufgabe
"Bloom sinks into disenchantment with the Disinformation Age. Vendler remains unconcerned or even oblivious to it. Garber sees risk and transformation, but she never seems clear which way the winds will blow. Perloff, though, is eager to sail off into a new century full of promise and opportunity." Joseph Campana on Marjorie Garber, Helen Vendler, Marjorie Perloff, and Harold Bloom • LARB
"He had abandoned carpentry and returned to our town to become what he called a Destructionist. This meant quite literally that he took things apart. His plan, he said, was to deconstruct every object that he had ever built, starting with his house. But he stressed—he was at pains to stress—that taking something apart is in fact far more difficult than putting something together. The hard part, he said, was figuring out where one object ends and the other begins. You have to know where to stop. And to illustrate this point he took a pocketknife out of his coat and brought the blade to his wrist." Joseph Cardinale • Conjunctions
"Of course, no single achievement of George’s matches John’s in any imaginable way. These aren’t the versatile James brothers, William and Henry, or the collaborating Grimms or Wrights. John [Keats] wrote a dozen of the finest lyrics in the English language, including the great odes on the Grecian urn and the nightingale and melancholy, which arrived in a sustained flurry during the spring of 1819. And George? George built a steam-­powered sawmill near Beargrass Creek in Louisville." Christopher Benfey • NYT
"Lines collect for years, but once in a while they discover that other lines are sexy and, well, the poems may come from that sort of a relationship. If I am lucky. Which isn't often. But one has to have faith." Ilya Kaminsky •
"You end the book thinking that if this is poetry, it's a trivial art." David Sexton on Carol Ann Duffy • Evening Standard "Duffy is a popular poet, with the emphasis firmly on the poetry, not the popularity. She has us listen in to the music of the quotidian, develops our litmus for lies." Liz Lochead • Guardian
"Eschewing both out-there lyricism and the vague contentless melodrama common to much contemporary poetry, O'Donoghue relies on more subtle textural effects. In doing so, he appears to obey Elizabeth Bishop's advice that one shouldn't take 'the catastrophic way out' when writing a poem." Vidyan Ravinthiran • Tower Poetry
"Williams’s achievement as a writer ought to feel as assured or as controversial as Byron’s or Tennyson’s, but Leibowitz has inherited a good dose of Williams’s defensiveness, and, as his discussion of the Armory Show suggests, 'Something Urgent I Have to Say to You' relies heavily on Williams’s retrospective comments about the life and work, often leaving the more interestingly conflicted historical record untouched." James Longenbach • The Nation
"The Hudson house is also, if you look at the photographs, very French. The look and feel is partly what one might expect a rich French burgher to buy for his house in the 1890s if he were ever so slightly Bonapartist-reactionary. It looks like the kind of house that Rimbaud dreamed of escaping. To render Rimbaud ever so slightly fustian, so minutely dusty and Jamesian-convenable, is to enhouse the wanderer again, to retrofit the language of adolescence." Adam Piette on John Ashbery's translation of Arthur Rimbaud • Blackbox Manifold
"I think I came to a serious attitude towards poetry by a side path, getting a great colourful experience in this way." Anna Auziņa in conversation with SJ Fowler • 3:AM
"With Margaret’s death, her financial provision for Pound ceased: he was back among the anxieties of Grub Street, 'the old ring-around with wire-pulling concealed,' as he called it. Within a few months he was writing to Homer: 'I am in my "last ditch" and I want you, if you can, to stand to the guns. My patron is dead—has been for some months.' 'My finances have gone to smash,' he told his mother." Denis Donoghue • New Criterion
"I find it hard to read without thinking of Armitage’s startlingly good ‘You May Turn Over and Begin...’; also coupletted, also taking its relatively dry opening and wandering off to come hurtling back to its opening now laden with massive emotional freight (although Armitage’s girl being tall and spindly rather than big-toothed)." Joey Connolly on Tom Warner • Kaffeeklatsch
"I feel sorry for this highly-educated biographer, a man of great faith, as he tries to understand his poet. A provincial poet will always choose the most unreasonable position. It is a matter of survival. An unreasonable position is the best vantage point from which a writer can assess the veracity of his critics and the temperature of his nation." Thomas McCarthy • Irish Examiner
"Against the increasing threats to the planet, a capitalism astray, and continuing historical debilities, such geniality proffers its steady and wonderful appeal." Steven Matthews on Derek Mahon and Geoffrey Hill • Poetry Review (pdf)
"When she tells me that 'poetry reveals the face of justice through syntax, balance, image,' I check to make sure my wallet’s still there. But when she says 'God is aeronautics and orange,' it doesn’t matter that I don’t believe it. Where’s the problem?" Michael Robbins • Poetry
"In this sense, the only figures comparable to you in modern letters are Stephanie Meyers, author of the Twilight Saga, and Philip Pullman who, you’ll be pleased to know, has written a preface to a new edition of Paradise Lost." Gwyneth Lewis addresses John Milton • Poetry Review
"I’m not all that interested in 'innovative' poetry. To me it usually denotes a kind of high culture, high taste label. And also a sense of linear futurity that I think is not only boring but oppressive. I’m far more interested in the degraded and anachronistic, the trashy and the melancholic. Even 'the poetic.'" Johannes Göransson in conversation with SJ Fowler • 3:AM

New poems

Douglas Dunn Guardian

Nikky Finney Poetry

Jane Yeh PN Review

Ben Fama Jubilat

Barbara Hamby American Poetry Review

Ruth Stone Poetry

Anthony Caleshu Conjunctions

Fanny Howe Conjunctions

Cole Swensen Almost Island

Brian Lucas Conjunctions

Heather Christle Boston Review

Brittany Cavallaro The Collagist

Sarah Riggs Conjunctions

Lynn Jenner Turbine

Zosimo Quibilan Jr Asia Writes

Rita Ann Higgins Manchester Review

Sarah Riggs Reading Between A&B

Michael Symmons Roberts MLF (scroll down)

JT Welsch Boston Review

Dan Brady Shampoo


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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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