The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"When the app—$14 for one poem, displayed on a machine that costs several hundred dollars—emerged ethereally in our kitchen on my husband’s iPad, complete with service announcements and jargonish code, I was ambivalent." Tess Taylor on The Waste Land • Threepenny Review
"It is also a beautiful argument, furiously made, throwing us against the text fearlessly and asking us what we would do if we were standing in the 'Nick of Time' and about to be measured by it; asking whose side we pick, and who, in the end, is right." Kit Edgar on Anne Carson • Oxonian Review
"Now that he is entering his ninth decade, and more than half a century since he published his first full volume of poetry, Geoffrey Hill has surely earned the right not to have his new books judged instantly, and on the same terms as the mass of contemporary verse with which they are only literally contemporaneous." Peter McDonald on Geoffrey Hill • Tower Poetry
"Emotional intelligence will always distinguish the truly important poets." Fiona Sampson on Dawe and Delanty • Irish Times
"One of the book’s central concerns is art’s dangerous and necessary affiliations with the history of suffering." Geoffrey G O'Brien on Michael Palmer • Lana Turner
"[T]he doctor and the pilot, who were in the same room with me, looked at me and said, 'So, have you ever had any poetry emergencies?'” Mary Ruefle • Poetry
"[A] turn in syntax, where you think, wow, what was that, will awaken it, often long before any set of questions or impulses surface." Jorie Graham in conversation with JP O'Malley • Spectator
"A Mallarmé poem is typically a soufflé of synaesthetic delights, served up to all five senses with the icy skill of a Paris head waiter, crying out for orchestration by Debussy and illustrations by Manet." David Wheatley • Guardian
"Matthias’ style has two great influences: David Jones, whom he has edited in for Faber, and whose slightly ‘open-form’ writing Matthias actually rejects. What Matthias takes from Jones is an ability to take in cultural reference make it his own and then float it out, like a casting a fly upon a stream to land on the current of the sentence. Matthias’ other great influence is Robert Lowell in the period of For the Union Dead. That reference to Lowell will infuriate Matthias’ many admirers from the post-modern wing of trans-Atlantic poetry. But Matthias is, like Lowell, in many ways, a political poet showing how culture has been politicised and is politicising." Ian Pople • Manchester Review (scroll down)
"Reading these poems often involves asking, what will this sentence, what will this whole shape, turn out to be?" Peter Campion on David St John • LARB
"The words ‘exciting’ and ‘necessary’ are too often bandied about when a new(-ish) writer surfaces, but this book is both of these things. Jones reintroduces surrealism back into the mainstream of British poetry, but he also does something new. He shows that surrealism can deal with identity in a way which is contemporary and responsive to the internationalised lives which are lead in the twenty-first century." Ian Pople on Evan Jones • Manchester Review (scroll down)
"Fathers as well as mothers need metaphorical slaying. Among this book’s highlights is an essay about Yeats’s tangled relationship with his father, a frustrated writer. The elder Yeats repeatedly sent his famous son short stories and other writing and received mostly silence in return. His letters are filled with squirm-inducing implorings, like, 'Did you get my ‘poem’?' and 'Why don’t you tell me about my play?'" Dwight Garner • NYT
"Every generation has a default poem and, truth is, most of us who call ourselves poets do little other than mooch around in the margins of the default poem of our moment. Like or loathe his work, it is impossible to accuse Timothy Donnelly of that." Conor O'Callaghan • Antiphon
"[Y]ou just have to allow that poetry serves a purpose the way that music, theater, comic books, and graffiti serve a purpose: creative types can’t help but make their commentary through their art." Brooklyn Copeland in conversation with Anthony Opal • TriQuarterly
"[David] Jones sees not a word, but that he sees it divisibly—cross-sections of sediment, in which we can see all the way down to the bedrock, from contemporary usage through to the hundred layers of dead signs. Your first reading will barely cut the crust." Sara Nicholson • Octopus
"[Joshua] Harmon is a master at inventing new species of degradation: what could be more degraded than 'condominium oaks'? The bus shelter is not even made of glass, but of plexiglass." Donna Stonecipher • Rain Taxi
"In fact it's more common that a well-meaning elder, often a teacher, has instilled in a child a lifelong abhorrence of verse by drooling over an unfathomable passage from Chaucer – or, worse still, insisting that a pupil "explain" a poem, as if it were a riddle to which an answer should be provided." Simon Armitage • Guardian
"At his best, [Jack Spicer's] flights of fancy, sharp turns, and deliberate twists of syntax are only means towards achieving romantic goals." David Wallace • Harvard Book Review
"A poet worth reading lives in the present, which keeps changing continuously into something else. What worked yesterday in poetry won’t work today, so a poet has no choice but to find means to confront the times he lives in. What doesn’t change, however, is that we are still what we were centuries ago, minds reading themselves for clues to the meaning of their existence, astonished now and then to be alive, while being acutely aware of their own mortality." Charles Simic • NYRB
"I don't think good poetry can be produced in a kind of political attempt to overthrow some existing form. I think it just supersedes. People find a way in which they can say something. 'I can't say it that way, what way can I find that will do?' One didn't really bother about the existing modes." TS Eliot in conversation with Donald Hall • Paris Review (1959)
"Are these terms ('purity', 'efficiency', 'cleaning-up operation') meant to connect the Pound aesthetic to fascism, after all? Does [Marjorie] Perloff have in mind a deeper criticism she prefers to make obliquely?" Mark Dow • PN Review
"Again and again in [Jorge Carrera Andrade's] poems creatures are writing, typing, spelling, keeping manuscripts (that’s a clam), deciphering." Donna Stonecipher • Quarterly Conversation
"I work from an understanding that my voice is a conceptual and a made thing; it’s built from both my autobiography and my bibliography. One’s interiority is discovered through language usage, i.e., syntax." Peter Gizzi in conversation with Ben Lerner • Poetry
"Writing a poem is like going on a date: you don’t know what’s going to happen beforehand. But you can try to be present, awake, curious about where things are going to lead. You can try to be aware of where the energy is, when it rallies and when it starts to flag. What drives anyone to go on a date? The jackpot." Traci Brimhall, Amy Gerstler, Andrew Hudgins, and Timothy Liu in conversation with Jamie Quatro • Ploughshares
"A line suggests, for the moment, lateral, rather than linear, movement. It stays with something until the thing is done, or understood, or some understanding is gleaned. A line takes the time to listen to the words it holds, and asks the reader to do the same." Alberto Ríos •
"Where you once had predecessors, you now have predeceasors." Patrick McGuinness on Derek Mahon • Poetry London
"Ah, Charles Baudelaire, the visionary visionary, who once said Paris may change; my melancholy is fast, you have crawled from the depth of antiquity, by means of your own inky flourish, straight into the heart of our present day turmoil. What say you now, Charlie?" Mary Ruefle • Diagram
"Taste here implies more than a voguish savouring: it is rather a manner of engagement of the imagination with words that raises the stakes through exactness and discriminations of meaning, a plain style without niche rhetoric or bandstanding antics." Adam Piette on The 20th Century in Poetry and New Poetries V • Blackbox Manifold
"[Bob Dylan is] like Donald Duck with a social consciousness, as Paulo Francis says, quoting an American. Dylan did make a poetry that was to be recited, because he came from that line of the folk blues spoken song." Caetano Veloso in conversation with Régis Bonvicino, trans. Odile Cisneros • Sibila
"What can you teach, really teach? I’m a fiend. I assign. I find it awfully hard not to rewrite their things. I try very hard not to say, 'This is what should be done,' but sometimes I can’t resist it." Elizabeth Bishop in conversation with George Starbuck • Ploughshares (1977)

New poems

Dolores Dorantes, trans. Jen Hofer Poetry International

Aaron Crippen Otoliths

Rae Armantrout Lana Turner

Kerry Hines International Literary Quarterly

Angelo V Suarez Spindle

Adrienne Rich Paris Review

Henri Cole Threepenny Review

Eliza Victoria The Cabinet

Christian Barter At Length

CK Stead PN Review

Ben Mirov Augury

Zoe Skoulding Blackbox Manifold

Lyn Hejinian Floor

Emmanuel Lacaba Bulatlat

Amy King Boston Review

David Wheatley Poetry International

CD Wright

Anne Marie Rooney Conjunctions

Timothy Liu Boston Review

Cole Swensen Poetry

Alison Brackenbury Blackbox Manifold

Jean-Luc Raharimanana Words Without Borders

Matthew Zapruder ONandOnScreen

Sam Riviere Clinic

Geoffrey G O'Brien Wave Composition


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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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