The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"[Emily Dickinson's] best fifty poems are probably among the best hundred poems ever written. Do her 1789 poems taken together constitute the best long poem ever written?" Michael Ryan • At Length
"It will be a shame if The Eyes – not least 'Advice', 'Profession of Faith' and 'Siesta', all included here – is solely remembered as catalyst to the marked turn in [Don] Paterson's work evident from Landing Light (2003)." Ben Wilkinson • Guardian
"This is vatic, not quite satirically so, but not perfectly seriously either. [Don] Paterson’s tonal delicacy allow ideas, though important, to become somewhat less important here than mood." Daisy Fried • At Length
"Arguably, what the anti-war movement and the social movements in general need now is less poetry and more and better propaganda." Dave Lordan on Greg Delanty • Southword
"One is present at the spectacle of a poet looking back over his life in some bemusement at the twists and turns of it, and not all that far from a condition of dread at what is yet to come." Norm Sibum on Daryl Hine • Encore
"The internet has transformed our culture [...] On the one hand, there is the world of most British newspaper reviews: bland, parochial and homogeneous. On the other, there is a newly available world of reviews from small literary magazines and websites from across the Atlantic and across the Channel." David Herman • PN Review
"I've struggled, on occasions, to feel at home with some of Glyn Maxwell's own verse. But this is the best book about poetry I've ever read; certainly the only one that's made me laugh out loud." Adam Newey • Guardian
"In later life Beckett was highly intolerant of his pre-Murphy prose but always looked fondly on his early poems, or the published ones at least." David Wheatley on Samuel Beckett • Irish Times
"[Robert] Pinsky would take two important lessons from his time at Stanford with [Yvor] Winters: an unfashionable belief that 'prose virtues…. Clarity, Flexibility, Efficiency, Cohesiveness' are essential to a poet’s technical repertoire; and an openness to the available traditions of poetry, to work by poets other than his like-minded contemporaries, no matter where they fell on the stylistic or political spectrum." Jeremy Bass • The Nation
"Like all clock-watchers the end defines the present tense. I am unable to forget that which has not even happened." George Shaw • Bow Wow Shop
""These are poems saturated with a language that wilfully exposes to us its (and by implication our) limitations the more [Dennis] O'Driscoll insists we hear it." Fran Brearton • Guardian "Puns make language face two ways, and are destabilising. And there is something tonally destabilised about this book, despite its tremendous coherence of style and topic." Fiona Sampson • Irish Times
"Eliot’s advocacy of John Donne helped make his reputation as a literary critic, in essays such as 'The Metaphysical Poets' in 1921. Five years later, however, 'Lancelot Andrewes' is structured as a comparison of the two 17th-century preachers, to Donne’s marked disadvantage. Donne, Eliot grants, is a more exciting and dramatic writer of prose than Andrewes; but that is exactly why he is spiritually inferior." Adam Kirsch • New Statesman
"The frequent alignment of radical aesthetics with reactionary politics is old news. It is naïve to believe that utopian ideas of a better society will always be progressive: nostalgia for a better time (before cities, before industry, before immigration, before democracy) motivates many artists and many worldviews. It is equally naïve to believe that good writers with bad ideas can somehow be edited out of cultural history." Christopher Benfey on Gertrude Stein • New Republic
"I might want to wander out now and then to drop in on [James] Joyce’s poetry, roughly contemporary with the first novel, those curious 'pomes,' wearing their spats and dandyish nosegays, occasionally taking up a putative lute to croon promises of theoretical love to unconvincing maidens in the windows of canvas-flat donjons." Michael Chabon on Finnegans Wake • NYRB
"Gu Cheng’s exile was a search for a place that he could call home and be himself." Hilary Chung • ka mate ka ora
"An editor afraid to challenge the hidebound notions of the day is not of much use." William Logan • New Criterion
"WN Herbert's informative and witty preface rightly urges readers simply to hurl themselves into the poems, but while many will be glad of work that lives up to the bracing injunction to stop making sense, it's helpful to have some idea of what the points of departure are, and to read Yang Lian's introduction and the various accompanying essays by the poet-critic Qin Xiayou on lyric, narrative and so on." Sean O'Brien • Guardian
"One of the things Modernism showed us was how to make a new relationship with, or find a new use for, the past or the contentious present, and for a writer who has been tut-tutted for subjectivity and emotional incorrectness — her ‘anger’ and her ‘sadness’ — there is an awful lot of the world in these poems, these epyllions or little epics that include history and history’s shards." Owen Richardson on Gig Ryan • Meanjin
"Poetry Parnassus is a chance for culture to take its rightful place in the building of a community of world citizens." Nii Parkes • Granta
"If he was always to one side of the English Establishment, however, he has come to be regarded, with Patrick Kavanagh, as one of the two finest mid-century Irish poets." Andrew McCullough on MacNeice • TLS
"Corbière lines up rules like toy soldiers, then cannons them." Olivia McCannon • MPT
"I found this in Box 31 of the Layton collection at Concordia University in Montreal. A clutch of pages stapled together; multiple drafts of a poem Irving Layton began, but never completed, towards the end of his writing." Donald Winkler • Vehicule
"If you can’t stomach the occasional reader disclosing that she doesn’t like your poems, well: There’s always law school." Michael Lista • Afterword "What I contend, along with Northrop Frye and W.H. Auden, is that negative reviewing does not enrich our literary culture: its alleged purpose can be accomplished with critical silence, and the harm it can cause — when we get it wrong — can be avoided." Jay Zwicky replies • Afterword
"It was Ngugi in his seminal Decolonising the Mind (Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1987) who distinguished between language as communication and language as a carrier of culture. Hartnett also understood this distinction and decided to do something about it." Thomas McCarthy on a new biography of Michael Hartnett • Southword
"The trouble with these resonant visions is their interchangeability: is the post-historical condition the same in Offaly as it is for the Flemish navigator? Is standing outside history – or claiming to – a sufficient guarantee of authenticity?" Aingeal Clare on Harry Clifton • Guardian "Clifton is not averse to allowing some of his diction to dazzle, or some of his phrases to startle by their sound or their originality. Oddly enough, this emerges just as the poems themselves can seem more occasional, dictated by a change in seasons, or a visit to a place, or a memory, or a book. In other words, there is an interesting meeting between what is casual in its origin and what is then worked on, crafted, chiselled, considered, revised and offered in a tightened form." Colm Toibin • Irish Times
"[TS] Eliot's adversaries will read this as an admission of antisemitism. Others will read it as a prejudice against literary incontinence, against polyphiloprogenitiveness." Craig Raine • Observer
"Mostly, it takes a while to confront things directly. Five years later, in that same godawful flat, I wrote my first poem." Michael Hofmann • Poetry
"I never have a sense of what a book is going to be about, until long after the poems have been written and I’m trying to see how they speak to one another." Carl Phillips in conversation with Michael Klein • Ploughshares
"Late style in Michael Palmer is not the willful intransigence Adorno admires in Beethoven’s final works. Rather, it is a deepening of themes, a move toward a radical simplicity, a return, in other words, as in a sonata, to first statements, in the key of clarity." Patrick Pritchett • Jacket2
"More to the point, the poems in which Redgrove’s strengths combine without being compromised are few. But when this does occur, the result is magnificent and unlike anything else in the canon." David Sergeant • Oxonian Review

New poems

Mark Bibbins Floating Wolf Quarterly

Mary Szybist Burnside Review

John Rice New Writing Cumbria

David Mohan Southword

Norm Sibum Encore

Kay Ryan Poetry

WS de Piero Poetry

WS de Piero Poetry

Ernest Hilbert Boston Review

Fiona Smith Southword

Julia Copus Poetry Review

John Montague Gallery

Seamus Heaney Guardian

David Ferry Threepenny Review

Paul Batchelor Poetry Review

Caroline Crew Sixth Finch

Brian Teare Chicago Review

Matthew Zapruder Poetry London


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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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