The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"I am persuaded on the basis of his most memorable poems to recognize [Jack Gilbert's] stature as approaching that of a major poet, although I often want to consign him to what I call the maverick tradition: not Roethke or Wright, but Vachel Lindsay, Jack Spicer, and Charles Reznikoff, distinguished outliers of our verse tradition. His whole career must look to him like a pilgrimage to deeps and destinations beyond the shores of realism, but to his readers the same journey may also look like an escape." David Rigsbee • Cortland Review
"But what Nicholas Roe’s book shows is that Keats was possessed and pursued by death: his father’s mysterious fall from a horse, the death of his mother and brother from the consumption that would destroy him as well." John Montague • Irish Times
"At the risk of bastardising the work of one the greatest of all poets, here goes[.]" Margarida Madaleno on translating Ricardo Reis • New Statesman
"We cannot, now, not know the circumstances behind [Sorley] MacLean’s editorial rethinking of his own work, and we must be grateful to his editors for their clear exposition of that act of ‘psychomachia’, as Whyte wisely calls it. But gaining this knowledge only helps us to see more clearly the commanding artistry that led MacLean to redraft not just a poem, but his entire œuvre." WN Herbert • Poetry London
"The question you have to keep coming back to with [William Carlos] Williams is why is he saying this. What is he feeling. What am I feeling, being led around by this person. He’s leading us around and it’s exciting, but why. To some extent it doesn’t matter; he wins on points, as they say." Jordan Davis • Constant Critic
"Poetry has its uses for despair. It can carve a shape in which a pain can seem to be; it can give one’s loss a form and dimension so that it might be loss and not simply a hopeless haunting. It can do these things for one person, or it can do them for an entire culture. But poetry is for psychological, spiritual, or emotional pain. For physical pain it is, like everything but drugs, useless." Christian Wiman • American Scholar
"I might do it all over differently and change everything from the past in order to teach my students to be more like Bishop. To live first. To live as a way to discover writing. To write only what matters to you. To write only what interests you in the most compulsive and impulsive and formal ways. To resist the didactic and to embrace the art." David Biespiel • The Rumpus
"[Donald] Allen's anthology contained no professors of poetry. American Hybrid seems to contain little else. The poets in Allen’s anthology had not won any prizes. The poets in American Hybrid are loaded with them. Is this perhaps a rather superficial point of comparison? Or is it a sign of what has happened to American poetry since 1960?" Peter Riley • Fortnightly Review
"The poem is, amongst other things, an expression of [FT] Prince's wish for the liberating constraint of poetic form – and the tyrant he is importuning may well be the reader." Paul Batchelor • Guardian
"It takes considerable stubbornness not to betray doubt and incompleteness into consolation before due time [...] Wainwright keeps his powder dry for the apt occasion, which then ushers the reader back into the maze – itself a "phantasm of order" – of this most uncommonplace book." Sean O'Brien on Jeffrey Wainwright • Guardian
"[Coleridge's] phrase, ‘quick reciprocations’, gives the impression of rhythm and counter-rhythm; and that, of course, is how rhythm works in English-language poetry." James Aitchison • Agenda
The problem of describing Williams is not unlike the problem of calculating the area of an irregular curved polygon before calculus. There are incomplete answers: is he the president of plain speech, is he the czar of post-iambic pentameter prosody, is he the good doctor, the Chekhovian doctor-short story writer, is he the folksy opposite number to Eliot as a suitor for Pound’s approval. But there are very few accounts of Williams’s affect. Jordan Davis • Constant Critic
"In their fundamentally antithetical way, Reis’s rather self-conscious Horatian restraint and Caeiro’s plain-speaking anti-Romanticism do not just dramatize an argument about poetry, they articulate a much deeper and more interesting quarrel with ourselves." Andrew McCulloch on Pessoa • TLS
"I’m interested in what it means to have a poem and an image together, and what that can do to further both, instead of taking away from either one." Elizabeth Harball on Bianca Stone • Poetry
"In the warren of narrow streets surrounding the last home of the poet Constantine P. Cavafy, faces are disappearing: specifically, the hair, the lips and eyes of mannequins." Carol Berger • LARB
"[Craig] Dworkin's work reminds me of Cornell boxes: the same structural fidelity, the same sense of the visibly unpacked, which is related to the visual, but not exhausted by it." Vanessa Place • Constant Critic
"But they are virtuous, both of them." Helena Nelson on James Fenton and Clive James • Poetry Review (pdf)
"For all that Minhinnick’s poetry can be seen as emerging from a particular place, it is by no means parochial." David Lea • Literateur
"Clifton was an uncommonly welcoming writer—and, perhaps related, she was also an unapologetic one."Jonathan Farmer • Slate
"Bei Dao’s poetry translates well in its bold imagery and implicit and oblique politics, using nature in a symbolism of indirection that is as subtle as it is apparent." Jonathan Hart • Harvard Review
"Six of my poems were recently translated into Catalan, a language that a half-century of Fascism couldn’t stamp out. Is American poetry as durable, I wonder?" Henri Cole • New Yorker

"Those who question Robbins’s taste ought to sample AE Stalling's Olives."Abigail Deutsch • Poetry
"[Eugenio Montale] is the last major Italian poet . . . to see his spirit as fundamentally consonant with those of his predecessors, to conceive of his own project as a full-scale coming to terms with the engendering past." Steve Donoghue • Quarterly Conversation 
"Critical labels, or some critical labels at least, have meanings and histories that cannot be overwritten by the herding instinct of the press-release. Yet if the literary movement is a community of sorts (‘A literary movement’, said AE, ‘consists of five or six authors who live in the same town and hate each other cordially’), a more developed theory of its dynamics ought to be among [Fiona] Sampson’s priorities. Critics study, but need not succumb, to groupthink. Beyond the Lyric has problems resisting the temptation." David Wheatley • Tower Poetry
"Of course Oswald describes her 'approach to translation' as 'fairly irreverent' and that she's 'aiming for translucence rather than translation'; what translator today is declaring her goal a stuffy, cautious fidelity? We're supposed to be irreverent now, aren't we?" Jason Guriel • PN Review
"[R]appers enjoy collaborations, gatherings on boats, and the right to squash foes real and imaginary and pun all day without reprisal. And let’s not forget the heart of it, the exaltation of sailing endlessly on a rhythmic current of speech. If Jay-Z wants to be thought a poet, many actual poets would probably jump at the chance to switch places." James Guida • n+1  
"[Arthur] Rimbaud seemed to prove you could expect untold riches merely from impishly sidling through a life of unremarkable experiences and fleeting attractions." Jon Stone • BODY
"Both [Philippe] Jaccottet's and [Pierre-Albert] Jourdan's poetry is grounded in nature, yet it is far from being 'nature poetry.' It is not 'inspired' by nature the way some melancholy, idle observer watching a garden from behind a lace-curtained window might be. It is a poetry born out of the desire to cross the line between nature and the invisible beyond it." Daniela Hurezanu • Quarterly Conversation
"If verse technique from meters and quatrains to collage and material appropriation is tied to particular interests, the codes of which convey particular values; and if sifting off the techniques from the values is a kind of deracination to be deplored; then one is positing a kind of authentic poem vs. an inauthentic one." Joshua Weiner on Charles Bernstein • LARB
"[Martial] was more than a gossip columnist, for amidst his calumnies he maintained a critic’s eye for the moral paradoxes and a poet’s ear for condensing the complex silliness around him into poised, urbane verse." N Bryant Kirkland • Agenda
"We speak without fear of prison. But these poems — many featuring, and celebrating, pussy, vagina or other post-watershed words — reveal the censorship we have internalised, from church and state. Many of the contributors are activists in their writing and outside it; but for some, this is their first time putting their words on the line, thinking about what it means to push back against censorship, with its physical and psychic threats. In doing so, we push, pull, and play with language and poetic form: this portfolio isn’t worthy or hand-wringing, it’s vivid and outrageous."
Sophie Mayer • English PEN

New poems

Scott Garson Conjunctions

Eamon Grennan Cortland Review

Fiona Benson New Statesman

Jessica Baran Bombsite

Amy Pickworth Smartish Pace

Matthew Rohrer Smartish Pace

Karen Solie Poetry London

James Davies E ratio

Grace Bauer Terrain

Noelle Kocot Harp & Altar

Albert Abonado Memorious

Ciaran Berry Gulf Coast

Nikolai Duffy E ratio

James Fenton Paris Review

Justin Quinn B O D Y

Kevin Prufer Gettysburg Review

Peter Campion At Length

Rachel Hadas New Criterion

Declan Ryan Poetry Review (pdf)

Frederick Seidel Boston Review

J Crouse E•ratio

Oliver de la Paz Memorious


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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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