The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"[Gerard Manley] Hopkins was careless about the fate of his poems, trusting to Heaven to make something of them – though it would take divine intervention to rescue those that the poet himself burned (the “slaughter of the innocents” as he noted in his journal) – and while Robert Bridges chose to delay for decades publication of the poems he had in his possession it should also be remembered that had Bridges not thought to ask the Jesuit Fr Wheeler in Dublin for the remaining papers of the priest the world would have lost the incomparable last sonnets." Sean Sheehan • DRB
"Wom-po was established by five women poets who “objected to aggressive grandstanding” by members of other online poetry discussion forums (Randall 25) – particularly the Contemporary American Poetry list, now defunct (Randall, message to the author). Wom-po has lasted long enough, and has been lively and large enough, to shape how women encounter poetry, disseminate their work, and build readerships; it constitutes a significant development for women's poetry." Lesley Wheeler • Contemporary Women's Poetry
"In Brautigan’s view, the beatniks were “those grunion of Grant Avenue who throw themselves up onto the cement”. Hjortsberg sees this opinion as the hallmark of an exacting writer: Brautigan observed the Beats “with the dispassionate distance of a lepidopterist studying butterfly migrations”." Michael LaPointe • TLS
"Official figures from Nielsen BookScan show a sharp decline in the overall poetry market in the last year." Alison Flood • Guardian
"Hopped up on Ezra Pound’s piratical attitude to moneymen as well as the doctrines of Imagism, [Ian] Hamilton launched himself, post-university, by starting The Review. He and a handful of like-minded contributors were soon feared as, in Craig Raine’s words, 'a tight little Baader-Meinhof group' gunning for overinflated reputations: Dylan Thomas-like bardic wafflers, desiccated Movementeers, pop poets, establishment worthies, the lot." Philip Womack • Telegraph
"[Ted] Hughes once commented that one of the points of writing verse was to help its author come into fuller possession of his or her own experience. A good deal of his work stands as an implicit rejection of that world of narrowed possibilities accepted, however grudgingly, by the narrator in, say, many a Larkin poem. His verse makes one freshly aware—if one had forgotten it—how sterile and artificial much of contemporary life seems. In part, the poems’ animals and individualists are like the repressed parts of the psyche; they are exemplars of possibility. Hughes’ response to Donald Davie’s exhortation that, in the aftermath of 20th century history, we could be nothing but 'numb' was a fever of energy." Gerry Cambridge • The Dark Horse
"The teaching of poetry languishes, and that region of youthful neurological terrain capable of being ignited and aria’d only by poetry is largely dark, unpopulated, and silent, like a classroom whose door is unopened, whose shades are drawn." Tony Hoagland • Harper's
"On Saturday, I attend a panel titled 'The Russian Avant-Garde Goes Underground.' On Monday, I attend a reading of the work of three Russian poets. (I reject linear time and treat these two events as one.)" Sadie Stein • Paris Review
"His third book, Airstream Land Yacht (2006), marks a thematic break, if not a formal one. It is also much of an improvement. The poems are still about the world around the poet, but that world is more thoughtful, more abstract, less linear, even as it maintains its locality. The music of Babstock's lines is still more important than their meaning (or else he wouldn't try to get away with lines like 'We can't know what things mean / in the place / where they're meant'), but the music is subtler." Evan Jones on Ken Babstock and others • PN Review
"[Ezra] Pound and [Charles] Olson drive toward a choice that would proclaim, make women coequal with men. Then they turn the car. They just veer right off and you can see it happening. You see Pound kind of wobble." Rachel Blau DuPlessis in conversation with Andy Fitch • Conversant
"When I ask about poetry’s purpose, and whether it needs to be rescued, his reply reassures. “What’s the purpose of a sport like hockey or a video game like Halo 3?”" Kimberley Bourgeois on Carmine Starnino • Montreal Review of Books
"Pollock’s book—though it certainly espouses its aesthetic ideals with a firmness that will rankle with both those whose poetics stand at odds with them and, more moderately, those less willing to make hard-and-fast evaluative judgments—provides both a series of unusually nuanced and intelligent takes on individual poets and volumes and, taken as a whole, an erudite accounting of Canadian poetic identity in the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries." Stewart Cole • The Urge
"'Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work,' advised [Gustave] Flaubert. [Charles] Baudelaire did precisely the opposite." Stephen Akey • The Millions
"Rather than spending one’s time and energy defending the value of any given genre or mode, one might instead focus on imparting a sense of maximum permission and agency to go wherever it feels hottest to go, come whatever small-minded or misogynist opprobrium may." Roundtable discussion with Eula Biss, Sarah Manguso, Maggie Nelson, and Allie Rowbottom • Gulf Coast
"Spring should be a time of portents and premonitions, winged harbingers (“I dreaded that first Robin, so,” as Emily Dickinson put it with characteristic ambivalence) and new beginnings." Christopher Benfey on stichomancy • NYRB
"English poetry has taken an Oulipian turn of late, not just in Francis's work but that of Matthew Welton, Jon Stone and Jeremy Over [...] The risk is that whimsy or stylisation become ends in themselves and short-circuit these poems' capacity for drama." Aingeal Clare on Matthew Francis • Guardian
"Like a court jester, postmodern poetry may have been accommodated by the 'establishment' more than vilified by it." Peter Monaghan • Chronicle of Higher Education
"To be sure, RS Thomas was no bon vivant, but the prevalent caricature of the poet fails to acknowledge and even threatens to mask the quality of his verse." Alister Wedderburn • Standpoint
"In 1957, [Siegfried Sassoon] was delighted to find a modern poet whose work – with some reservations – he liked: Philip Larkin. He nevertheless confessed: 'O, the relief of getting back to Wordsworth from these "modern consciousness" acrobatics which meet my eye everywhere. It is like living out of doors in the country after attending a party of jabbering gin drinkers'." Peter Parker • TLS

"Should we conclude, then, that Catullus is playing literary games when he seems to be being serious about his feelings, and being serious about politics when he seems to be playing literary games?" GC Trimble • TLS
"He also married a woman who, like [Gabriele] D’Annunzio, was not quite what she seemed. Despite bearing the name of an old Catholic noble family, Maria di Gallese was in fact not of aristocratic descent: her father was a humble French non-commissioned officer. 'When I married him', Maria later wrote, 'I really thought I was marrying Poetry.' The couple soon separated." Christopher Duggan • TLS
"[A] true contemporary is out of joint with the times, and this alienation gives a perspective from which he sees the time in ways the time does not see itself. He sees, in particular, the persistence of the past in the present, and wishes to change or modify the present in ways that also reconfigure how we feel about the past. It’s a tall order, and contemporaries are rare. Robert Archambeau • B O D Y
"So here it is, our stab at cataloging 41 popular moves in 'contemporary poetry,' an exercise that’s fraught with peril, what with the competing definitions, camps, roles, and processes of 'contemporary poetry,' the nebulousness of calling something a 'move,' the inevitable non-definitiveness of such a list, and so on[.]" Mike Young • HTMLGIANT
"[U]nchecked freedom produces dull literature." Jan Baetens • Drunken Boat
"[D]iagram this, [Adrienne Rich] says—and suddenly I remember that 'grammar' and 'glamour' share an etymology in the Scots word for 'magic.' Try to diagram that." Ange Mlinko • The Nation
"I write the best poems I can for a few years, using whatever techniques I can summon, from writing exercises to just sitting and staring at a blank piece of paper until something happens. Then at some point after a few years I take a look at the pile of poems and very strictly put aside anything I think isn’t up to the highest standards, and see what I have. If there is a book there it is done. If not, I keep working until it is." Matthew Zapruder in conversation with Carly Joy Miller, Katie Fagan, and Jen Marshall Lagedrost • Hinged
"The new poetry won't present itself to us because we have theorized it correctly, but because the situation is new and we have entered into it alive." Joshua Clover in conversation with Brian Ang • Studio One Reading Series
"Unlike interpretive analyses, which more often than not are glass-bead games or fulfillment of tenure-track requirements, a genuine commentary enhances the pleasure and the understanding of the text. Moreover, it serves a public purpose." Lev Loseff • Yale Books
"So Matthew Arnold is terribly out of favour among contemporary poets. I myself find much of his poetry unreadable. But what a shock in the letters!' Amit Majmudar • The Dark Horse
"In the breathless rush of [Guillaume] Apollinaire’s lines, insouciant lightness and song are never far away." Christopher Winks • Bookforum

New poems

Donna Stonecipher Harp & Altar

Mary Jo Bang High Chair

Emilia Phillips Diagram

Donna Stonecipher Harp & Altar

Jakob VanLammeren Memorious

Jennifer Luebbers Boxcar Poetry Review

Liz Hildreth H_NGM_N

Donna Stonecipher Harp & Altar

Kathryn Cowles The Offending Adam

Alicia Salvadeo Diagram

Peter Sirr Poetry Ireland Review

Stefani Tran transit

Michael Rerick Harp & Altar

Gerard Beirne Dear Sir,

Joey Cannizzaro Dear Sir,

Kathryn Simmonds Manchester Review

Sasha Fletcher Boston Review

Conor O'Callaghan Manchester Review

Vincenz Serrano Manchester Review


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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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