The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"Roe doesn’t devote many sentences to Keats’s major poems, but in his effort to say something new about the great odes of 1819, he pushes this combination of dogged literalism and unhinged speculation to new heights." James Longenbach • The Nation
"How could a poet possibly bear to live in such a place?" Peter Riley on working-class poets • Fortnightly Review
"[Jack] Gilbert also employs a diverse range of techniques that distance the perceived 'I' of the poet from the heat of his materials, as if Gilbert were some forge-master in one of the great factories from the Pittsburgh of his youth who, drawn to the most fiery and luminous piece of ore, must use cold metal tongs in order to lift that brightness as close as possible to the eye." Jeremy Bass • LARB
"Fortunately, she agreed to speak to me and set down her side of the story." Sam Jordison talks to Olwyn Hughes Guardian
"At the same time, my poems tend to draw attention to their constructedness, to make use of citation and collage, to include discursive or overtly philosophical language, and to do their best never to devolve into reportage, or worse, into the glimmery complacent idiom used for poignant reminiscences one might associate with much mainstream poetry. For these reasons, some critics and poets associated with the avant garde have been receptive to my work. I’ve been lucky. In the end I think most of my readers have been synthesizers like myself, whether they come from my generation or from the generation before or after mine." Timothy Donnelly • Harper's
"The demands of her poetry might frustrate the reader, but her thoroughness was a reward of her writing. Now, she has applied that same precision and nuance to happier ends." Adam Plunkett on Louise Gluck • New Republic
"Game of Thrones is only an elaborate fantasy but it plays cutely on those notes of pain, guilt, doubt and dread of which [Geoffrey] Hill is a master. And his vocation is to make us see that we don’t escape the nightmares of our history simply by sur viving and forgetting them: we trample the earth where these things happened, our mouths are filled with the words that justified and consecrated them." Peter Popham • New Statesman
"Viewed as a whole, however, [Kent Johnson's]book presents a serious question: if “A True Account” had been written by Kenneth Koch, or by Susie Q. from Peoria, Illinois and published in a high school newspaper instead of in The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara, what would its perceived value be? A Question Mark, only semi-authentic itself, presents a challenging critique of authenticity in literature." Jenny Hendrix • New Republic
"It was Rodin, so the story goes, who urged Rilke to take himself to the Jardin des Plantes in Paris and pick one of the animals in the zoo there and study it in all its movements and moods until he knew it as thoroughly as a creature or thing could be known, and then write about it. The result was “The Panther,” one of Rilke’s early masterpieces and as revolutionary in its way as anything by Eliot or Pound." John Banville NYRB
"That sense of inheritance plays out in other ways, too. I’ve a sense that many of these poems may be made from other poems, though I would always be too busy to spend the time diligently checking. But even if the lines themselves aren’t inherited there’s the sense that much of the poetry is: there are poems that begin with a line from Whitman, Williams, Olson, or O’Hara, others that end with a phrase from Berryman, and so on: the inheritance and heritage of language, the way, in language, we map ourselves, the way, in turn, we are ourselves mapped by language." Nikolai Duffy on David Herd • Literateur
"When I was nineteen and in my first blush of Byromania, I once lay in bed convalescing from a freak accident (which had caused me a trip to the hospital to get the arteries in my nose cauterized, fully conscious, fully excruciating), reading André Maurois on Byron, in Norwegian of all tongues, in a provincial Danish town. I fell asleep and dreamt it was circa 1808 and I was the young Byron, shirtless in some London stable or yard, boxing for fun, encircled by a number of dandies. But, curiously, they called me Byrne or Burn in the dream, and when I not long after read somewhere that they at times pronounced his name that way, I experienced one of those little mindquakes that youth affords us." Elvis Bego • Threepenny Review
"I suppose festival managers think that in order to stir up in a stunned populace a faint flickering of enthusiasm for poetry one needs to take its knickers down and make it bare its teeth. This kind of thing might constitute a reason for the apparently widespread occurrence of nervous depression. Matthew Arnold, in his essay on Heinrich Heine, wrote: 'Philistia has come to be thought of by us the true Land of Promise and it is anything but that: the born lover of ideas, the born hater of commonplaces, must feel in this country, that the sky over his head is of brass and iron.'" John Hartley Williams • The Bow Wow Shop
"[Sam] Riviere is a natural successor to Peter Reading, and 81 Austerities is the beautiful bucket of Technicolor sick our times require." David Wheatley on four first books of poems • Poetry London
"Comfortable in two languages – like Isaac Singer, Joseph Conrad, Vladimir Nabokov, Samuel Beckett, Czesław Miłosz, Julien Green, Milan Kundera and André Brink before him – [Algerian writer, Rashid] Boudjedra’s example however corresponds more closely to that of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, since both were primarily driven by a political dissatisfaction with their respective colonial languages." Andre Naffis-Sahely • PN Review
"Kenny Dalglish, or the patients from the hospital, should be as open to the processes of poetic re-imagination and representation as the life of Keith Douglas. The same applies to the poems I have written in reaction to Paula Rego's combination of artistic narrative, expression and technique." Owen Lowery • Independent
"When I say I’m a poet, I mean I spend time placing things adjacent to one another and seeing what results. It’s like making a mosaic without having a fixed image or pattern to follow. It’s easy to juxtapose the London Riots and London 2012, harder to work out what to make of their proximity." Lytton Smith • LARB
"Who cares if we establish sufficient avant-garde street cred? Believe me, I’ve got post-postmodern messes to make with language, confrontations and collaborations and appropriations to enact and refract, but I’ve also got stories to tell, suffering to relate, characters to envoice." BK Fischer in conversation with Andrew Wessels • The Offending Adam
"Finally, the disgust is glorious, vivid, diagnostic. Objections to sexism in this passage are anachronistic; Baudelaire’s always most revolted by himself.
We in America could use more romantic self-disgust. (Frederick Seidel thinks so. Ooga Booga is the Fleurs du Mal of our time.)" Daisy Fried • Poetry
"Anyone who misses the Pushkin music, he said, must be tone-deaf. 'A bear has stepped on your ear' (Medved na ukho nastupil), he once told me, quoting a Russian proverb." Michael Johnson • Open Letters Monthly
"In the 1990s the socialist transformation was being counter-transformed, and so literature could not continue to co-create it. But supposing one made a clean break with all that, as Šulej and his generation wanted to do, this would also imply rejecting what was associated with the co-creator’s role: the elevated idea of the poet’s calling and the many high or earnest attitudes that came with it. And where did that leave the poet?" John Minahane on Slovak poets • DRB
"Within capitalism, accumulation is the content of all political forms ('Accumulate, accumulate! That is Moses and the prophets!' wrote Marx); lacking this content, the political in our moment presents a situation of pure formalism." Joshua Clover • Lana Turner
"O’Driscoll’s tribute to another writer echoes that of Milosz himself for those who went before him along a “well-worn path”, and the world’s return to its “unhappened” state." Michael Caines • TLS
"“Just look out the window at how gray and vertical everything is,” he said to me. “I guess I’ve spent so many years here and know the place so well, it’s almost dissolved into my past.”" John Ashbery profiled by Michael H Miller • NY Observer
"The editor didn’t understand why I had spent quite so long speculating on the anal carbuncle that plagues the murderous frontiersman Jacobus Coetzee in Dusklands (1974). The pages and pages devoted to analysing Coetzee’s early, algorithm-generated poetry were intriguing (he wrote), but perhaps only to the specialist. It was somewhere at the edge of Lake Malawi, during an episode of heatstroke on a long-distance cycling trip (made in honour of the Master of Cape Town) that I finally gave up trying to explain what JM Coetzee meant to me." Hedley Twidle • FT
"[Alice] Oswald’s annotated casualty list places the deaths within the same Bronze Age bureaucracy revealed when the Linear B tablets were deciphered—there was not a scrap of poetry, just inventories of sheep, goats and weapons. We shall be lucky if what remains of our culture is more than a pile of Walmart receipts." William Logan • NYT
"In this time of uncertainty in the publishing industry, in the early days of digital publishing, the production values and care of the book’s design [of Antigonick] are very telling, and may hint at one possible future direction for the printed book." Chrissy Williams • Hand + Star
"While poets, [Sophie Mayer] argues, were intrinsic to liberation struggles like the Civil Rights Movement in the States, poetry in Britain is embedded in the establishment. She bemoans the lack of sexual explicitness in British poetry, saying, 'We’re here, we’re queer–but that here is circumscribed, crypto-queer in code and wink' and argues convincingly that queer visibility is hijacked by 'the subtle censorship of sexuality, the coy refusal of pronouns, the curtailing of inappropriate emotions, the implicit suppression of political speech.' A queer poet laureate? I don’t think so." Cherry Smyth • Poetry Review (pdf)
"Cambridge steps lightly through this historical material, wearing the sandals of the poet, not the construction boots of the academic." John Foy on Gerry Cambridge • Contemporary Poetry Review
"He once described himself as "Lord of the Files", alluding to his long years in the office, but the title also described a poet whose work took cognizance of a new Ireland, a country moving from Sunday Mass to the shopping mall, from the divine presence to the Dawkins absence." Seamus Heaney on Dennis O'Driscoll • Guardian
"Yeats’ magical avocation presents a paradox to contemporary readers: how could this supremely disciplined poet, a Nobel laureate, the founder and first director of the Abbey Theatre, a senator of the Irish Free State, ever have attached himself to such transparently bogus cults?" Jamie James • Lapham's Quarterly
"[Sophie] Calle is renowned for pushing extremes; why did The Address Book actually hit one for her?" Lauren O'Neill-Butler • LARB
"[Giacomo] Leopardi’s thought is not unlike the Buddha’s: life is suffering and we augment our pain by our restless mind, with its desires and forebodings." Alan Williamson • LARB

New poems

Donora Hillard The Collagist

Mark Waldron & Jena Osman Like Starlings

Ross Hattaway About Place

Luke Samuel Yates Manchester Review

James Lasdun New Statesman

Elisa Gabbert The Collagist

Kate Kilalea Blackbox Manifold

George Szirtes Guardian

Andrew Hudgins New Criterion

Francisco Guevara Cordite Poetry Review

Andre Bagoo Almost Island

Jordan Reynolds The Offending Adam

Tom French Manchester Review

Mark Waldron Magma

Kara Candito Fail Better

John Ashbery Boston Review

Mabi David Cordite Poetry Review

Sophie Mayer Poetry Review (pdf)

Roy Fisher Blackbox Manifold

Jack Robinson CB Editions (pdf)

Snehal Vader Almost Island

Conchitina Cruz Diagram

Eireene Nealand Sidebrow

Barbara Hamby Poetry

Ben Lerner Poetry Daily / Paris Review

Jacob Polley Guardian


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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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