The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"Just as [Stephen] Ratcliffe attends the shifts of light, sound, weather and language in his perceptual world, by attending 'days' shifts we experience and think-through the difference between perceptions that deepen and qualify, or vector out and shift away, or equally note and observe."
Karla Kelsey • Constant Critic
"Modern poetry recognises that places themselves are made of words: points on a map between inhabitants that can be traced by a poem. As Graham wrote in a note on his medium, 'the shape of all of us is in this language.'" Jeremy Noel-Tod • Telegraph
"[Terry] Eagleton rounds off this chapter and the book with a stanza from each of three poems, Swinburne’s Atalanta in Calydon, Amy Lowell’s The Weather-Cock Points South and William McGonagall’s River Bridge of the Silvery Tay. But Eagleton’s terms are not self-enforcing. Bad writing, they imply, is clever, calculated, glossy, voulu, slick, busy, contrived. Good writing is spontaneous, serviceable, economical, crisp, quiet, realist. These discriminations could only be sustained by a critique of manners, behaviours and social practices. In the absence of such a critique, Eagleton is asking us to take his words for values he has not earned." Denis Donoghue • Irish Times
"Plath exposed, as no one had before, the quintessential “nice girl” sex-anguish of her time: a mode of female desiring as incoherent, narcissistic, passive-aggressive, and self-canceling as it was misogynistic, daddy-obsessed, and morbidly heterosexual. But one shrinks at the ugliness and hysteria of the vision. Most off-putting, to my mind, is the way Plath made a repugnant and meticulously curated longing for death feel sexy and sublime. At least, that is, for a minute or two." Terry Castle • NYRB
"They believe poetry has the power, if not the obligation, to exceed interpretation, and their poems always hunt for larger intellectual frameworks to join (check out the endnotes in their books, which every season grow longer and more esoteric). We once prized homegrown styles cut off from the world. Today the rule is ‘only connect’. No association is too odd or unlikely. Ideas exist in a state of high-spirited hyperlinkability." Carmine Starnino on Canadian poetry as a steampunk zone • Lazy Bastardism / Lemon Hound
I wasn't interested so much in the 20th-century tradition of collage poetry--exemplified by "The Wasteland" and The Cantos--as in a more extreme approach in which, rather than weave obvious quotations into his or her words, the writer becomes a kind of scribe, transferring small or large passages, usually without attribution or other signals that these words were written by someone else. Raphael Rubinstein • UbuWeb / American Poetry Review
"Both the concept and feel of this original edition [of Leaves of Grass] suggest that [Walt] Whitman was attempting to unite the qualities of the material text, as an embodiment of visual and tactile object, with the rustic, nativist thematic content of his ambitious American poem sequence." Curtis Faville • Jacket2
"Calling bullshit isn’t easy." Kevin Young • VQR
"This notion of the Muse, however, is a contentious idea to [Graham] Foust, an irregular apparition that, rather than offering comfort, a “form for the formlessness,” only offers more confusion." Sean Patrick Hill • Iowa Review
"With the exception of a few novelists and one or two poets, North Africa remains a blind spot for many readers of today, irrespective of its intellectual, cultural, and artistic fecundity. The work of [Pierre] Joris and [Habib] Tengour serves as redress for the harm this ignorance has done, not only to the authors of the Maghreb, but also to the occidental poetic imagination." Beatriz Leal Riesco • Asymptote
"Much has been made of poetry’s ability to transform the everyday into the remarkable, to turn the familiar strange. And so it would seem almost damning praise to assign what has become an overly generalized virtue to Kasischke’s wholly idiosyncratic work. But [Laura] Kasischke doesn’t just make the familiar seem strange; she brings the strange closer and makes it, if not more familiar, a more constant, uneasy companion." Jeremy Bass • Kenyon Review
"It’s hard for a poet to look good in his Collected Poems, if by “collected” we mean anything like “complete.”" James Fenton on Larkin • Threepenny Review
"The index offers this fitting and satisfying advice: “To use this index pataphysically, simply refer to any other book of equivalent length.” Paul Cohen on Pataphysics: A Useless Guide • Fortnightly Review
""Having a carouse" is as ugly as it is daft. I can't recall ever having had one. They opt for "intoxicating", which suggests delirious happiness, rather than the unromantic "drunkenness" he uses. That interfering exclamation mark spoils the look as well as the felicitous melancholy of the poem, as Keeley and Sherrard understood. Their edition of the collected poems, published in 1975, remains unsurpassed." Paul Bailey • Guardian
"Reading [Charles] North, one wants to reassure him—it’s all there, what you put in the poem comes through [...] I want to say it to North even when he’s quoting other poets, which he does better than practically anybody: 'It wasn’t Wallace Stevens who said, “They have cut off my head, and picked out all the letters of the alphabet—all the vowels and consonants—and brought them out through my ears; and then they want me to write poetry! I can’t do it!” It was John Clare. Wallace Stevens said—something like—the best poems are the ones you meant to write. That has a nice sound but it’s hard to see how he or anyone would know that.'" Jordan Davis • The Constant Critic
"Ashbery is cleverer than he seems, but his critics are too clever by half, or three-quarters. He has attracted more willful and perverse scholarship than almost any modern poet, while readers—those who don’t simply throw brickbats—remain delighted by a language that doesn’t behave as it should." William Logan • New Criterion
"I want poetry to do what other kinds of writing don’t, or can’t, but I get claustrophobic when it burnishes its shingle too brightly; I prefer subversion to propriety." Ian Wedde • Best NZ Poems
"In the case of 'The New Colossus'—the formally stunning, politically subversive, yet oddly forgettable poem that Emma Lazarus composed in November 1883 and that was engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty in 1903—this story take us from ancient Greece to Hurricane Sandy, from US anti-immigrant legislation to the crimes committed against Russian Jews at the end of the 19th century, from the challenges faced by a woman poet who wrote for a very public audience to the other, silent monument that displays these lines." Alexandra Socarides • LARB
"From form and content, [Geoffrey] Hill progressed to ethics and aesthetics. Here he argued that because the structure and sound of poetry matter as much as the ideas which it conveys, it is possible to appreciate poems which one finds ethically suspect." Gabriel Roberts • Oxonian Review
"Perhaps it's time, then, to turn increased attention to those young, MFAed writers whose lives and inclinations have been relentlessly mischaracterized by major-media essayists, English scholars, post-avant scions, and New Critical, prize-winning laureates alike." Seth Abramson • Huffington Post
"The blank verse narrative seemed reserved mostly for the dramatic monologues of mid-century formalists such as Jarrell, Wilbur, and Anthony Hecht. Then, in the 1980s, just when it would have been safe to declare the matter of Frost’s narrative influence dead, something unexpected happened." Dana Gioia • VQR
"[Susan] Howe’s Dickinson is the radical one—a ferocious mind, a loaded gun. [Paul] Legault’s Dickinson, by contrast, is a crazy girl extraordinaire." Gillian Osborne • Boston Review
"Scottish Love Poems edited by Antonia Fraser was our first real success. It put us in touch with the leading poets of the day, many of whom we went on to publish, and most of whom are now recognised as Scotland's leading poets. As importantly, though, it introduced us to the world of rights - overseas and mass-market paperback in the UK." Stephanie Wolfe Murray • Bookbrunch
"Remoti, which means remote control, applies to both remote control bombs and to unmanned aircraft, or drones. The second landay, scrawled on a metal fragment, was posted on Facebook with a comment saying that this was a piece of an mrap, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle used by the U.S. military, a modern-day tank. According to the Facebook post, the Afghan Taliban left this landay on the torn-off door of an mrap that they’d blown up in Tangi Valley in 2009 for U.S. forces to find." Eliza Griswold • Poetry
"In Hecht's mature work, in editions such as Collected Later Poems, such diction is used in predictable, tic-y tropes that signify a pleasure Hecht took in special words and special combinations of words, a pleasure Hecht could not resist even when it cost him the plausibility of his fictions." Daniel Bosch • Fortnightly Review
"The themes of the pieces are said to include “classic themes of song: lost love, lost wars …”, but they are much more a twenty-first-century inventory of a certain political attitude (liberalish, pacifist, hedonistic) which do indeed in moments take flight in classicism, but with a 1960s-related, popular culture cheek." Fintan Vallely • Dublin Review of Books
"A fashionable term for responding to art is "ekphrasis". But as [George] Szirtes notes in the introduction to his Collected Poems (2008): "Most bad writing about visual art is ekphrastic. Good writing is after something else." Szirtes's poems are not homage or referential: they have their own, often appalled resonance." Bill Greenwell • Independent
"There is, in Hungarian writing, whether poetry or prose, a precarious balance between weight and lightness, between despair and laughter. It is compressed and landlocked, occasionally a touch provincial in imagination, booby-trapped with anxieties and melancholy. It is forever pressing against the limits set on it by circumstances. That is why its laughter always seems a little edgy and nervous. Ears trained exclusively on the twentieth century English novel may occasionally find it hard to place this laughter and this music, but it is available in English too, though the translator has to stretch a little, taking a step forward in one place, a step back in another." George Szirtes • Almost Island

New poems

Jindřich Štyrský Tarpaulin Sky

Rebecca Perry Poems In Which

Conor O'Callaghan Irish Times

Michael Newton Harp & Altar

Anne Carson American Reader

John Labella High Chair

DA Powell Iowa Review

Shanna Compton Ink Node

Cally Conan-Davies Sewanee Review

V Joshua Adams Colloquium

Mark Anthony Cayanan Philadelphia Review of Books

Jo Shapcott Guardian

Paul Legault Pinwheel

Becca Jensen High Chair

Andrew Johnston Best NZ Poems

Chris Jones Antiphon

Carol Potter Field

Annah Browning High Chair

Donna Stonecipher Harp & Altar

Timothy Donnelly Poetry London

Christian Wiman New Criterion

Dan Beachy-Quick OmniVerse

Jose Perez Beduya High Chair


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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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