The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"As a demonstration of just how “unpleasant” it might have been “to meet Mr Eliot”, [Tarantula's Web] has few rivals." Lachlan MacKinnon • TLS

"[Ronald] Johnson would call the ninety-nine parts of his poem in progress “beams,” “spires,” and “arches,” as if he were making both vessel and cathedral; the whole thing took him twenty years to finish." Stephen Burt • New Yorker
"So Many Moving Parts only gives us a brief glimpse into the beguiling mind of Wales’ most inventive and original thinker-poet (although she is far from being the most inventive and original linguistically). " Carl Griffin on Tiffany Atkinson • Wales Arts Review
"Rae Armantrout’s irony is not the workaday kind you find in poems written by people who grew up watching Seinfeld. There is a cruel exactitude of observation in her work—an ability to lyricize the “pure products of America” just as they are—that elevates her irony from mere formal device to a mode of brutal clarity." Ilya Kaminsky • Boston Review
"People have always read books and listened to music and looked at what is around them, and hopefully will for a long time to come, so my experience of doing that in my time is not that different from Frank O’Hara going to see a movie. Or for that matter Keats going to see the painting “Death on a Pale Horse,” which he talks about in his famous “Negative Capability” letter." Matthew Zapruder • Hinged
"Somewhere beyond New Critical claustrophobia and ideological or theoretical etherization lies the genre of the Hassian critical appreciation—sometimes un-programmatic, impressionistic, and often anecdotal, but always learned, precisely evidentiary, and frequently yielding original insights." Kevin T O'Connor on Robert Hass • Notre Dame Review (pdf)
"Perhaps I’ll disavow the word “confession.” Perhaps the true word would be “admission.”" Lucie Brock Broido • Guernica
"Mexican writers, it is said, dream of debating with Paz, and of persuading him that they are right. The last time he and I met we had an argument about time: relative or absolute? I did not persuade him, but it was enough that he listened before he put me right." Michael Schmidt • PN Review
"Plath’s early death tends to transforms everything Plathian into a past-tense memento mori – ‘remember, you will die’ becomes ‘remember, she did die’. Because of their indisputable excellence, her poems now have an independent life. They exist outside the biography, or comfortably alongside it." Mary Jo Bang • PN Review
"There is no Seamus Heaney to write his elegy. There have been very fine poetic tributes to him, not least Bernard O’Donoghue’s lovely poem in The Irish Times last month. But the great elegist is gone." Fintan O'Toole • Irish Times
"Although they are less explicitly concerned with nationhood than MacDiarmid, between them John Burnside and Jen Hadfield name a remarkable range of Scottish spaces, flora and fauna. The poems inhabit moors, cliffs, fields, shores, woods and edgelands, all touched by modernity in the form of quad bikes, turbines and mobile-phone signals." Matthew Sperling • New Statesman
"Hannah hopes her collection will be the raunchiest poetry anthology of the year, a humble enough aim to be sure. In fact it is far less raunchy than the average collection of rugby songs. A classic such as “The Great Wheel” would kick the whole collection into touch." Germaine Greer on Sophie Hannah's anthology • New Statesman
"The NEA is actively seeking out deserving grant recipients whose absence from the artistic community will drastically enhance it, including incompetent aspirants in the fields of collage, interpretive dance, and found poetry." The Onion
"One of the things that makes Wilfred Owen still compelling is surely this style of celebrating the child’s eye – not in Trahernian or Wordsworthian directness but obliquely, by the furious lament for its violent destruction" Rowan Williams • New Statesman
"By calling the spaces of social media “pseudo-public,” I mean to get at their ambiguous relation to the public/private divide: a person’s Facebook page is rooted in her or his individual identity, and yet also provides a platform from which she or he can offer opinions on issues of wider concern." Stewart Cole • The Puritan
"And so, continuously there has been this ongoing process of rediscovery. Like, wow, there was feminism in the 19th century, can you imagine? Every single generation we go through this ridiculous re-discovery. In the 80s we thought we were inventing feminism. In the 70s we thought we were inventing feminism. Every single generation is put in the situation where we feel like we have to invent this thing. Why? Because there is no continuity. No narrative has been formed." Lisa Robertson • Lemon Hound
"Is Women's Poetry a masterpiece? It surely locates Fried among the masterful American poets of her generation. I'd point readers to 'Torment', of course, but also 'Thrash', 'His Failed Band, 1973', 'L'Allegro: Driving Home', maybe the Kissinger, definitely the title poem, which, if Camille Paglia ever does another edition of Break, Blow, Burn, you can imagine her including." Jason Guriel on Daisy Fried • PN Review
"[Rane] Arroyo’s last three words of the reading were “Live. Then write.” Less than two months later, Arroyo died and left behind a prodigious backlog of work." Tony Leuzzi • Brooklyn Rail
"A few years later I got a phone call from a Canadian burglar who told me he had come across Auden’s poems in a prison library and had begun a long correspondence in which Auden gave him an informal course in literature." Edward Mendelson • NYRB
"This is rapturous, sublimely willful, independent-minded, resourceful prose, as Hans Magnus Enzensberger declared, the most beautiful twentieth-century German prose." Michael Hofmann • Asymptote
"In spite of the fact that TLS readers know at least three lines from this poem (some knowing without knowing they know) – “To err is human, to forgive divine”, “A little learning is a dang’rous thing” and “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” – the poem sold poorly. " Donald W. Nichol • TLS
"The imperative “You must change your life” follows logically from the statement that precedes it: “for here there is no place/ that does not see you.” It is a religious logic, to be sure, but then, this is essentially a religious poem." James Pollock • Voltage
"Bishop’s unfinished poems do not represent her as a poet; rather, they represent the kind of poet she attempted and failed to become." Frances Leviston • Edinburgh Review
"For all their “derived” subject matter, these poems are never superficial or conventional, nor do they recede into literary exercises" Gerry Smyth on Sinead Morrissey • DRB
"While she taught at Berkeley, a post she held before going to Tufts, her class consisted of future Language poets like Rae Armantrout. While Armantrout remained a friendly correspondent throughout Levertov’s life, her aesthetics and those of Language poetry, in Levertov’s view, valued style over content." Mark Jarman Hudson • Review
"Often I’ve thought of the possibility of placing a parenthetical novel between the second and third line of a haiku." Rodney Jones • The Pedestal
"Jordan Smith, like all good poets who have educated and aestheticized themselves beyond the prerequisites for townsperson citizenship, acknowledges an unavoidable alienation from things to which he is also drawn, a melancholy paradox appropriate for the artist who escapes." David Rigsbee • Cortland Review
"Records, television, cinema... I can’t remember a time before. These things permeated our daily lives, as intangible as broadcasts from another planet, but in the air and on our tongues. Heaney’s description of omphalos has a lovely, persuasive telescoping of the very local and the mythic, of two cultures. Though growing up a few decades earlier, he was certainly already alert and receptive to the wider currents flowing through the local, especially in terms of radio: think of his seventh Glanmore sonnet, or ‘A Sofa in the Forties’, with its “absolute speaker” of BBC RP blowing in from over the water. In how many subtle ways must these things adjust the bonds between people and places, our identities?" Paul Farley • Poetry Review (pdf)
"Certainly, this is a collection haunted by echoes and revenants, even Robert Graves who is only too painfully aware that according to military papers, he was officially dead in action." Richie McCaffery • Elsewhere
"Either way, to be a reader or writer of poetry is to recognize the ways in which it is a cultural force, to believe in the necessity of it." Natasha Trethewey • VQR

New poems

Matthew Zapruder Massachusetts Review (pdf)

Erica McAlpine New Criterion

Brian Stanley Encore

Matthew Zapruder The Paris American

Carl Phillips The Paris American

Dorothea Lasky Paris Review

Frederick Seidel Paris Review

Kathleen Jamie New Statesman

Bernard O'Donoghue Irish Times

Ben Lerner Lana Turner

Lyn Hejinian Lana Turner

Andrew Marvell Guardian

Patrick Cotter Irish Times

James Richardson The Nation

Lavinia Greenlaw New Statesman

Pearse Hutchinson Gallery Press

Caitriona O'Reilly Irish Times

Anne Stevenson Hudson Review

Norm Sibum The Bow-Wow Shop

Alexandra Oliver The Walrus

Emily Berry Granta

George Kalamaras Kenyon Review

Rodney Jones Kenyon Review

Vona Groarke Guardian

Fiona Benson Granta


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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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