The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"[David] Lehman is less interested in excellent poems, which can only be consumed one at a time, than an idea, “poetry,” which he sets in opposition to the brutal zeitgeist." Jason Guriel • The New Republic
"The career of Gottfried Benn is a case study in disgrace." Adam Thirlwell • New Republic
"Shearsman are helping to create a mini critical industry on Roy Fisher, and it is greatly to be welcomed." Martin Casely • Stride
"For instance, I did a reading with Mark Strand in Frank Stella’s studio that was introduced by James Wright, who spoke glowingly of our work, but had our names confused, it turned out." Charles Simic • NYRB
""Heap" is a wondrous curriculum vitae that I know draws upon the poet's own life (though I have no idea exactly to what extent) where pretty much every job listed has involved heaps of something: torn-up boxes, grass clippings, old coffee grounds, heaps of twigs and sticks, bundled newspapers, palettes of lemon meringue pies, "abandoned mud huts fallen into a heap" ….. the list of jobs and heaps goes on for two pages and never flags. Which is what Paul Violi did: never flag in his energy, his desire to be open and to learn, to share, and enjoy, no matter how dire some of the stuff life throws at you might be." Martin Stannard • Stride
"Traditional music or postmodernism, there is a breadth of subject-matter and style on show throughout this generous anthology, offering many signs that Irish poetry can still play the true air and maintain a trajectory of emotion and sensibility." Matt Campbell • Breac
"Uncertainty and the interrogation of normative thinking are important to John Kinsella, because they seem to counter the logical positivism and scientific materialism underpinning capitalism and the state’s violence, as well as the reductive effect of language as a system through which we relate to a far more complex world. (Irigaray’s ‘To speak is never neutral’ is quoted.)" Helen Moore • The Wolf (pdf)
""The Natural and Social Sciences" originally appeared in Donaghy’s first collection, Shibboleth, in 1988. Its triad of Irish jokes targets their teller, the poet of double identity, as well as the English reader reassured by stereotype. A London-based American poet born of Irish parents, Donaghy was ideally placed for such a three-way satire." Carol Rumens • Guardian
"If Bishop claims in ‘One Art’ that ‘the art of losing isn’t hard to master’ then Shaughnessy’s ‘Artless’ seems a direct refutation of this mode of processing loss. Bishop exercises her structural repetitions as a way of increasing conviction; Shaughnessy’s repetitions are stasis. Both, really, are evasion." Aime Williams • Prac Crit
"[W]whether you respond to this book may depend on how you feel about the back cover statement that she considers the phrase “too accessible” to be “the best sort of compliment”." AB Jackson • Poetry Review (pdf)
"I presumed that in their eighties and nineties all these poets would feel a sense of clarity and wisdom about their lives and careers, but this wasn’t always the case." Chard de Niord • Harvard Review
"Joshua Mehigan’s Accepting the Disaster is the rare new book of poetry that is entirely alive, entirely aloft. No allowances have to be made for these darkly lucid, sad, and humane poems; they are the thing itself." Adam Kirsch • New Republic
"We resort to cliché because it’s easier than trying to make up something new. Implicit in it is the question, Don’t we already know what we think about this? Don’t we have a formula we use for this? Can’t I just send a standard greeting card or paste in a snapshot of what it was like rather than trying to come up with an original drawing?" Anne Carson • A Public Space
"Izenberg poses against this traditional picture of lyric a less personally expressive poetry of pure “attentiveness” and of “the greatest possible opening of the self ”—to other people and to contingencies that are simply experienced sequentially and registered paratactically." Richard Eldridge • Chicago Review (pdf)
"The apparent subject of a painting is depicted off-centre, or leaving a large more or less blank space. An example is the thirteenth century painting of a wagtail on a withered lotus leaf. As in the case of the text in the Kōtō-in, the reverberations of unfilled space are vast. Poetry provides many examples of this and of the concentration on the actual." Padraig Murphy • DRB
"Jorge Luis Borges was modest about his achievements as a poet. In his Obra poética, 1923–1964 he quoted these lines from Robert Louis Stevenson: “I do not set up to be a poet. Only an all-round literary man: a man who talks, not one who sings . . .”" Michael Caines on Alastair Reid's Borges • TLS
"Zurita (2011), an almost 750-page volume, unfolds from the evening of September 10 to the morning of September 11, 1973, and includes excerpts from the poet’s other books, for example: three pages of the electroencephalogram (EEG) embedded with text that closes Purgatorio, a few photographs of the New York City skywriting that appeared in Anteparaíso, and a middle section (starting on page 358 of Zurita) from his 1985 book Canto a Su Amor Desaparecido, translated in 2010 by Daniel Borzutzky as Song for His Disappeared Love." Magdalena Edwards • The Millions
"Where the poems of Ms. Rich, who died in 2012, landed like bombs flung from the barricades, those of Ms. Kizer felt more like a stiletto slipped between the ribs." New York Times
"The title Seven New Generation African Poets immediately raises the question of how similar these poets are and what characteristics identify them as African. One of the exciting discoveries is that these poets exhibit a strikingly wide range of aesthetics and styles. All are accomplished writers whose work ranges from straightforward narrative to experimental." Mike Puican • TriQuarterly
"We set poets in opposition and claim exclusivity by adopting polemical positions most of which are largely external to the poetry, whether the poets themselves subscribe to them or not." Peter Riley • Fortnightly Review
"I wonder if there’s a literary term for the device used of ‘wryly and jocularly referring to London mayoralty screw-ups’ – perhaps pathetic fallacity? – but also how many other politicians have put their machinations to one side to put quivering pen to paper and spill their feelings out in rhyme." Anoosh Chakelian • New Statesman
"This means we can read Patrick Pearse’s erotic poems and Roger Casement’s diaries of his sexual exploits not as aberrations but as essential to their revolutionary spirit as they sought to liberate themselves from traditional ideas of sexuality." Colm Toibin • New Statesman
"Other forms of orientation have more valency than nationalism for me. I’ve never felt any deep attachment to a country, a town, a landscape; never written in that grounded, territorial sort of way. The books most important to me over the last few years have been by Elizabeth Bishop, George Seferis, and Ange Mlinko, poets whose relationships with British poetic traditions are helpfully indirect." Frances Leviston • Poetry
"They represent a turning away from the unsettled atmosphere of Paris and in their lives and work there is a sense of creating a space aside from a lot of the harsher and more public events in the world, of being free to pursue personal and landscape meditations in peace. This is not to say that the poetry is placid or complacent, but the violence and anguish it reaches come from within, or if from the world indirectly, mediated by immediate individual perception, and the vocabulary rarely extends far beyond landscape, art, and general ponderings." Peter Riley • Fortnightly Review

"Having achieved the pinnacle of an academic career, poised for a state appointment, Herbert takes holy orders and serves the rest of his short life in country parishes. Why? Donne’s energy and sexuality and ambition are more understandable. But one of the things Drury makes clear is that Herbert’s first love was poetry, and taking the humble position of country pastor gave him the exclusive time he sought for his own writing." Mark Jarman • Hudson Review
"The editors of The Dublin Notebook manage to enrich and finesse the known facts by detailed analysis of primary source material, principally, of course, the entries in the poet’s notebook." Sean Sheehan on Hopkins • DRB
"Critic Matthew Sitman has recently called Christian Wiman the “most important Christian writer in America.” [Michael] Robbins, then, might be the most provocative Christian writer in America." Nick Ripatrazone • The Millions
"One of the collections is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, which is the sort of stamp of approval most poets would gnaw a finger off for." Todd Swift introduces British/English poetry • Poetry
"“Internet speak” can be an exciting new kind of poetic form: in Conor O’Callaghan’s brilliant new collection, The Sun King, he writes a series of tiny poems, each as long as a tweet, and it’s like a new kind of Japanese haiku in his hands." Sinead Morrissey • Independent
"These two overlapping threads—personal and collective exile—have been leitmotifs throughout the last several hundred years of Arabic literature. But in the last century, they have moved from the periphery to the center of literary discussion." M Lynx Qualey • Words Without Borders
"Batchelor begins and ends his book with Tennyson’s encounters with Queen Victoria. He was first presented to her in 1851, after being appointed Poet Laureate. Tennyson wore a borrowed suit—the same one lent to Wordsworth when he was appointed Laureate in 1843. It was a bit small for Tennyson’s huge frame, but he was reportedly delighted with “the appearance of his magnificent legs in black silk stockings.”" Carol T Christ • Hudson Review

New poems

Carmine Starnino The Walrus

Joshua Mehigan The Smithsonian

Matthew Zapruder A Public Space

Elizabeth Macklin New Republic

William Logan New Criterion

Devin Johnston Paris Review

Anna Jackson Sweet Mammalian

Philip Gross New Welsh Review

Kim Addonizio Poetry Review (pdf)

Paul Durcan Irish Times

Chris Price Sweet Mammalian

Dean Young Massachusetts Review

Zaffar Kunial Poetry Review (pdf)

Gerald Dawe Irish Times

Hoyt Rogers Fortnightly Review

Derek Mahon Gallery

Peter Sirr Irish Times / The Cat Flap

Hoa Nguyen Granta

Rebecca Perry B O D Y

Sarah Roby Poetry Review (pdf)

Sebastian Agudelo Harvard Review

Kei Miller Caribbean Review of Books

Jon Stone Poetry London


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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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