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poetry, essays, ideas
"It’s this “campy note” that sets Donaghy aside from those contemporaries whom one can still occasionally find earnestly aerobicising their iambs in macho displays of supposed subtlety and control. Donaghy’s poems show off openly – ta-dah!" Jack Underwood Poetry Review
"After forty years of railing at the communist GDR, Braun has lost none of his desire to kick at the pricks of contemporary capitalism. And one wonders who might have put it better, or had it better translated." Ian Pople • Manchester Review
"Twenty five years ago, when I was still just learning how to write a poem, and trying to locate the deeper sources for the poetry I wanted to write, Thomas McGrath’s example stood as a sign post." Joshua Weiner • B O D Y
"That poetry greatly enriches our experience is not a hard case to make: the Iliad, the Aeneid, Beowulf, The Divine Comedy, Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays, and Paradise Lost. It’s impossible to imagine our lives—our language—without them." David Yezzi • The New Criterion
"Borges – quoted on the subject of books in ‘The Library of Adventure’, ‘I shall die before I come to the end of them’ – said that good readers are much rarer and blacker swans than good writers. O’Driscoll is that rare black swan and every essay in The Outnumbered Poet is a master class on how to read poetry." Martina Evans Wales Arts Review
"After the hoop-la of launch night, and the readings and the interviews, and the sheer pleasure of holding your own book in your hand (the cover a wonderful picture by Gary Coyle) what next?" John O'Donnell • Irish Times
"Although Marjorie Perloff praises Citizen by saying that “Rankine is never didactic: she merely presents…allowing you to draw your own conclusions,” the opposite is actually the case. Rankine’s series of anecdotes are geared to a purpose and theme: they are ethical formulations that are too honest and angry to be merely presentations; they’re intended as proofs." Nick Laird • NYRB
"Like most recent collections, the new book just has too many poems that don’t live up to the standard it sometimes sets. But the disparity here seems especially pronounced, in part because Hayes, at his best, is one of the most exciting and imaginative poets in America today." Jonathan Farmer • Slate
"[Michael Hofmann] regards his style and mission in these essays as an extension of his poetry and translations. “For me the service comes in writing as interestingly and as well as possible.” He succeeds, I would say, superbly." Nicholas Shakespeare • Telegraph
"The minor vogue and rapid extinction of Imagism, a movement whose influence we still feel, has been hashed over by literary critics for a century." William Logan • The New Criterion
"The text you write must prove to me that it desires me." Gnaomi Siemens • The The
"There is something both Ashberian and non-Ashberian about [Karen] Solie. Like him, she writes sentences in motley registers that accrete into poems with unpredictable logopoieic shapes." Ange Mlinko • Partisan
"This is neither criticism nor biography. Tóibín starts with her impulse: “She began with the idea that little is known and that much is puzzling.” This directs us to her poem “Sandpiper”: “The world is a mist. And then the world is / minute and vast and clear …” Bishop’s gift is that she can show not only the clarity and the mist, the small and the large, but one becoming the other." Lavinia Greenlaw Telegraph
"Critics often focus on Muldoon’s talent for weirdness and his technical games; the first, like the weirdness of Flann O’Brien’s version of Mad Sweeney, seems to me to correspond to the weird predicament of humanity. It is hardly the main business of poetry to be normal, though this poetry turns out to be fit to take on the weight of normal life when called on." Eilean Ni Chuilleanain DRB
"In many of the statements Gunn and Bishop made in their poems, there is a great reticence. Nonetheless, half-way through his career Gunn wrote explicitly about his homosexuality. When she died, Bishop left poems, and sometimes fragments of poems, which dramatised or dealt directly with her lesbianism. She did not publish these in her lifetime. Bishop said that she believed “in closets, closets and more closets”. While Bishop wrote only obliquely about her alcoholism in a poem such as “The Prodigal”, Gunn was more open about his interest in LSD and other drugs (he died of an overdose of heroin and speed). Both had great reservations about what was called “confessional poetry”, which became fashionable in the 1960s. The tendency is to overdo the morbidity. “You just wished they kept some of these things to themselves,” Bishop said. Gunn told James Campbell: “I don’t like dramatizing myself. I don’t want to be Sylvia Plath. The last person I want to be!”" Colm Toibin Guardian
"Whatever form Leviston chooses, from the abbreviated sonnets of “Athenaeum” to a clipped short-lined quatrain or the rangy rhymed octets of “Woodland Burial”, she achieves a sense of decisive cleanliness, the momentum of the verse matching the steady completeness of her attention and then shifting gear at need. Unusually among younger poets, she can sustain the kind of “middle” voice practised by the later Auden." Sean O'Brien Guardian
"By chance this moment in her life coincided with a writers’ residency she had won, organized before the revolution, in Latvia. While she was there, a whole novel about her friend and about the Maidan events just poured out. Then she trained to use a gun and fight but discovered that only women with the right connections were being allowed to go into combat on the Ukrainian side." Tim Judah NYRB
"First, we discover that we read a poem in order to “retrieve” exact and correct information from it, and we are supposed to “infer” exact and correct meanings from it." Michael Rosen Guardian
"I have no nostalgia for that time, although in The Stoic Man, the new collection of essays and memoirs I have just published with Lagan Press, the recalling of life in the west of Ireland in the 70s sounds again like a “sheltering place” from the travails and troubles of the Belfast I had in part left behind. So The Stoic Man is accompanied by a collection of Early Poems written during those years in Galway’s old city, around the streets and canal-ways, the bridges, Lough shore and harbour where we used to live." Gerald Dawe Irish Times
"Langdon Hammer’s extraordinary biography of the poet, “James Merrill: Life and Art” (Knopf), suggests that “life” and “art” were for Merrill a feedback loop, not at all Yeats’s zero-sum choice between “perfection of the life, or of the work.”" Dan Chiasson New Yorker
"Jon Silkin’s arrival on the literary scene coincided with that of the group broadly known as “the Movement”, whose members included Philip Larkin, Donald Davie and Kingsley Amis (when he was better known as a poet). He can be included among them, but the voice he developed was his own." Nicholas Lezard • Guardian
"So at the heart of Red Sails there is a lot of truth-telling going on about the artist’s life (or lives). A far cry it is too from the showy, silly lifestyle version we are offered daily from media-hungry “celebs” of one kind or another, asking the reader to feel their pain and oversharing what passes for real understanding." Gerald Dawe on Derek Mahon • DRB
"Motion suggested there could be a “breaking wave” of new interest in the Romantics – though he also argues that adoration of them has never really gone away. “The poems [in the original Lyrical Ballads] are full of evidence of a very divided society. They tend to concentrate on people at the poor end, the vagabonds and vagrants, the ex-army people who can’t find employment. They are full of ideas about dislocation and impoverishment. That has resonance today.”" Andrew Motion • Guardian
"All anthologists have blind spots, and a few quibbles aside, Astley’s anthology is a ground-breaking record of the poetry of war, well-balanced and, by virtue of its amplitude, heterogeneous; it includes great and mediocre poetry, major and minor voices, and charts the course of poetic responses to the brutal facts of war and the neverending folly of those who “took their orders and are dead”, as AD Hope wrote in his “Inscriptions for a War”. Gerard Smyth • DRB

New poems

Elise Partridge Partisan

Gregory Pardlo Four Way Review

Moya Cannon Irish Times

Kellam Ayres B O D Y

Talya Rubin Véhicule Press Blog

Karen Solie Partisan

Holly Pester The White Review

Medbh McGuckian The Lonely Crowd

Jorie Graham Boston Review

HL Hix At Length

Dean Young Threepenny 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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