The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"It would be nice if poetry wrote itself. Occasionally, when I was younger, I had the feeling that it did: poems were likely to be written quickly, in a flush of enthusiasm it pleased (flattered) me to call inspiration. Sometimes so quickly that in some kind of weird hippocampal storm I had the feeling I was remembering something and copying it down rather than making it up as I went along. Those were the best times." Caitriona O'Reilly • Trumpet
"It was also soon established how everybody in the room felt about Philip Larkin." Michael Caines • TLS
"‘National Poet’: it’s the kind of designation that can seal up the pleasure to be had from the poems, like a mausoleum." Vona Groarke • Poetry Ireland Review
"As writers’ primary access to artworks throughout the twentieth century, museums and galleries, and their coffee table style publications, have operated as regulators for twentieth century ekphrasis – the verbal representation of visual representation – by limiting the available source materials and directing the ways in which they are processed. The result has been largely homogenising, with ekphrastic poetry dealing predominantly in the fine art of white, Western males, and exhibiting a poetic approach that mimics an art critical-historical one, asking readers to view the pieces in question as ‘timeless repositories of human wisdom’." Sophie Collins • Prac Crit
"Voyage demonstrates the elements that formulate an identity, inform a life. There is the personal—the “I” as an agent, a witness, a mind and body present. There is also the historical—all the shit that precedes one’s birth that has an impact, now, even when it traces back to antiquity. [Robin Coste] Lewis asks, “What can History possibly say?” Everything and nothing, it seems." Diana Arterian • The Rumpus
"Bringing this new selection of Tanikawa’s vast output together from his sixty plus published collections was surely no easy ask, but the representative offering presented here offers a compact, easily navigable, albeit at times unbalanced resource to those readers already familiar with the poet and perhaps looking for an abbreviated hit. It also provides a sprawling, exciting gateway for those brand new and looking to get into Tanikawa’s poetry." Simon Haworth • Manchester Review
"Few books evoke place as much as this one evokes the entirety of the natural world." John Findura • Tarpaulin Sky
"My Blake, the radical visionary poet of the 1960s, seems almost old-fashioned now. I realize how many other Blakes there have been, both before and since." Richard Holmes • NYRB

"Attention to the moral character of the art at its most public is long over-due. Quite apart from the always-rumoured fixing of awards, there is an ugly history of substance abuse that needs to be acknowledged and put behind us." Michael Schmidt • PN Review
"Wallace Stevens warned that it is in the nature of the modern imagination to always feel oneself at “the end of something” but there are too many factors converging at the moment not to feel that some kind of crossroads has been reached." John Fanning • DRB "For Bernstein, the consumer has replaced the reader in today’s privileged interpretive communities." Cassandra Seltman • LARB
"When I taught for five years it was murder. To be part of something that absorbed you, took care of you, and named you. It made me feel like I was dying. People make their peace with these things, but I’m much better at being in a profession like poetry where it would just be with me as I fell or as I rose. Whatever happened I could keep writing poems." Eileen Myles • New Republic
"The animus against ‘1940s poetry’ remains automatic and unquestionable." Peter Riley responds to Roger Caldwell • PN Review
“The Irish-speaking world was where you could talk about things like bringing the stallion to the mare, but of course you couldn’t do that in middle-class convent English. If you didn’t know Irish you wouldn’t really ever, I think, get the feel of my poetry. It’s just part of me.” Maire Mhac an tSaoi • Irish Times
"Benjamin Péret, one of the chief mediums, would throw himself on the floor, which he took for the surface of the sea, and make swimming movements. When asked what he saw, he would answer: water. Water the colour of water." Agnieszka Taborska • Asymptote

"In an essay titled “The Present State of Poetry” in American Poetry at Midcentury, Delmore Schwartz recalled: “In 1936 Stevens read his poems for the first time at Harvard—it was probably the first time he had ever read his poetry in public—and the occasion was at once an indescribable ordeal and a precious event. Before and after reading each poem, Stevens spoke of the nature of poetry…the least sound counts, he said, the least sound and the least syllable. His illustration of this observation was wholly characteristic: he told of how he had wakened that week after midnight and heard the sounds made by a cat walking delicately and carefully on the crusted snow outside his house.”" Susan Howe • The Nation
"Hofmann’s line has been called prosaic. But while the rhythms are certainly depressur­ized, every word feels artfully chosen and placed, and the vocabulary is phenomenally rich. " Mick Imlah • Wild Court
"In many ways, Carl Phillips reminds me of John Ashbery, a poet I admire, but mostly, these days, from afar. For many, Ashbery’s elusive presence in poetry has been life- and mind-altering. For me, feeling lost so much of the time, it heightens a loneliness that’s already there. So I wonder about the thrill I feel reading Phillips, who is also elusive, also playing with different registers of language, also willing to go much further into unreality than I ever would or could." Jonathan Farmer • Slate
"Citizen is a poem precisely because modernism happened and continues. First and foremost that means the TS Eliot of The Waste Land. And like many seminal, iconoclastic works since (Ginsberg’s Howl, Ashbery’s Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror) – the very first readers and critics judged what Eliot produced not to be poetry, exactly, but rather “a puzzle”, a “documentary”, “as near to poetry as our generation is at present capable of reaching”." Adam Fitzgerald Guardian
"[Jorie] Graham is, along with John Ashbery and Frederick Seidel, one of the very few living American poets to have advanced a worldly, Modernist model of the poem into the 21st century. She has seized for her own uses a patrimony rich with philosophical and linguistic experimentation, bypassing the sort of small-scale, homegrown free verse that has come to dominate the journals and university programs and public-radio stations of our time." Ange Mlinko • The Nation
"I wanted to bring together a selection of such poems in their depiction and response to ‘war’ in the process of identifying inclusiveness as a principle: of soldiering and reactions to war from both participants and civilians alike; from ‘professional’ poets, to those who have made poetic responses: an anthological statement that embraces the reality of the Irish experience, rather than one that reads such experience from an exclusively ideological position of either nationalism or unionism, the counterparts of Irish chauvinism or anglophone insularity." Gerald Dawe • Irish Times
"An amalgam of Tony Blair and Jimmy Saville (which I take it to be) is meaningless unless all harm, sexual, political, commercial or anything, is one harm. That it is, is a fundamental belief in this whole dynamic and virtuosic line in recent British poetry, deriving ultimately from Cambridge poetry and sometimes almost explicitly proclaiming its belief in the corruption of the entire globe or the Fall of Man." Peter Riley • Fortnightly Review
"Insofar as there is a grand theme to [Nathaniel] Mackey’s poetry, it is the lamentation of sublimity’s evanescence. If it were objected that this “theme” is no theme but a necessary condition for most lyric poetry, I could only answer that Mackey’s project is vast." John Tamplin • The Volta

"So too for hoyoot: for all their investment in labor history and folk history, Pickard’s poems possess a political urgency that gives them a startlingly contemporary feel. Their lasting value is their live rebuke to the forces of political reaction wherever and whenever they appear." Andrew Peart • Chicago Review
"The ambitious young intellectual buys himself a laptop, rents himself some friends, and settles down in Brooklyn to write poetry, poetry, and more poetry. He blogs, and tweets, and puts his new poems on Facebook. Everyone loves him. Everyone whispers in his ear how brilliant he is." William Logan • Battersea Review

"As a monologue, it’s ridiculous: evil might be banal, but it doesn’t sound like that. As poetry, though, it’s astonishing: the line-break flagging the additional meaning latent in ‘home’ (‘home in on’), the swing of ambiguity in ‘hold steady on’, the ‘huge debt’ and the oozing eye invoking the terrifying vision of justice in Exodus 21:24 (‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth’)." John Clegg on JH Prynne • Poetry London
"Poetry is becoming progressively fluid, merging protest and performance into its practice. The era of Conceptual Poetry’s ahistorical nihilism is over and we have entered a new era, the poetry of social engagement." Cathy Park Hong • New Republic

New poems

Brandon Courtney Memorious

Vahni Capildeo Prac Crit

Jennifer Moore Memorious

Sam Buchan-Watts Likestarlings

Crispin Best Queen Mob's Teahouse

Martyn Crucefix Blackbox Manifold

James Schuyler Paris Review

Dylan Thomas PN Review

Crispin Best Robot Melon

Tom Pickard The Nation

Adam Fitzgerald New Republic

Jaswinder Bolina At Length

Olga Pek B O D Y

Paul Muldoon The Nation

Esther Lin Cortland Review

Lawrence Joseph The Nation

Daisy Lafarge 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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