The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"At 142 pages Nine Bright Shiners asks a lot of its readers, one feels that a more ruthless editorial eye could have fit the book into a comfortable 80. But, Theo Dorgan is a man with quite a bit to say." Cal Doyle • Southword
"This sumptuous presentation of manuscript material alongside all of Herrick’s ridiculously wonderful poems leaves little doubt that future critics and readers will further tackle reading Herrick against the backdrop of his environment and peer-audience. Of course, this should be done while also keeping in mind the proper atmospherics suggested by the poet himself in “When he would have his verses be read”: 'In sober mornings, doe not thou rehearse / The holy incantation of a verse; / But when that men have both well drunke, and fed, / Let my Enchantments then be sung, or read.'" Patrick James Dunagan • The Rumpus
"Since sound and rhythm, 'the noise made' as Peter Levi puts it, is intrinsic to poetry, then the most fundamental claim that could be made for the discontinuity of British and American verse would be that the language used either side of the Atlantic has diverged so much that when the respective rhythms appear in poetry they are too foreign to touch the other side." Jeffrey Wainwright • PN Review (1981)
"Even when we attempt to turn away from history and current events to look for remaining instances of the pastoral, we are faced with reminders that there never has been a simpler time." Brian Simoneau The Rumpus
"We were just a couple of short-order cooks who kept trying to pass themselves off as poets." Mark Strand • NYRB
"Then I ask the cheesiest question in the interview book, multiplied by three: what are your three favourite poems? He has the name of one poem prepared." Rosita Boland • Irish Times
"But on the night of the competition, the poets took center stage, closing the door on the drudgery of their daily lives." Dipika Mukherjee World Literature Today
"Isn’t this the sort of thing a journalist, even an arts journalist, ought to find curious? – that a judge of a poetry competition could read over 100 books and find that the best of them turns out to be the work of a colleague of hers. (Even Roehampton’s own website, in announcing Harsent’s coup, seems to avoid noting the involvement of another member of the faculty, while linking to Sampson’s review of Fire Songs.)" Michael Caines • TLS " There are no mavericks, and yet, if poetry’s duty is to avoid the cliché, surely it is mavericks we need? The winner was David Harsent." Anthony Howell • Fortnightly Review
"[Ken] Babstock has not only been writing against his gifts, but writing against the expectations those gifts saddled him with. To borrow a phrase from William Logan, Babstock’s new work “criticizes the pleasures taken” in the old. He has undone what his hands have made. Carmine Starnino • Maisonneuve
"Translated poetry seems like just another marketing niche, easy enough to avoid if one is intent on maintaining ignorance and preserving one’s assumptions." David Rivard • Numero Cinq
"The Spanish novelist Javier Marias came by regularly seeking the more elusive titles of the poet John Gawsworth. Gawsworth had been a close friend of the writer M.P. Shiel, known for his ornate prose and visionary fiction (notably such stories as “The House of Sounds” — much admired by H.P. Lovecraft — and the last-man-on-earth novel “The Purple Cloud”). Shiel was also the duly recognized king of Redonda, a small island discovered by his father. At his death he passed his crown to Gawsworth, and today Redonda’s sovereign is Marias (though there are pretenders to the throne). In a subsequent essay, we are told that Kociejowski is now the kingdom’s official “Poet Laureate in the English Tongue.”" Michael Dirda on Marious Kociejowski • The Washington Post
"Ancient squabbles at a now-defunct literary magazine, involving a good deal of now dated Marxist cant, are not inherently very interesting. But the Partisan Review, both in its high editorial standards and in its struggles to resolve inherent tensions between the domains of politics and art, continues to be a point of reference in our literary culture." Jonathan Clarke• The Millions
"Until I read The Scarborough, I hadn’t heard of Paul Bernardo or Karla Homolka (I’m approximately Lista’s age, and from New York, and my parents were probably too busy scaring me about Central Park to mention horrors just over the border)." Abigail Deutsch on Michael Lista • Maisonneuve
"He is less dependent on praise than most writers, while as much as ever, in the new book, deserving it." Karl Miller on Hugo Williams • Spectator
"But there’s an awful lot in this book of the reader’s buying into a rhetoric and address which actually side-lines much of the response the reader could make." Ian Pople on two new books • Manchester Review
"I had been studying poetry with different people at Harvard, like Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Creeley, so I was struck by the connection between Jonathan’s deep poetic roots and the idea of talking about everyday things. So the poetry was there—instantly I could hear the visionary poetry." Ernie Brooks • Vice
"The site has triggered debate about the health of poetry in Africa. Kgosidintsi, who has taken part in an African poetry festival in Beijing, China, said: “People definitely want to perform poetry but I worry that the fact that we don’t publish it, and when we do publish, we don’t sell.”" David Smith • Guardian
"One of the most extreme forms of high–low exchange takes the form of engagement with Virgil’s Aeneid. Published three generations before the destruction of Pompeii and already consecrated as Rome’s national epic, this would seem to be the perfect example of a unified textual corpus. But, as Milnor shows, Virgil was almost instantly atomized into bite-sized snippets which permeated the popular consciousness and embarked on their own creative afterlife – just as “To be or not to be” did, or “The boy stood on the burning deck”. It would be nice to find something significant in the Pompeians’ choice of Virgilian lines (a few of them contain anti-Greek sentiment, for example)." Emily Gowers • TLS
"And besides, why should I ask you questions, or make remarks that do not interest you?" Yves Bonnefoy, tr Hoyr Rogers • Fortnightly Review
"The big, ‘standard’ works are all here; his ‘Antebiography’ detailing his family’s lineage and life in pre-war Handsworth; ‘Fisher on Fisher’, a spoof self-review first published in the Rialto, and the wonderful ‘Licence my Roving Hands’, which describes his ‘other life’ as a jazz pianist working small clubs and dives and ‘an accompanist for sudden strippers in tough spots’! But other, just as interesting pieces are brought together here for the first time; his necessary essay on Pound in which he comments, ‘In language my specialism is in the pathology of soft tissues, transient and perishable substances; when it comes to bone I’m out of my element. I’ll still turn to Pound for a reminder of what hardness is.’" Ian Pople on new books by and about Roy Fisher • Manchester Review
"I began this book feeling the resentment that only the deeply envious, the truly middle-aged and those who never go anywhere can feel." Colm Toibin • Irish Times
"The number and variety of poems grew, but the public appetite for them shrunk. And the poets that did force their way into the limelight had developed a reputation for being difficult (like T.S. Eliot) or reckless (like Dylan Thomas). The poet and the poem became inextricable; a simpler idea of what makes a poem emerged: it was the authentic, personal expression of the poet." 13 Pages
"For Duncan, myth and poetry are the snakes entwined around Hermes’ caduceus, whose flowering rod bursting forth into wings H.D. waved like a sorcerer’s virga in the third volume of her epic serial poem Trilogy." Peter O'Leary • The Cultural Society
"The poem has the texture of sense without making it; the connective parts of the sentence appear to function properly, but the elements being connected do not. David Herd has written that the language of John Ashbery’s poem ‘The Tennis Court Oath’ doesn’t work because democratic language at the time of its composition wasn’t working; even more troubling, Donnelly’s poem appears to work but does not work, operates in a disorderly fashion under a semblance of order. The rhetorical fluency of the poem itself becomes suspect, semantic and grammatical ‘offenses’ occur unstoppably and unremarked upon, the poem races down the ‘wild highway’ of itself oblivious." Oli Hazzard on Timothy Donnelly • Prac Crit
"One part of the monastery complex houses a music school. Another outbuilding will soon be home to a new Joseph Conrad Museum, courtesy of a Polish foundation. Due to open earlier this year, this was deemed politically tricky and has been delayed." Horatio Morpurgo in the Ukraine PN Review

New poems

Marie Naughton Southword

John North Southword

Ciaran Berry Plume

Yusef Komunyakaa PN Review

Heather Altfeld Okey-Panky

Michael Prior Winnipeg Review

Elizabeth Willis The New Yorker

David Yezzi The Atlantic

Tyler Mills Poetry

Robert Wrigley B O D Y

Josh Bell New Yorker

Richard Parker Poetry Wales

Heather Christle Floating Wolf Quarterly

Steve Sawyer Blackbox Manifold

Cathy Park Hong Paris Review

Helen Tookey Blackbox Manifold


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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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