The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"I watched a million cowboy movies growing up, and in the ones where the cowboy doesn’t ride off into the sunset, he usually dies. Sometimes he dies while riding off into the sunset, slumped over on a horse. There has to be a better way." Patricia Lockwood • New Republic
"In 2015, 15% of books in translation were from the French, and just 8.8% of those 113 books were from outside of Europe and Canada. During my year in Marrakech, I started looking into which Moroccan writers had already been translated. I assumed the renowned Moroccan writers had all managed to find their way into English at some point. I would soon learn just how untrue this was. In the entire history of Moroccan writing, written in any language—be it French, Arabic, or any of the local dialects—I managed to find only roughly thirty Moroccan writers with full-length works translated into English." Emma Ramadan • Words Without Borders
"One toehold for interpretation is the seeming contrast between the saccharine verses sung by Fayrouz, whose songs Abounaddara often uses to ironic effect, and the pseudo-Stalinist spectacle of stiffly dancing children. Yet the words of Gibran’s poem also say something true about life under Assad: children really don’t belong to their parents. As we can see, they belong to the state—like everyone else." Robyn Cresswell • NYRB
"From a technical point of view, One Hundred Years a Nation is a text that derives as much from the hip-hop tradition of “spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics” as it does from anything in Tadhg Dall Ó hÚigínn or Gerard Manley Hopkins. The music serves sometimes as a backdrop upon which the words inscribe themselves, sometimes as an FX track. Even the melody of the anthem is defined by the intrinsic musicality of the phrase “100 years a nation”, a phrase I trust will resound over the distant grinding of tectonic plates." Paul Muldoon • Irish Times
"Nothing is more essential to British poetry in its present condition than that a sense of “utter alienation” should obtrude on it." Geoffrey Hill • TLS
"Wang sees Kenneth Goldsmith’s statements that “uncreative writing is a postidentity literature,” and Marjorie Perloff’s 2006 MLA presidential address lamenting the demise of the “merely literary” (as opposed to the social or historical), to represent, at best, a repression—whether conscious or unconscious—about the significance of race in U.S. experience, and at worst, the embodiment of racist assumptions that low, “content-based” art is primarily written by people of color." David Micah Greenberg • Boston Review
"All rhymers of every century believed—wordlessly, mutely, even incoherently believed—that rhyme, by punctuating and thus amplifying the effects of a poem’s rhythm, helped to put a kind of spell on the reader, inducing unintelligible pleasure—and acquiescence to whatever was being said. They thought rhyme was a drug. And the unconscious inhibition against rhymes that might be supposed to interrupt the drug effect was simply one more development in the general 17th- and 18th-century program for improving English versification." Anthony Madrid • Prelude
"I have been described as more European in my writerly sensibilities, and I think that may be true, insofar as I not only think it’s okay to use abstraction but that it’s essential – it’s the abstractions that we’re always wrestling with, not the tangible things that are easy enough to pin down." Carl Phillips • Smartish Pace
"The mythical mapped on to the personal; the poetry of ages traced on to the human trials of life, illness and death." Guardian
"How to live a life “unsponsored” by a deity, in which we are responsible for inventing our own meanings, was the great subject of Stevens’s poetry from beginning to end." Adam Kirsch • The Atlantic

"I freely admit to a prejudice against the exercises in writing pantoum, villanelle, ghazal or sestina, which may enable bonding among groups of students. I have a strong feeling that a poem should find its form as an individual writing enterprise and that a poet should find her voice as she moves through the forest of subjects that want to be written about and words and shapes that offer themselves. For some poets the frisky games played by these exotic forms are utterly seductive and transform their writing ‑ but I can't in the case of Jane Clarke make out just why “On the Boat” should take the shape of a pantoum or “Who owns the field?” of a villanelle." Eilean Ni Chuilleanain • DRB
"She had studied with Alice Notley and Ted Berrigan, two of the most admired, most out-there poets of the countercultural New York literary scene. In a recent interview in the Guardian, Myles says of this time, “you just rolled in on Friday night with your beer and Alice Notley was teaching a workshop. You brought drugs.” She had worked as an assistant to James Schuyler, one of the original New York School poets. She may have come from a working-class family in Massachusetts, but if what impresses you are the avant-garde and renegade circles of New York City poetics, Myles’s pedigree is second to none." Arielle Greenberg • Poetry Foundation "It’s a charming enough poem; and, I would guess, it worked at what it was intended to do: lure this girl into bed. But that’s not why Myles reads it to Schuyler, or why she quotes herself reading it to Schuyler on the last pages of her autobiographical novel. The poem is homage, only deepened by its ostensible cruelty to the old iceberg in the chair, his “boozy wrinkles” revealing a lifetime of experience. It is written in Schuyler’s ribbon-like short lines, haltingly enjambed; it reminds me especially of Schuyler’s heartbreaking poem, for me his greatest: “This Dark Apartment.”" Dan Chiasson • NYRB
"The best-known sentence of Shklovsky’s long scholarly career is “Automatization eats things, clothes, furniture, your wife and the fear of war” – and yet the connections between ostranenie and war have hardly been mentioned in a hundred years. In literature, language can be made strange and thus experienced more intensely (similar arguments are to be found in Aristotle)." Alexandra Berlina • TLS
"After Syria's civil war started, the statue of al-Maarri was sprayed with bullets by fighters who deemed his work heretical. Eventually militants from the al-Nusra front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, finished the job - it was reported that in February 2013, in the middle of the night, they knocked off his enormous bronze head." Kanishk Tharoor and Maryam Maruf • BBC News
" The novel is a child of this era, whereas poetry is flung into it kicking and screaming and nostalgic for lost status, but both genres are equally without external sanction. The authority of the writer must be charismatic, since (a very few knighthoods and laureateships notwithstanding) there is precious little institutional authority on offer. But what now, when much of literature (especially literature that sees itself as literary) has entered the academy, not only as the site of interpretation and evaluation but as the site of creation." Robert Archambeau • B O D Y
"Its style and approach, it’s true, bring Kitty Kelley to mind more often than Richard Ellmann." Mark Ford • LRB
"In the introduction to her book, Karthika Nair states that the aim of the text was originally to be ‘a re-imagining of the Mahabharata through the voices of eighteen women’. Nair’s final version offers the monologues of nineteen characters, three of them male, and a couple of them wolves." Ian Pople • Manchester Review
"This was a contentious issue some years ago. Philip Larkin argued that when Auden left England for the United States in January 1939, he lost his theme. The United States never gave him anything worth writing poems about. I am not sufficiently in the world to know whether or not this is still a hot issue." Denis Donoghue • Irish Times
"We know the horse is scraps of paper and we also know—cannot resist knowing—that it is a horse. Not an “outside” horse, not a horse up on top of Utah on top of the White Rim Trail, but a magic horse." Kay Ryan • Threepenny Review
"You get a mind deeply immersed in and deeply engaged with her poets, absolutely attuned to the fine workings of a poem and determined to communicate her findings to the widest possible audience. It’s worth thinking about that: university scholars don’t on the whole, at least in literature, bother with the community outside their gates. Most contemporary literary scholarship is an internal conversation, if even that, or a kind of border-patrolling whose chief weapons are impenetrability and power prose designed to repel invaders. Vendler, from the outset, made a distinction between scholarship and criticism. Peter Sirr • DRB
"This is a thorny, difficult book. Reading it requires care, and effort. That is praise." Bethany W Pope • Wales Arts Review
"Ridge was not just a poet of activism. She was one of the first to delineate the life of the poor in Manhattan and, in particular, women’s lives in New York City." Teresa Svoboda • Boston Review
"I really really want a poetry that is not just stateless or borderline but is anti-state, but I do not think that poetry as a whole ‘is a practice that calls for the abandonment of sovereignty’." Juliana Spahr • Tender (pdf)

New poems

William Logan Partisan

DS Marriott Shearsman

Derek Mahon Gallery

David Solway New Criterion

Amanda Joy Australian Book Review

Albert Goldbarth Georgia Review

Jillian Weise Clinic

James Tate Massachusetts Review

John Ashbery Paris Review

Sasha Steensen Kenyon Review

Cathal McCabe Irish Times

Ben Lerner Harpers

Maura Dooley Guardian

Mary Ruefle Paris Review

Laurie Duggan Cordite

Carl Phillips Poetry


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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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