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poetry, essays, ideas
"His memory was prodigious – for poems, for horses, for what people such as his friends Patrick Kavanagh and Flann O’Brien had done and said. It might be easy to say that he was the last of a generation, but it never felt like that in his company." Colm Toibin on Anthony Cronin • Irish Times "Louis MacNeice may well have been a shadow in the background there, and Cronin is certainly an inheritor of Patrick Kavanagh’s quantum leap into democratic vistas, but it is England which was to be Cronin’s lodestar." Michael O'Loughlin • Irish Times "In a literature full of drivel and special pleading Cronin's intelligence and skepticism shine through with heartening clarity. He has always written as if he lived in a beseiged city, like the Camus of Combat." Thomas McCarthy • Poetry Ireland Review (1989)
"27 February. Good piece in this morning’s Guardian, a discussion between Will Self and Stewart Lee in which the latter describes the hostile reaction he sometimes has to face from audiences. At one point, ‘a guy got really angry. He said it wasn’t the audience’s fault they didn’t get what I was doing and I should be better at my job. I thought there was going to be a fight, as he came down to the stage and was hanging about in a menacing way. I had to come out of character and say: “Look, this is a construct.”’ This is true in all sorts of (less menacing) situations to do with writing. There are plenty of Larkin poems, for instance, in which the poet could add the same footnote: ‘Look, this is a construct (and I’m not as celibate as I pretend or maybe even as racist).’" Alan Bennett Diary • LRB
"This November, I found myself exchanging emails with some of our American contributors about final corrections in the days immediately following the election. My first impulse was to apologise: how trivial proofs and poems seem at such times! But then I began to realise how poems – like the ones in these pages – will be among our most necessary acts of resilience and resistance in the years to come." Sarah Howe • The Poetry Review
"Not in my wildest literary dreams would I have imagined my favorite Spanish poet ever, Francisco de Quevedo, playing a tennis match. Less so with another “monster” of the arts in the Baroque and convulse times of Europe in the seventeenth century. The author of this amazing novel is Álvaro Enrigue, who dared to set Sudden Death (Riverhead) as a tennis match in which the ball is made with hair from Anna Bolena’s fallen head, taking the reader through a historical tapestry of the Spanish Empire and the consequences for the people of the new world, among many other subjects." Cristóbal Pera • Words Without Borders
"The frame says: look at this, this is important, it means something. The problem, though, is that (as avant garde artists discovered in the early 20th century), you can put anything in a frame – a used tissue, for example – and it will suddenly seem significant. The frame is not to be trusted. As Groarke puts it so nicely in the poem that precedes the essay, “every promise ever made/ was framed in a yellow frame”." Fintan O'Toole on Vona Groarke • Irish Times
"The ring-road takes us back to the Zen-like highways of Rita Angus’s late Hawkes Bay paintings, or to the abstract, circular motifs in Ralph Hotere’s great black paintings—works in which a simple circle becomes simultaneously a sun/moon, an infinity symbol and a cell containing all life, the Eucharist of Catholic tradition or the motif at the centre of Zen Buddism, as outlined by the monk Shoichi." Gregory O'Brien • Journal of New Zealand Studies
"The time is right, O’Brien suggests, to rethink some basic assumptions about relationships between commercial entities and the rest of society. Perhaps contemporary novelists, playwrights and poets can help us in that task." David Throsby • TLS
"Outrage is not dead—it is everywhere. We take to social media, tagging our agitations, live tweeting our disbelief. Afflicted, we are affected—and we have an outlet, constantly up to date and updating. Does it feel like freedom? Does it feel like action? Does it feel like the actual? Of what use are we in these times? How do we live our lives so that we are not unwittingly enabling the very structures and conditions we protest loudly against? What do these times demand from us as writers and artists?" Editors • High Chair
"A high point in our friendship came when we organised, long before poetry readings became commonplace, a reading by the three of us in the ballroom of the Royal Hibernian Hotel in Dawson Street on February 3rd, 1961. We had an audience of 300, of which half came free, including Austin Clarke, with an invitation from the Dolmen Press; and the other half paid at the door. Our reading was chaired by Peadar O’Donnell; Paddy Kavanagh came to the ballroom door, declared his presence with loud resonant coughs, and refused to enter." Richard Murphy • The Irish Times
"The vast array of lyrical attention he lavished on his native place and of love, bawdy and sacred, he lavished in his poems, make his a distinctive poetic voice in Ireland, irreverent, blunt at times, always elegant and with considerable elan." Damian Smyth • Belfast Telegraph
"We’re not supposed to believe that language can let the world through." Jason Guriel • Slate
"Born in 1842, during the reign of “Citizen King” Louis Philippe, Mallarmé came from a bourgeois family with royalist sympathies, which negatively influenced their reputation so that, in contrast to many of his later artistic circle, the poet lived modestly throughout his life and survived by toiling for decades as an English teacher in two lycées. His performance in this role was so poor that, a school inspector noted, 14 of Mallarmé’s students, all pooling their knowledge, could not translate the sentence “Give me some bread and water.”" Ellen Handler Spitz • The New Statesman
"Richard Brautigan, the great hippy writer, envisaged a “cybernetic meadow” in which “mammals and computers live together in mutually programmed harmony”. It sounds to me an awful lot like our own current state of storytelling, without, of course, the need for anyone to read poetry, which is the form within which Brautigan did his visualising, and we received his rather optimistic vision." Will Self Guardian
"But [Larkin] didn’t envy Conquest’s sources of income: “Reviewing is rather difficult, I find. I don’t think I’d like to do what you’re doing – it takes me far too long to find the words, and when I do they’re pretty soapy ones, not at all good. Still, it impresses colleagues”, he wrote. The letters also reveal the camaraderie among some of the Movement poets – especially Larkin, Conquest and Kingsley Amis, as is well known, but also between Conquest and two others, Thom Gunn and Donald Davie, who preceded him in moving to faraway California." Cynthia Haven TLS
"Throughout Float there are melodies and reprisals, ideas revised, revisited, and flipped. It’s a sophisticated piece of mental music, though that doesn’t mean every repetition and echo was forethought. Carson’s admitted to using a random integer generator in her work and embracing accidental formatting changes, explaining “it saves you a lot of worry.” She practices intentional unintentionality." Charlotte Shane New Republic
"In a very fundamental way, Ó Ríordáin represents the victory of compulsory Irish – it is compulsory to read him if you really want to know anything about Ireland and the world in which we live." Pol O Muiri Irish Times
"One of Bloom’s most annoying traits as a literary critic has been his abiding assumption that whatever an author may think he has written, Bloom knows better." Eric Ormsby New Criterion
"I knew Levis a little at Iowa, forty years ago. Stocky, a heavy smoker with wide-set eyes, he had a more than passing resemblance to Ernie Kovacs. His sad-sack manner belied a sardonic, dark intelligence—he moved in chiaroscuro with slothlike deliberation." William Logan New Criterion
"But the workshop poem is merely the aesthetic/cultural side of the financial/political annexation of the public." Tyrone Williams Lana Turner

New poems

Jane Yeh Poems in Which

Hugo Williams The Poetry Review

Penelope Shuttle The Poetry Review

Jenny Bornholdt The Red Room

John Montague Poetry International

Lawrence Raab B O D Y

Dean Young Threepenny Review

Janet Rogerson The Literateur


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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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