The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"The only reasoned and lucid response to the human condition, Leopardi decided, was despair: hence all positive action and happiness must always have the quality of illusion." Tim Parks NYRB
"I was aware of a number of [Liam Miller, editor of Dolmen Press]'s early books as they passed through the stages of publication. I was aware of a proposed book by Seamus Heaney. Miller was glad to add this to the body of new Irish poetry gathering around the press. I was enthusiastic, even without seeing the full contents. I had seen some of Heaney’s early poems and knew he was important. A strong image out of Bogland described what I myself had seen in the dark hall of the Natural History Museum: 'They’ve taken the skeleton / Of the Great Irish Elk / Out of the peat, and set it up, / An astounding crate full of air.'" Thomas Kinsella Irish Times
"Students of lyric are often eager to attempt to show that the contemporary lyric is politically radical and disruptive — usually because of its parody of dominant discourses or because of its linguistic deformations of ordinary ways of making sense — but it is hard to demonstrate that the presence of such strategies in poems has the desired effects." Jonathan Culler LARB
"Why was I suspicious, and why might others be anxious about seeing poetry funding data presented in this way (despite of course, it already being public). You can’t help but be hypnotised by some of the figures here. My first instinct was to find the highest single award (FYI, it is £543,500, awarded to[...])" Lucy Burns The Manchester Review
"True originality is baffling. Perhaps it’s just hard for the rest of the herd to know what to make of the sui generis blue kangaroo. What would the typical, straight-forward sincerest of the meditative-narrative mode of the 1980’s do with [Bill] Knott’s constant tone switching, sonically-fuelled image mash-ups, and his puns, doubletalk and neologisms?" David Rivard B O D Y
"Today, Forrest-Thomson is more relevant than ever. Although her voice might have gone underground for decades, the questions she raises go straight to the core of problems that plague poets today: How can you create a genuine experience in a poem? What can a poem do that other artistic media can’t? What is the purpose of writing a poem?" Adrienne Raphel Poetry
"Of course, I'm older now and, inevitably, less judgmental. I have also observed, over time, how more dignified, serious-minded poets have cultivated their reputations via the critical-academic establishment route—those tireless, decades-long campaigns for Pulitzers, even the Nobel, with all the bartering, double crosses, and leveraging that entails. Of course, this takes place behind the veneer of priestly devotion to the Art of Poesia, the life of the spirit and all that. Ginsberg, at least, made no pretense about it. He was, figuratively, on the busiest street corner in town, jealous of his position there, and with his skirt up over his head, wiggling his hairy old ass for whatever it was worth." August Kleinzahler Poetry Daily
"It is not purely a bitter coincidence that in his 1913 essay “The Morning of Acmeism” he asserts, “To exist is the artist’s greatest pride. He desires no other paradise than existence . . .” He goes on to describe Acmeism’s simple humanism and individualism – as opposed to the exclusivist mysticism of what had gone before – thus: “There is no equality, there is no competition, there is only the complicity of all who conspire against emptiness and non-existence. Love the existence of the thing itself and your own existence more than yourself: that is Acme­ism’s highest commandment.” Towards the end of his life he was also reported, by Akhmatova, to have described Acmeism as “a homesickness for world culture”." Eimear McBride New Statesman
" Just as the British tradition offers no equivalent to Walt Whitman’s poetry of the Civil War, so the American tradition seems to lack its Owen. Searching through A. Scott Berg’s excellent anthology, World War I and America, one comes up with very little poetry at all—Robert Frost’s “Not to Keep,” a passage from Ezra Pound’s “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley”—until, near the end, with a grin of recognition, one turns to E.E. Cummings’s sardonic and, for 1926, audacious “my sweet old etcetera.” A trench poem indeed, whose author had served in the ambulance corps. But Cummings seems a very long way from Owen." James Fenton NYRB
"The main thing I did was the text for a piece that was composed for an orchestra and a chorus of about 1200 people, and it was called "One Hundred Years a Nation," music by Sean [sic] Davey, presented in Collin's [sic] Barracks, which is the old British Army headquarters in Dublin, and presented on Easter Sunday. I'd written a poem called "1916: The Eoghan Rua Variations," which was also read over the course of the week, in the National Concert Hall. I also put together another show, in the National Concert Hall, of Irish writers, poets, novelists, and playwrights. Then I did something in the Dublin Writers' Center for another poem I'd been commissioned to write, which is about Padraig Pearse and the General Post Office in Dublin.[...] I mean there is a theory that all poems are commissioned in some sense. Andrew Motion, for example, the former poet Laureate of England, of the U.K., which is a job that involves a lot of commissions, feels that everything, in some sense, is commissioned. You set yourself the job of writing something. I, myself, don't quite go so far as that, because I try to do as little work as possible." Paul Muldoon APR
"Edith Hall, editor of this selection of Harrison’s prose, is a distinguished and energetic professor of Greek who once worked with the Scottish miners’ leader Mick McGahey. She calls attention to the way “Harrison has found in classical antiquity his most fruitful medium for discussing the class politics of art”. She understands his political anger as well as his artistic generosity." Robert Crawford Guardian
"Bryce casts light, from odd angles, on what is hidden in a series of brilliant self-portraits, sometimes with others, sometimes alone and, recurrently, featuring a stationary car. There is a giddy delight in Car Wash where Bryce and her partner find themselves “delighted by a wholly / unexpected privacy / of soap suds pouring, no, / cascading in velvety waves”, so that “what can we do”, she writes, “but engage in a kiss / in a world where to do so / can still stop the traffic.”" John McAuliffe Irish Times
"There is another reason. Sissay has found it too painful to read all his files, let alone the psychologist’s report. He says he will find it easier in the theatre." Lemn Sissay Guardian
"Frazier’s chief contribution is to shrink Yeats in Gonne’s life and to detail the extent and nature of her political affiliations and actions in France, of which Yeats and her own followers (some of them blind followers) were largely ignorant. As a result, Gonne is liberated (though her shade may regret this) from the Yeats oeuvre to become a larger, more complex and more dangerous figure certainly than I realised." John Wilson Foster DRB
"Glimpsed through the lens of [Malcolm] Guite’s biography, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” constitutes, as it were, the “involucrum” of Coleridge’s existential chrysalis: a chamber into which the poet’s emergent self will eventually swell." Kelly Grovier TLS
"There is more to be said elsewhere, but it offered a fascinating oversight into contemporary poetry among writers likely to enter competitions—many of whom seemed to have only the vaguest idea of what a poem was. (Slap some rhymes down, give it some ‘fine feeling’, et voila!)." Gerry Cambridge The Dark Horse

New poems

Ocean Vuong Poetry London

Michael O'Brien Chicago Review

Denis Johnson 42 Miles

Emma Simon The Rialto

Ryan Fox New Yorker

Lorna Goodison Guardian

Sue Leigh Arete

Emily Berry Granta


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The Page aims to gather links to some of the Web's most interesting writing.

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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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