The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"In that case, perhaps what Kavanagh sees as a piece of stoical gallows-humour could also be read as a tongue-in-cheek tiff in which God and man merely squabble over who is the bigger disappointment." Andrew McCulloch TLS
"It’s not about dry or pedantic interpretation, or the deadening jargon most of us were taught in school. It’s about how poets write, and how people feel when they read poems and say them aloud." Joan Wickersham • Boston Globe
"Zagajewski can seem anachronistically highbrow: “Poets who listen to pop music — their numbers are growing — don’t seem to have … mystical leanings.” Once I unroll my eyes, I can see that Zagajewski is much attracted by “the ineffable,” by which he means, I think, what can’t be perceived entirely by the senses. He pokes fun at himself about this, or allows his father to. A journalist asks about an essay in which Zagajewski claimed settled people prefer painting while displaced people prefer music, “the most metaphorical of the arts” — metaphor being that which moves the literal toward the ineffable. “Slight exaggeration,” says Zagajewski’s father, an engineer — unwittingly giving name to this book. Zagajewski retorts: “A good definition of poetry … a slight exaggeration, until we make ourselves at home in it. Then it becomes the truth. But when we leave it again — since permanent residence is impossible — it becomes once more a slight exaggeration.”" Daisy Fried NYT
"Ever since I have first begun reading his work, I felt that here is somebody who has taken coincidence head-on. He braves constellations that illuminate life’s dazzling diversity in a flash. His poetry, his prose (one may not be sundered from the other in his case) is in search of immediate insight, among philosophers also commonly referred to as evidence. The image-complex is at the core of his poetics. The image contains an abundance of vantage points, an entire gallery of images. In his texts one may wander about like in a Baroque cabinet of wonders, a hermitage with walls covered from top to bottom with paintings in the style of the Petersburg Hanging." Durs Grunbein PI Online
"Despite the prevailing logic of the time, Miłosz would later write that “Representing a country that was turned into the province of a totalitarian foreign state was wrong and degrading, which I feel ashamed of today.”" Scott Beauchamp DRB
"Anyway I took these and other notes, before halfway through ‘A TUMOUR…’ I became suspicious of my suspicions, and Atkins emerged over a few pages as perhaps the most imaginative, sincere, and horribly, gloriously intent contemporary writer – certainly from Britain – I’ve read. Excess is part of it: after a while it’s pointless to complain about the ‘lack of economy’ or scary-funny fluency with which he switches up registers – it’s better just to stay alert and let the astonishments happen. The choicest of these occur between hiccupping interjections of the body – um’s, er’s, erratic BLOCK CAPS – and a woundingly offhand blokiness – ‘Chin up matey’, ‘Classic stuff, that’ (‘he do masculinity in different voices’, as one blurb promises)." Sam Riviere Poetry London
"I don’t in any way regret this exhumation; it corrects a serious error of memory in the dispersed and numinous mind of the “poetry audience” and demands respect for ways of writing poetry which are vulnerable to populist disdain." Peter Riley Fortnightly Review
"In the Beats they found a compelling image of the poet as adventurer, visionary, outsider, and intellectual provocateur. And in Hora Zero they found an attractive conception of the literary text as a “poema integral, ” a total or comprehensive poem that would incorporate a mixture of languages and genres into the text as a way of representing the full integration of the poet into all areas of life. A year after the publication of the Zarazo tabloid, Santiago Papasquiaro met Bolaño and several other young poets who shared his neo-avant-garde position and became the first recruits of his projected group." Ruben Medina Chicago Review
"It wasn’t until I was translated into German, by (the poet and novelist) Marcel Beyer, that I appreciated how devious I was in English. Deviousness, for me, is a prime quality of English—English English, that is. I don’t know that Americans do devious, and if they do, then it comes out different. Maybe high-energy devious." Michael Hofmann • Asymptote
"Whitman, who would go on, during the Civil War, to volunteer at an Army hospital, vacillates between empathy and disgust for such infirmities. He doesn’t so much sing the body electric as linger on the sad sack whose “joints move like those of some rusty machine,” whose “bowels are clogged with accumulations of fearful impurity, like sewers that have been stopped.”" Dan Piepenbring • The New Yorker
"This is primarily because Vuong possesses a large and unusual imagination, but the road he has taken to poetry is also a factor: he was born in Vietnam and emigrated to the US after a spell in a refugee camp; he is also gay. Being a Trump-voter’s worst nightmare seems to have provided him with a unique and often comic perspective on Western language and life." Paul Batchelor on Vuong, O'Riordan and Bryce New Statesman
"That’s one of our great societal difficulties with poetry; we can’t accept that it’s as it is, because we’ve been taught to believe that it’s about something else. We’re always looking for the something else it’s about. It’s a banal thing to say, but it accounts for a lot of trouble that readers get into." Paul Muldoon Princeton News
"The Soviet educational system was dominated by the atheism that she abhorred, but precisely why she was singled out for such inhuman treatment remains a mystery. One might have expected that she would have been given an intimidating rebuke by the KGB and dismissed from her job. Instead she found herself confronting the full force of the Soviet law, but poetry in Russia was always dangerous." Michel Bourdeaux Guardian
"Kleinzahler wants to capture experiences live, before they are recorded and mediated. He is always aiming for the moment of potential when something – in this case, history itself – is up for grabs. An impossible ambition perhaps but one that can produce thrillingly various results." Paul Batchelor New Statesman
"On 5 January 1934 he writes to Marianne Moore to suggest a new, expanded selection of her poems ‘to be put on the London market again’. This is followed, on the same day, by a letter to Harriet Weaver about the possibility of publishing Ulysses, an earlier attempt, by the Egoist Press, having been frustrated by the Home Office and the Customs who seized it as ‘obscene’. Two days later he writes to Ezra Pound, in a playful spirit, that if he is coarse (his caps), ‘as my old friend Winthrop Sprague Brooks used to say, I’ll be horse-fucked.’ Haffenden tells us about Mr Brooks but does not expand on ‘horse-fucked’." Michael Schmidt PN Review
"His visitors ranged from illustrious old friends, such as T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams, to eager younger poets, such as Robert Lowell and Allen Ginsberg, to less savoury members of the real lunatic fringe, among them the violent white sup­rem­acist John Kasper, whose neo-Nazi views “Uncle Ez” warmly supported and encouraged. To the end Pound remained an anti-Semite, but now he added black Americans and civil rights protesters to his roster of well-nurtured hatreds." Eric Ormsby • TLS
"“If you believe you’re a citizen of the world,” according to Theresa May, “you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means.” In the context of the Brexit negotiations, the enduring refugee crisis, the Trump presidency, tabloid xenophobia and the alarming rise in racist assaults since the EU Referendum, this kind of political illiteracy cannot be challenged often enough." Andy Croft Morning Star
"It was as if the bass on a sound system had been turned too soft. Was Shivanee Ramlochan’s poetry sounding out as it should – disturbing the heart’s function, not just thrilling or pleasing it? For the scope and foci of her writing are deeply and subtly offensive, both to the internationally marketed ‘Caribbean woman’ image, and to the strand of conservatism at home in the region (and not without its mirrors or twins elsewhere)." Vahni Capildeo the Poetry Review
"And for someone such as me, who often has a seat at the table, what is the role of tokenism, which I consider to be one of the most egregious and insidious pillars of oppression? Social media is the global platform for marginalized groups. It is certainly where black women communicate without being brokered by the mainstream – the white editors, producers and institutions who decide whose voices are heard. Online, our ideas and experiences are shared, honed and validated between ourselves. It is no coincidence that Reni Eddo-Lodge arose out of this blogosphere full of chutzpah. But it is a sign of the times that such a forthright book about Britain has been taken on by a major publisher. One hopes it will open the door to many more." Bernardine Evaristo TLS
"This just shows how incomplete every published account is – and, yes, I could do with another book about poetry in the cotton towns. Wilkinson mentions my work at one point and criticises it. The convention is to reply to these things, so I apologise if this is egoistic. He takes me down for mentioning Jim Burns but not discussing his work as magazine editor. OK, this is true. But there were 2000 magazines in the 60s." Andrew Duncan Litter
"The quality of anger is usually strained, but Williams’s muse was fuelled by a witty and beautiful anger that he channelled in three great poems at the end of the 1980s: Whale Nation, a wonderful hymn to the largest of all the mammals and a plea for their protection, Sacred Elephant, and Autogeddon, a JG Ballard-style ballad about the plague of the motor car. All three were filmed by the BBC, the third performed by Jeremy Irons." Michael Coveney Guardian
"Welton has cited numerous influences, from Gertrude Stein to Raymond Roussel. But, to this reader, the two most important ones are Wallace Stevens and Raymond Queneau. Stevens was using repetition as early as his first collection, “Harmonium” in 1923; his poem “Sea Surface Full of Clouds”, seems to be a foundational text for Matthew Welton’s poetry." Alan Baker Litter
"Part of Milosz’s lifelong project was to write as if poetry “is no longer a foreigner in society,” to make a poetic model out of shared trauma." Edward Hirsch New Republic

New poems

August 2017. The Page is on holidays.

Amanda Newell Scoundrel Time

Mark Ford Poetry London

Andrea Brady Granta

Kit Fan The Poetry Review

Evan Jones Poetry Ireland Review

Gordon Mitchell Smith Kenyon Review

Ocean Vuong Poetry London

Heather Phillipson Poetry international

Ian Pople Berfrois

Julian Stannard the Poetry Review

Atsuro Riley Threepenny Review

Marianne Moore Guardian

Joel Brouwer Conduit

Allis Hamilton The Poetry Review

Ocean Vuong 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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