The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"In Baxter’s rejection of Brasch’s aestheticism we can see how far away he is, not just from the refined and somewhat snobbish editor of Landfall, but from the modernist assumptions of the nationalist mainstream – elders like Curnow and Sargeson, but also his key contemporaries (Frame, Duggan, Smithyman et al). To Baxter as a humanist, a Christian and activist there are always more important things to worry about than poetry." John Newton The Spinoff
"“lips-gear scalpel batter, ” for instance, or “love droid voice ”; “global badger-tetanus, ” “lie flan debit mash liability, ” “beauty vanilla bonds, ” “Yakult / spine cooler, ” “carnauba wax rissole, ” and “elf neon crossbar. ” The ploy is at once hysterically funny and deadly serious; it shakes an apotropaic totem of verbal absurdity at capital’ s pitiless extinction of true names, even as it bundles nouns into new, untold composites that the poem’ s light must bend around. [...] [The ode] is the mode in which he has actuated the remarkable (and as yet unheralded) shift from coterie poet to public poet, honing a voice through which increasingly to inveigh, accuse, and anathematize the enemy, but also to celebrate, inspire, and commemorate the resistance. " Julian Murphet Chicago Review
"My memory is that we were on that gently descending path for an hour but I found out later that it’s only about 400 feet long. The slowness was in the time it took for me to adjust to the unfolding scale of this journey and my need to keep re-making the decision that I was not going to turn back, which had the effect of returning me in my mind to the start." Lavinia Greenlaw The White Review
"I have only one criticism and one request of the editors and publishers. Volume four of these letters appeared 13 years ago. When the first few volumes appeared, in the 1980s and 1990s, the poet’s daughter, Anne Yeats, remarked to me that she’d be dead before they all appeared. I replied: “Miss Yeats, we’ll all be dead before they appear.”" Anthony Roche Irish Times
" That day, we were back with Donne again: “The Sun Rising”, one of the language’s greatest love poems, as fresh and exultant now as it was when it was written four centuries ago. But rather than scouring the work of Forward or Pulitzer prize winners to find something to read with it, this time I turned to YouTube. The poem I chose was Hollie McNish’s “Watching Miserable-Looking Couples in the Supermarket”." Sarah Crown Guardian
"Thynne likes Duffy, but works by contemporary young poets like Helen Mort, Caroline Bird, Sarah Howe and Rebecca Perry particularly struck a chord. “You read that you’re not alone, that what you’re going through is normal,” she says." Donna Ferguson Guardian
"Many of us find ourselves seeming like we’re fighting for the interests of the artist, but we’re really fighting for the interests of the economy, or in the interest of performative personality." Hanif Abdurraqib in conversation with Nawal Arjini • The Nation
"England is to be re-found in the encapsulation of its qualities by acts of enlightenment, in which landscape, geology and language are united in an individual experience felt as a kind of epiphany or a glimpse of the total, also an authentic re-mapping to counter the falsity of the decadent late Romantic and ironic versions. It is important that these acts, be they writing, painting, music or whatever, are not mere representations; they are direct creation of the other and real place in its other world, which is the only way there is to reach and restore the one we live in. The discourse is exhortatory rather than analytical, operating at two extremes: the particular and individual or “local”, and the most ambitious bid for remote distance, the tension between these two forming the total. Realisations of the present and of ancient time, prehistoric or geological, are the bases of an over-arching juncture which is a refuge, a shelter making the work possible, and a protection from alien temptations into the pastoral dream. The English focus protects, for instance, from the pseudo-heroic false colours of Scotland or Ireland because it is where you are." Peter Riley Fortnightly Review
"Reading [James] Lord's claim in Plausible Portraits that "From the beginnings of civilization, it has been the human likeness which has most preoccupied man," Cole is moved to express his desire that poetry should be a kind of intense portrait: "I want to write poems that are X-rays of the soul in moments of being and seeing. This includes the ghastly, the insane, and the cruel, but also beauty, Eros, and wonder."" V Joshua Adams Pop Matters
"But then thoughts are sometimes so delicious precisely because they can’t be expressed, their complexity does not permit them to exist. Such thoughts in their dark ingenuity parallel the work of the Soviet paper architects (the followers of Piranesi’s Imaginary Prisons) whose baroque and unconstructable designs were an antidote to Soviet planned architecture with its permitted ceiling heights and mandatory rubbish chutes. Paper architecture was the victory of the dreamer over the builder, the idler over the achiever." Sasha Dugdale PN Review
"Scholarly purists prefer the laconic Latin title Petrarch himself gave it: Rerum vulgarium fragmenta. The adjective vulgaris is a lexical description, referring to the fact that the poems are in Tuscan rather than Latin, so the title translates roughly as ‘Fragments of Things in the Vernacular’. The more obvious meaning, ‘Fragments of Everyday Things’, is also present, and perhaps ironic – to be disappointed in love is indeed a common experience, though when viewed through the distorting lens of 14th-century poetry it becomes something complicated and metaphysical. After Petrarch’s death in 1374 the collection acquired more aptly Italian titles. Rime sparse (‘Scattered Rhymes’) is taken from the opening lines of its first poem: ‘Voi ch’ascoltate in rime sparse il suono/di quei sospiri ond’io nudriva ’l core’ (‘You who hear in scattered rhymes the sound of those sighs I fed my heart with’). The most popular title is even simpler: Il Canzoniere (‘The Songbook’), which seems to express a sense of the work’s definitiveness as a collection of lyric poetry." Charles Nicholl LRB

New poems

Sheri Benning Manchester Review

Deryn Rees-Jones Manchester Review

Vona Groarke The Irish Times

Liz Quirke The Manchester Review

August Kleinzahler Bars and guitars

Iain Twiddy The Manchester Review

Sam Riviere 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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