The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"On finally reading WITCH from beginning to end, from /penis hex/ to \cunt hex\, I learned that Tamás’ poetry was answering a question I didn’t know I had been asking." Rebecca Hurst The Manchester Review "Like the open secret of Lisette’s metaphysics, and the helpful explanatory notes in MacGillivray’s book, Tamás’s poetry invites readers in. Witch does not name its sources, but many of them poke out of the surface of the text (such as Silvia Federici) and may be gleaned by curious readers." Nisha Ramayya Poetry London
"Our history is one of pretending otherwise in favour of an identity based on a geography of the colonial imagination. The brutality of this history has only recently been acknowledged. Indigenous people of many nations and territories saw their traditional lands, resources, and freedom expropriated by a government who, among other redistributions, sold parcels of land thought least arable to immigrant settlers like my grandparents." Karen Solie • Poetry London

"The end of the poem can be the conclusion; it can be the accomplishment of all its language and its tactics. Or: it can be the place you stand looking even further out, or in, or with. That’s grace, as you say. Toward eternity, Dickinson says. This is the single greatest use of a preposition in American lyric poetry." David Baker • Poetry Northwest

"In anything intended for public consumption – poems, interviews, articles – Larkin would refer to his childhood as a “forgotten boredom”, to Coventry as “only where my childhood was unspent” and his parents as “awkward people with no talent for being happy”." Alan Jenkins • TLS

"It’s all metaphor. I’m not fit for the literal world and I don’t quite believe in it. I don’t know how anyone does, to be honest: the literal always strikes me as a missed opportunity." Vona Groarke bathmagg
"As much as I, too, love the poetry of feeling my mother tongue in my bones and blood, I would not be able to translate into it for the very fact that my literary knowledge/experience (the four decades of studying literature and writing about it) has been in English. I owe my proficiency as a literary translator to the considerable command I have obtained of a range of aesthetic and linguistic strategies by immersing myself in—and critically examining and reflectively internalizing—literary works written in English, both historical and contemporary." Aron Aji • The Millions

"One of Noel-Tod’s witnesses declares that the prose poem “is the circle we draw around our interactions with the world.” Another says it “resonates with ‘the absences that it accommodates.’” These soft-focus definitions should give us pause." Jason Guriel • The Walrus

"In other words, if flowers first came to symbolise love because of their promise of fertilisation and pollination, why do we associate the outer parts of the flowerhead – petals and sepals, corolla and calyx – with love, when it is the plant’s more hidden sexual organs that carry out its reproductive functions?" Daisy Lafarge Maljournal
I’m not criticising Whitman; as with every great poet who took an interest in politics (Pound, Yeats, Geoffrey Hill, even), the best of him wins out over the worst, and his expressions of disgust with and excoriation of pre-Lincoln officeholders like the poem, ‘To a President’, illuminate one of those famous contradictions Whitman contained within himself." Don Share PN Review
"We seem recently to have entered a phase in the cycle of literary fashion that favours self-expression over thingness. Or maybe the self has become poetry’s privileged thing. On this understanding, the poem is treated as a dispatch from an essential core of selfhood. I tend to think of poetry instead as a species of artefacture, closer to sculpture or musical composition than self-portraiture or memoir. Not that those two understandings are totally incompatible. It’s more a question of emphasis.”" Steven Toussaint • Poetry Shelf

"At moments, the way that The Octopus Museum fuses lyric poetry with approaching dystopia is reminiscent of the bleak, tech-heavy environment in Cathy Park Hong’s Engine Empire (2012), though Hong pictures a world of monitoring and VR and depression, and Shaughnessy’s is one where “since we used all the air conditioning it’s become impossible to think things through.”" Calista McRae • Harvard Review

"These are poems that arrive at locations where poetry used to be, but poetry doesn’t live there any more." Paul Batchelor New Statesman
"I’ve come to the conclusion that poetry can indeed uplift and sublimate and help us to make things good, but that it can also encourage us in false and sentimental ideas and emotions. Poetry can guide us, and it can lead us astray. And we have to acknowledge this, if we want to grant poetry its proper place in our lives. “The primary function of poetry, as of all the arts,” wrote Auden, “is to make us more aware of ourselves and the world around us. I do not know if such increased awareness makes us more moral or more efficient. I hope not. I think it makes us more human, and I am quite certain it makes us more difficult to deceive.” Auden died in 1973, most of his best work produced in the 1930s and 40s. It turns out that we need him now as much as ever." Ian Sansom Guardian
"The state of Irish poetry is not a subject to which I devote much thought, but I welcome the blossoming of women’s poetry in the North and I am still excited by the achievements and continuing creativity of the apprentice poets and friends (and their predecessors) who found poetry in Belfast in the 1960s." Frank Ormsby Irish Times
"Rarely has one poet’s aesthetic taste exercised such control over the formation of a literary canon." Michael J Sullivan Essays in Criticism
"The premiere of Scenes from Comus at the Proms in 1965 was a breakthrough for Hugh Wood. This setting of passages from John Milton’s 1634 masque is as much a symphonic poem as a cantata, a fusion of the Schoenbergian techniques that are paraded from the very start, as the solo horn unfolds a 12-note theme, with sensuously romantic textures. Half a century on, it seems a quintessentially British work." Andrew Clements Guardian

New poems

Ken Babstock The Manchester Review

Brooke Clark The Agonist

Anne Compton Manchester Review

Rory Waterman Wild Court

Carl Phillips bathmagg

Justin Quinn Yale Review

Vona Groarke Guardian

Bhanu Kapil Maljournal

Maria Koulouri Parmenar Press

Cheryl Follon The Dark Horse

Susannah Sheffer Threepenny Review

Colette Bryce Irish Times

Sean Lysaght The Clearing

David Ferry 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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