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poetry, essays, ideas
"The title poem of Muldoon’s new book Frolic and Detour (Faber, £14.99) is just such an indexical poem, crowded with proper names but threading its quest, to buy a “Hifashion chainsaw” (really!), with references to The Troggs, the wren (aka, the genus Troglodytes), the spirit of a Native American chief Tamanend, the Greek poet Stesichorus, Peter Pan, and Jane or Jenny Wren (who is “credited with playing Tinker Bell in the first West End / production of Peter Pan”.). The poem is a card trick, a feat of prestidigitation as it flips through one picture after another, so entertainingly that we almost forget that we want to “find the lady” in all this profusion." John McAuliffe Irish Times "Paul Muldoon brings centuries of knowledge to anything his eye settles on. How else to deal with “A world that now makes sense/ only in our rear-view mirror”? You may have to brush up on alchemy, Apache chieftains and the Easter Rising." Tristram Fane Saunders Telegraph
"Writing in the drb about how the fantasy landscapes of the seventeenth century, “make great play with light and shade, with hills and valleys”, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin observes how such scenes manage to say “not only look here, and look there, but perhaps even more insistently look at time, how it breaks up”. Time is constantly pressing on us throughout Sexton’s elegiac fantasia as the poems vary in length but remain constant at the level of line duration; each line is made up of sixteen syllables (to correspond with the Super Nintendo as a 16-bit console). Sexton’s achievement across this multi-dimensional elegy is to control and give animated shape to so much thought and experience in language that seems fresh, new and vital and brings the reader to life and on an immersive journey of descent and return." Maria Johnstone DRB
" The works in contention for the three categories – best collection, best first collection and best single poem – address the world head-on." The Guardian on Parwana Fayyaz, Stephen Sexton and Fiona Benson, and the shortlist
"Should we be surprised about a link between the highest levels of our political world and our most acclaimed poetry?" Alissa Quart NYT
"Harold Bloom and Anthony Burgess always enjoyed each other’s company. After Burgess’s death in 1993, Bloom corresponded with Liana Burgess, and he was very supportive of her idea to create an educational charity in memory of her late husband." Will Carr IABF
"For Coleridge and for O’Neill writing is a way of grappling with life and its ‘“restlessness”, its “fragmentary nature” and “connection’ / to “Wholeness”, that elusive grail.’ It is that sense of wanting to celebrate life and living that makes this final valedictory volume so good and so strong." Ian Pople on Michael O'Neill The Manchester Review
"Jana Prikryl’s No Matter—her second book, following The After Party (2016)—owes much of its strength to her life in New York City, a life that, as she tells it, resembles many others but feels distinctly hers." Stephanie Burt • Harper's

"I didn’t know then just how conductive a lightning rod this Harold Bloom was." Jason Guriel • Slate

"Solie’s poetry is also a form of resistance by just being so very pleasurable to read." GE Stevens Review 31
"As with her own poems, the keynote to Hacker’s translations is, clearly, a deep empathy with the poet she is translating. Such an empathy in translation ought to be obvious, but with Hacker, it inspires that warm elegance. A number of the translations are of Arab writers writing out of ‘resistance’." Ian Pople The Manchester Review
"Time wound its way into the Muldoon’s poems like a horse side-stepping its handler." Georgia Hase The Manchester Review
"The poet and scholar Michael Schmidt has just published a wonderful book, “Gilgamesh: The Life of a Poem” (Princeton), which is a kind of journey through the work, an account of its origins and discovery, of the fragmentary state of the text, and of the many scholars and translators who have grappled with its meaning." Joan Acocella • New Yorker

"In the summer of 2001, home for a visit from university, I took Anne Carson’s Men in the Off Hours and The Beauty of the Husband on a family fishing trip to Lake Diefenbaker. The former went over the side of the 14-foot aluminum Starcraft. Likely I’d been asked to ready the net. Though I hung the book over the line back at camp, it remains annotated with the lake’s algal profile." Karen Solie • Lithub

"Regan shows Heaney’s early use of the form as a smash and grab on the English tradition, quoting his desire to use the “official English verse form” to write his memorial for 1798, “Requiem for the Croppies”; Portnoyesque, he wanted to stick the sonnet back up its English background. Just as it is fascinating to remember how Heaney weaponises a poetic form here, it also helps us to view his later use of the form from The Haw Lantern onwards as moving towards an effective decommissioning, settling into the extraordinary proto-pax poetry of Seeing Things and The Spirit Level. In the broader context of the chapter here in the Irish sonnet, this sets up an apt comparison with the heroically inventive and unprecedented Alexandrines of Ciaran Carson in The Twelfth of Never which met the post-ceasefire reality with a torrent of passionate play, vividly contrasting with the sneaky intrigues of Muldoon’s sonnets from the middle of the conflict." Michael Hinds DRB
" ‘What has poetry taught you?’ asked Dennis O’Driscoll towards the end of their extended dialogue. To which Seamus replied: ‘That there’s such a thing as truth and it can be told – slant; that subjectivity is not to be theorized away and is worth defending; that poetry itself has virtue, in the first sense of possessing a quality of moral excellence and in the sense also of possessing inherent strength by reason of its sheer made-upness, its integritas, consonantia and claritas.’" Alan Taylor • Scottish Review of Books
"Seamus Heaney was real. Were he a fictional character, however, we likely would call him unrealistic, his life story and his career too good to be true. Like Robert Frost and W. H. Auden, but perhaps with fewer missteps and regrets, Heaney became the sort of modern poet whose best-known phrases circulate without attribution." Stephanie Burt • The New Yorker

"He was the ultimate connoisseur of the well-crafted thing, whether it was a line of poetry, a shoe or a pen. And if an object could be unearthed in an antiques shop so much the better. That day on Royal Avenue he talked about Smithfield Market, on which Castlecourt had been overlaid: a labyrinth of secondhand shops, destroyed by an IRA firebomb in 1974. If the city is, as he wrote, the map of the city, Ciaran drew Belfast better than anyone I ever read." Glenn Patterson Irish Times
"All night along the little tributary of the Eurotas called Mousga, the Spartiates have eaten and drunk among the soughing of the plane trees and the shadows of the tombs, hero-shrines to the sons of Hippocoön. The tomb of Alcman, Sparta’s greatest poet, is here as well." Christopher Childers • New Criterion

"I arrived in Istanbul with the hope of solving a literary mystery. Like many readers before me I wanted to locate the house where the Greek-Egyptian poet, C. P. Cavafy (1863-1933) had lived between 1882 and 1885." Gregory Jusdanis • Berfrois

"Elaine Feinstein, who has died aged 88, was a leading poet and the bringer of a new internationalism to British verse." Fiona Sampson • Guardian

"There are poets and readers who feel, as does Simon Armitage, that ‘Big P political poetry rarely works.’ Others devote themselves to an activist poetics, and some believe all poetry is inherently political. I think most of us feel all of these in some combination." Karen Solie Poetry London

New poems

Parwana Fayyaz PN Review / Forward

Matthew Welton The Manchester Review

Finuala Dowling The Manchester Review

Sasha Dugdale Mal Journal

Rory Waterman The Poetry Review

Nene Giorgadze Modern Poetry in Translation

Evan Jones Berfrois

Joey Connolly The Poetry Review


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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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