The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"The piece wasn’t going well and I sympathized when I came across Lear’s plea to William Holman Hunt for painterly guidance: “If you cannot tell me how the shadows of the blessed jackdaws will fall I don’t know what I shall do.” Coincidentally—or, not uncoincidentally—he spoke elsewhere 
of being in a state of “knowingnothingatallaboutwhatoneisgoingtodo-ness.” I took this as a cue—and an excuse: the essay would be “about” not knowing what one is about. Pleased that I now had a subject, I stopped writing and went for a run." Matthew Bevis Poetry
"There are several things that qualify someone to be a critic. They require some expertise; they must be able to write; they should have taste (reviews have everything to do with taste – and nothing). But the most vital qualification is that they should love whatever it is that they write about. As the late AA Gill put it: “If you don’t love it, why will you care if somebody does it badly?”" Rachel Cooke Observer
"Ordering a collection is quite an instinctive process. I enjoy shaking the poems loose from the order in which they were written and discovering a web of connections between them: how these might determine a pattern. With The M Pages, it seemed significant that ‘Death of an Actress’ took the opening position." Colette Bryce Picador
'"Why persist in existing, the poet Rilke asks, “when this span of life might be fleeted away / as laurel”? The answer he gives is at once straightforward and glorious, and it is one with which Brian Greene would surely concur: “. . . because being here is much, and because all this / that’s here, so fleeting, seems to require us and strangely / concerns us. Us, the most fleeting of all.”' John Banville The Irish Times
"What is meant to make Benn’s work ‘timeless’ puts it in orbit around a collapsing star, as modernity moves in to make it implode.
Sachs’ work directly mirrors this gravitational implosion. It is its holy opposite. She crushes the protons and electrons of ordinary language to form charged, neutron constellations, in colours we have never seen before.
Tiny, but impossibly dense, many of the later poems are the afterimages of the collapse of the monstrous swell of Benn and others, and their cultural elevation of nihilism to art." Steve Hanson Blackbox Manifold
"In this book he has assembled what amounts to Kenyon’s spiritual autobiography, as modest and profoundly moving in its way as the casual perfection of a single stroke of lead white describing the touch of light on a pewter vessel." Averill Curdy New Criterion
"In 1887, the story goes, College members sent Whitman a birthday card, which included a gift of £10. A note of thanks returned, and an exchange between Camden, New Jersey, and Bolton, Lancashire, began." Evan Jones Poetry

"I have woken to its sound and fallen asleep, often late, to the last train in the very early morning, for nearly 38 years now. Much else has changed around me here, but these two, the streetcar and mist, have not. I suppose they have become more a part of my identity than I realise." August Kleinzahler LRB

"This ‘social class of their own’ [in Auden's phrase] becomes ever more specialised and defined: many individuals who identify as poets have teaching jobs in universities and colleges. Academic institutions provide relatively safe environments. They pay, protect – and some of them homogenise. If social media are a measure, poets can develop a uniform set of political and civic opinion. They police their environment tirelessly, severely. Aberrant opinion, contrary argument, are promptly slapped down." Michael Schmidt PN Review
"We write at first because we must, but later we write because one or two people know us deeply and nevertheless want to read us." William Logan • New Criterion

"It’s one of the many books she never wrote. The journals are full of them. Which is the more telling: the energy that produced so many ideas for so many books? Or the obstacles that meant they were never written?" David Herman PN Review
"Phillipson once said: “I’m a poet, because I want to spend five hours writing three words.” She has been lucky enough to realise that dream, and several others besides to become a triple threat: visual artist, poet and musician." Stuart Jeffries Guardian
"Poetry, for [A.M.] Klein, was the highest of high callings, the apex art. Thus elected, the poet’s duty was to furnish readers with a vision of coherence. Roughly four decades later, Seamus Heaney would call this concept “redress.” Good poetry, Heaney believed, had a “counterweighing function”; it transformed, or redressed, social imbalances into an imagined alternative, an aesthetic counterreality." Carmine Starnino • The New Criterion

"As we have seen, that reaching out, Hoagland’s reading into the consciousness of the Other, can feel a little jarring where that reaching out might be a kind of colonizing as with ‘Dinner Guest’. But Hoagland’s poetry is driven by a real attempt to empathize. In ‘Rain-Father’, there is sympathy for both the father and the son." Ian Pople The Manchester Review
"I’m proud to present to you this edition of Sport. I hope you find that this edition is particularly gang, hot and flossy. Thank you to everyone who has trusted me with their mahi; your words are the only vibe check I need." Tayi Tibble Sport
"By early 1971, I was crossing it three or four times a week on my way to Quimantú, the government publishing house where, after teaching at the university, I was working as an ad honorem consultant on a series of projects: new youth and culture magazines, comic books designed to challenge Disney’s ascendancy in the market, and the publication of popular books sold in vast numbers in inexpensive editions at newsstands. One of the delights of that labor of love was, after several hours of strenuous and exhilarating work at Quimantú, to stop at a corner of the plaza and, for a few minutes, simply stand and watch my fellow citizens acquiring this reading matter at a kiosk." Ariel Dorfman NYRB
"If Keats was the poet who understood and responded to embarrassment, then [Devin] Johnston, here, places that embarrassment in the twenty-first century context. This is a context in which embarrassment has become part of universal discourse, witnessed in every environment from a campsite in the American landscape to the live stream worlds of Big Brother and Love Island." Ian Pople The Manchester Review
"In Dave [Hickey]'s cosmology, the Aryan muscle-boys weren’t just actual Aryan muscle-boys; they were all the puritans and schoolmarms, of whatever faith, color, ideology and affiliation, who think art isn’t just subordinate to ethics but practically a branch of it." Daniel Oppenheimer The Point
"If the death of god put the angels in a strange position, according to Donald Barthelme, Medbh McGuckian’s angels aren’t aware of it." Martina Evans • Irish Times

"“Huh,” I said aloud, “I never realized Odysseus has a sister.” I was feeling both confused and exposed in my ignorance, so I went back to whatever my point was and moved on. If any of my students reacted to what I said, I didn’t notice. Since they were reading the Odyssey for the first time, perhaps every character and detail was new to them, and this was just one more detail to try to absorb." Mary Ebbott • Michigan Quarterly Review

"A passage from the longest of her letters to Stevenson, from 1964, known as “The ‘Darwin’ Letter,” was one of the first pieces of her correspondence to gain attention when it was excerpted in Elizabeth Bishop and Her Art (1983). The passage begins: “There is no ‘split.’ Dreams, works of art (some), glimpses of the always-more-successful surrealism of everyday life, unexpected moments of empathy (is it?), catch a peripheral vision of whatever it is one can never really see full-face but that seems enormously important.”" Langdon Hammer • NYRB

New poems

Patrick Cotter Blackbox Manifold

Maurice Riordan Irish Times

Mark Anthony Cayanan Kritika Kultura (scroll down)

G.C. Waldrep Blackbox Manifold

Aria Aber Yale Review

Gabriella Attems The Scores

Callie Gardner The Scores

Vahni Capildeo PN Review

Don Mee Choi Granta

Nyla Matuk The Walrus

Noel Monahan Irish Times

Tom French The Manchester Review

Finuala Dowling The Manchester Review

Evan Jones The Walrus


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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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