The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"My father certainly thought there was something in the idea that coronavirus showed children’s hidden instincts towards their parents. Back in Prague, he was writing poetry on the subject. He’s been a poet all his life, but his radio career had meant that he was only able to produce one book or so per year. Now, hemmed in between retirement and the plague, he was tinkling out a books’ worth in a month." Peter Pomerantsev Granta
"As an M.F.A. student, Ngai maintained a commitment to what one reviewer called “a fairly extreme mode of poetry.” Her poems are jargony, enigmatic. Dashes stretch across the page. In a poem called “My Novel,” Ngai writes of “a meadow full of pronouns … a scene of necessary doubling, where language was rising with the pressure of heat.” Where we might expect to find natural objects — flowers in a meadow, hot air rising — we find only language. What Ngai came to desire, but did not achieve until after she finished her Ph.D., was to get away from that field of words, that inescapable “doubling” between signifiers and signified. “I started to realize,” Ngai told me, “I wasn’t that interested in bringing everything back to language. I wanted to use that insight to go somewhere else.”" Charlie Tyson Chronicle of Higher Ed
"Shiki had studied English, admired Abraham Lincoln for his self-sacrifice to his principles, and loved to play baseball. But Shiki was also a passionate scholar and practitioner of traditional Japanese and Chinese poetic forms. He shrewdly countered Anglo-American modernism—with its emphasis on the spare, the fragmentary, and the suggestive (and, in Ezra Pound’s case a decade later, an Orientalist interest in Confucianism and the Chinese written character)—by promoting a Japanese alternative steeped in tradition but laced with contemporary experience. “As it spills over / In the autumn breeze, how red it looks— / My tooth powder!”" Christopher Benfey NYRB
"She started attending classes taught by the feminist poet Kathleen Fraser, who encouraged Bellamy to look into a writing group led by the poet Robert Glück at Small Press Traffic in the Mission District. These weekly workshops became a place for writers who were disillusioned with the then-popular Language Poets, whose work emphasized a stark division between the writer of a piece and its voice. This new group challenged that division, inserting subjectivity into the text and playing with, as Milks writes, “the possibilities of loosely autobiographical storytelling to produce an exploded and unstable ‘I.’”" Claire Mullen The Nation
"I love this sentence by Carl Phillips in The Art of Daring, "Who can say which is better, the glory of foliage or the truth of what's left when the leaves fall away."" Ada Limon jubilat
"TOn one level, then, what we might call the ethos of erudition (an Erudite-geist?) may be simply the latest iteration of a poetic tradition always seeking new ways to convey complex and disorienting experience; it is a tradition that has long stood in counterpoint to prevalent discourse, playing on its imperialist language. Black poets’ current zeal for formal innovation, manifesting as it often does in an urge to appropriate scientific lexicons, heralds the desire for an imaginative agency profoundly informed, but not bound, by its markers of identity." Jerome Ellison Murphy The Yale Review
"Christopher Reid’s Not Funny Any More features ‘The Great Turnip’ and no prizes for guessing who that turnip might be." Ian Pople The Manchester Review
"One of my mentors, a black female poet of Wanda’s generation, recently flatly said, “She was mean.” She could be mean. It was a sharpness she honed over her years outside the care of poetry collectives, coalitions, and institutions. Her poems often record the mood of one who feels exiled, discounted, neglected. Imagine how mean the famously mean Miles Davis might have been had no one taken his horn playing seriously, and you will have a sense of Wanda’s rage." Terrance Hayes • The Paris Review

"Fuller’s also a cult figure. His poetry is read and respected by all the smarties at the University of Chicago. One time I went to a thing downtown after a friend’s reading, some kind of dinner deal, and Fuller was there, and my friend could barely breathe, perceiving Fuller had actually attended her reading. She was all “That’s William Fuller?!?” It was like somebody had told her George Oppen had come back from the dead and gone to her reading." Anthony Madrid • Rhino

"The Trinity poet (and I call her that most advisedly) Ethna MacCarthy was a vivacious, spirited, brilliant presence in the lives of three very important male figures in Dublin’s literary world." Thomas McCarthy • Dublin Review of Books

"The opening lines of Hope Mirrlees’s poem Paris plunge the reader in place and personal experience. “I want a holophrase”, it begins, and perhaps that is what the whole work is trying to be, for a holophrase is a single word that stands for a complex idea." Erica Wagner • New Statesman

"Born late in the fourth century ACE, Claudius Claudianus has long been considered the last of the classical Roman poets, a title he earned not only due to the era of rapid decay he witnessed, but for his poetry’s subject matter, some of which he devoted to the mixed-race general Stilicho, whom Gibbon called the last of the Romans." André Naffis-Sahely • Wild Court

"During my research for The Kenyon Review, I found that John Crowe Ransom, in general an excellent, open-minded editor, had one crucial blind spot. He published very few women writers, having argued in his often-quoted (in)famous essay about Edna St. Vincent Millay, “The Poet as Woman,” (1936) that a woman is “[l]ess pliant, safer as a biological organism” than a man and as such “indifferent to intellectuality.”" Marian Jansen • Berfrois

"The result is an unexpectedly contemporary volume that makes startlingly plain how civilisations are so often doomed to repeat themselves, be it through corruption, ambition, ineptitude or desire. “Look at me, Maximin shouts, look / what I can do”: we draw our own parallels when the poet reflects that “his body is taut but has no purpose / than to flex and recover”. Elsewhere, the poems are able to speak with a philosophical directness in adopting ancient voices, but also with the intimacy of the diary entry or letter." Ben Wilkinson Guardian
"He swerves to effect: his shrewd sideways and backwards glances count, pouring light on a subject from several directions simultaneously. Any given moment is likely to be underpinned by what went on before or what is to come. He knows the power of parallel universes. The willow pollen and honeysuckle are barely seen but should not be overlooked. They are irrelevant and crucial." Kate Kellaway Observer

"For all they have to hype and glad-hand each other, poets compete, now as ever, for non-poets’ attention. That competition’s like a sea, all too often draining them of colour, in which they can be smoothed and cut down to size. The public then combs a shore of innumerable pebbles, each of which proclaims itself a gem. Francis seems to have resisted that homogenization, and held out for his own particular shape." Graeme Richardson TLS
"These people find their rage in the disruption of their comfort. “Won’t someone please think of the Arby’s?” seems like a very weird place to put your concern. What America are you mourning? Target wasn’t in the fields, cotton-bloodied hands. Walmart never hung from a tree." Danez Smith • New Yorker

"One could write a history of modern Greece through the funerals of poets. The national poet Kostis Palamas died during the German Occupation and his funeral, attended by 100,000 mourners, turned into an anti-Nazi protest. Likewise, when the Nobel laureate George Seferis died in 1971, with Greece under the dictatorship of a military junta, thousands followed his coffin through the streets to the cemetery, singing his poem “Denial”, which had been set to music by Theodorakis." A.E. Stallings • TLS

"Manchester is a central character here, its rooms and streets luminous, often ominous under the intensity of McAuliffe’s gaze. The Manchester Arena bombing is the incendiary centre in "City of Trees", tree pollen erupting in “slow green explosions”. Prophetic uncertainty shivers right through this subtly linked seamless collection, building to the final "Blown Away", a mere tent which the narrator failed to secure." Martina Evans Irish Times
"He’s the armadillo of poetry: armored, elusive, prehistoric, a survivor." Christian Wiman Poetry
"Not everyone cared for Whitman’s fleshy frankness back in the day." David Wheatley • Literary Review

"In the Dominican Republic,” my Dominican friend Silvio Torres-Saillant told me at the time, “no one lays a more legitimate claim to intimacy with the yearnings of the Dominican people as well as with the texture of their collective voice than Pedro Mir." Jonathan Cohen • Asymptote

New poems

Shane McCrae Scoundrel Time

Galway Kinnell Poetry Daily

Anne Haverty Irish Times

James Tate Blackbird

Mícheál McCann Poetry Ireland Review

Alvin Pang Alligatorzine

Tom Sleigh Threepenny Review

Tim Seibles Poetry

Rita Dove Poetry

Bill Manhire Shenandoah

Jamila Woods Poetry

Isabelle Baafi Anthropocene

Ian Pople Poetry

Paul Batchelor Poetry Daily

Evan Jones London Review Bookshop

Dean Young Threepenny 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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