The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"Reading Moritz’s work is like discovering new outcroppings of ruins that are nevertheless traceable to the same civilization." Carl Watts • HA&L

"Currier remembers how often Hall fell. One morning in winter, as she checked the farmhouse from her north window, she noticed his car had been warming up for a long time. When she went up to check, she found Hall lying in the driveway beside the car, unable to get up. Another day, as she entered the house, she heard him calling out in panic from the floor on the far side of his bed. Unable to lift him because of her own disability, she talked him into a position from which he could get himself up." Wesley McNair • Paris Review

"As a young poet, in another place and another era, I would send out new poems, damp and fragile from their chrysalis, to prominent magazines, in envelopes with self-addressed stamped envelopes inside them. Every day, going to the mailbox was an agony of anticipation. Seeing my own handwriting on the envelope would send me into wild swings of hope and despair. There was absolutely nothing more thrilling than an envelope with an acceptance and a contract, nothing more deflating than my own typescript sent home in disgrace." A.E. Stallings • The American Scholar

"Usually, I begin with the bare minimum of necessary facts. I try to avoid error if I’m writing about an historical person’s lived experience. But I try to sustain as much gray area in my own mind as possible — I try to sustain unknowing parallel to knowing — so as to allow myself to invent within the parameters of what I know." Shane McCrae • Chicago Review of Books

"Vicki Feaver’s I Want, I Want takes as its starting point William Blake’s illustration of a tiny naked child with its foot on a ladder to the moon, crying, “I Want! I Want!” A perfect illustration for the immensity of human desire erupts from us ‘bare forked’ animals. In Feaver’s case, the desire is for climbing the ladder of social and academic success." Martina Evans The Irish Times
"The book’s closing image is Pound, free in 1959, waiting for the director of a BBC documentary to tell him what to do: a figure whose meaning must be created by someone else. Pound is always only what we make of him. This is the worst of all worlds: a way of accidentally absolving Pound of his sins while dismissing the poetry as at best secondary to the empty vessel of his biography. Swift makes the same mistake many of Pound’s guests did: he visits and expects to learn something. Nearly a century after the New Criticism excised author and context from consideration, we’ve come full circle, subordinating poetry to psychology, politics, and personality. This isn’t Swift’s fault; it’s the condition both of much of what passes for literary criticism and our contemporary notion of poetry as mere “self-expression,” a way to be “heard” in all your “individuality.”" JL Wall The University Bookman
"In a recent essay on the elegy, the poet Stephen Sexton noted ‘the imperceptible change a photograph ... undergoes when someone depicted in it has died; how these images seem, somehow, utterly changed without having changed at all.’ The image came to mind when I first read ‘The Historians’ by Eavan Boland, the title poem of her new, now posthumous collection. Like the photograph, it seems impossible to encounter ‘The Historians’ in this strange summer of recovery without the words being invested with the immense loss of her, to her family, friends, students, peers, and to the readers for whom her poems and scholarship have cast an essential light for so long. The poetry community has been temporarily denied the gathering that would have marked her passing at any other time. On 1 May, the day of her funeral, candles flickered in the windows of readers across Ireland, an improvised lockdown tribute recalled by Geraldine Mitchell in her dedicated poem, ‘Of Fire and Water’." Colette Bryce Poetry Ireland Review
"Gabriel Jospovici has written, in one of his own beautifully modulated essays, about Dante in this context; how the poet knows well the human need to meld a dolce stil nuovo with a familiar, spoken, language to bring complicated and abstract ideas home in fresh individual expression." Kirsty Gunn PN Review
"This isn’t Groarke’s only mode, and not all of her writing attempts to speak in these timeless, folkloric tones. She can also be tongue-in-cheek, second-guessing some of the charges that might be brought, not least in a poem such as “Against Nostalgia,” its title alone a wink to the camera after what’s gone before. Poems such as these show another of Groarke’s strengths: her gift for celebratory empathy. The refrain of “Against Nostalgia” — charmingly histrionic “Oh’s” — runs in deliberate tension with the title." Declan Ryan LARB
"Wiman’s formal dexterity means he is able to carve out the right form for each utterance which makes for a dynamic, dense read. It also makes for a collection that feels hard won, in that it carries within all its shifting shapes an understanding of the absolute effort of faith — of finding it, naming it, doubting it, desiring it — and by extension the absolute effort every poem has to make in order to survive the complexity of its significance." GE Stevens Review 31
"He played a long game and, like his hero Martin Luther King, he had a vision. The veracity of that vision is underlined with every passing year of non-violence in Northern Ireland. In our uneasy moment, when the politics of division are again playing havoc with people’s lives, in the UK and on a global scale, we could do well to remember the philosophy of John Hume, the enduring power of hope over despair." Colette Bryce Irish Times
"[Carl] Phillips depictions of the human condition are formed under conditions of extraordinary acceptance. This is not indifference, but a deeply particularised compassion." Ian Pople The Manchester Review
"I imagine you pacing your cell, just as I have done. Feeling with each passing day, the added strain. But I know too, that with each passing day you will reach further into your reserves – reserves that you have always thought finite – and discover strength of which you had never dreamed." Wole Soyinka Humanists International
"Cunard’s relationship with Beckett demonstrates how she was more than simply the means to his publishing ends. His talents served her political ends in turn. In 1934, she enlisted Beckett to translate essays for her landmark work, the Negro Anthology. After censors rejected one of the Beckett-translated essays ahead of publication, Cunard secretly inserted the pages herself while assembling the book. This anti-racist anthology comprises, in Anna Girling’s words, “one of the most comprehensive pre-Civil Rights era documents of transatlantic black history and culture”." Maurice J Casey Irish Times
"Quick to craft and consume, poetry is uniquely placed as a cultural form to offer catharsis for current readers, as well as a unique documentation of tensions for future ones." Katy Shaw New Statesman

"Walcott also tried to write during his time in New York, but it would be some years before he achieved the detachment necessary for him to be able to coherently set down his complex, troubled feelings about the city. In the poem “A Village Life,” he makes clear that it was never easy for him to properly establish a work routine. He was perpetually short of money, fed up with enduring a harsh winter shrouded in a large overcoat, and always homesick. Somewhat ironically, he later remembered “a snowfall of torn poems piling up,/heaped by a rhyming spade,” but little of the poetry he actually wrote in New York ever found its way into print." Caryl Phillips NYRB
"Spenser wrote “The Faerie Queene” while working as a high-level British colonial administrator in Ireland, implementing brutal tactics of oppression against the native population. Virgil wrote the “Aeneid” in the first years of the Roman Empire, as Augustus attempted to reshape his image from that of a ruthless, warmongering autocrat to that of a beneficent leader. The “Odyssey” was composed around the end of the 8th century B.C., close to a century before Greek city-states began to develop the first form of democracy." Talya Zax NYT

New poems

Lucille Clifton Paris Review

Richie Hofmann Sewanee Review

Amit Majmuder New Criterion

Julie O'Callaghan The Irish Times

Jeff Dolven jubilat

Roger Mitchell Mudlark

Vona Groarke Hudson Review

G.C. Waldrep Flag + Void

Maryam Hessavi The Manchester Review

Jeffrey Wainwright The Manchester Review

Thomas Kinsella Irish Times

Vahni Capildeo Anthropocene


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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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