The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"All the numbers! I just really wanted letters in my life." Major Jackson in conversation with Alexandra Tursi • Identity Theory
"[P]oetic talent generally doesn't make itself known either through agents, or through the efforts of the poets themselves: mostly you become aware of it by the stir the poems themselves create." Don Paterson • Guardian
"His wonderful, slender body of work developed quietly, intermittently, in the world of the very small presses." Jeremy Harding remembers RF Langley • LRB "So long since I wrote. A year. Who cares? What then? Little. Not really any better. No change after the journeying. Four of my department ill and off. New syllabus not even published yet. And so on. Early morning waking most of the time, and violent annoyances." RF Langley • PN Review
"Sentence construction, one of the more neglected features of the poetic arsenal, is [CK] Williams's great strength, his Ancient Mariner-like power to claim and hold the reader's uncomfortable but rewarded assent." Sean O'Brien • Guardian
""Whenever I get talking to people about poetry, whether it's a cab driver or someone I meet randomly and they ask me what I do and I tell them and 99% will say 'I wrote a poem once' and whatever that poem is like it gives you a confidence that people really know it's the way of speaking about things of profound importance." Jo Shapcott • Telegraph "Shapcott's political outlook led her to refuse a CBE in 2003 – an act she has never spoken about publicly before. At the time she was terribly ill, and having accepted the honour initially, she watched the government prepare to invade Iraq, and changed her mind. She sent her antiwar poem Phrase Book, written about the Gulf war, to the cabinet office along with a letter." Jo Shapcott • Guardian
"[W]riting is the writer’s revenge against circumstance." Louise Glück in conversation with Yvonne Green • PN Review
"Walcott [is] in elegiac mood, the egrets of the title become a shifting metaphor—they 'stalk through the rain / as if nothing mortal can affect them' while his friends 'are dying'; their stabbing beaks pluck grubs as greedily as the poet's 'pen's beak' searches for nouns. According to Stevenson, the collection 'sees a return to his Caribbean setting after sojourns in England and America and he is, as it were, blessing the world instead of complaining about it.'" Charlotte Higgins on the TS Eliot Prize • Guardian
"If [Edwin Denby] is looking home to the States, it is only by a great forcing of the possibilities of syntax that he can simultaneously be looking to Europe’s mystery." Vincent Katz • Sibila
"Daniel Corkery was the first to spot this trend at a match in Thurles all those years ago: “There are certain things,” he’d said, rapping the young Seán Ó Faoláin on the knuckles, “certain things more important than imagination." Tom McCarthy on politics • Irish Times
"It was, and still is, after the great poet’s death, a four-floor altar to the gods of Symbolism – Surrealism and San Francisco modernism. Its libraries still haunt me. I loved to sleep there overnight when I was in town – something I very rarely do because I am a hotel man and I like being in strange cities alone and try not to look anyone up. But Duncan and Jess, were, well different. Their house was a dream of art and books, and so were they." RB Kitaj via Simon Eckett • PN Review
"In the 1930s and 40s, while producing the short fiction for which he later became famous, he set poetry aside, or at least stopped publishing it, only to return to it in the late 50s. Now the metaphorical extravagance was gone, free verse was used sparsely, and metrics and rhyme took centre stage. It was round about this time that his fiction dried out and his essays mutated into looser critical forms like the lecture, which he delivered in a high-pitched, stammering voice." Martin Schifino on Borges • TLS
"If collections previous to this--especially the mercilessly bleak -273.15 (2005)--showed Reading as full-on prophet of the end-times, now we see the Armageddon in full flow, with no option for its observer but to sit back and enjoy a cold white." Adam Guy • Literateur
"[Ben] Mazer recognises that the lyric poem is more like a movie than like other literary forms . . . and [his] collection is accordingly more like the delicious Last Year in Marienbad than, say, an irritating boxes-within-boxes novel." Ailbhe Darcy • The Critical Flame
"As poets both Sweeney and McGovern are in their different ways modern traditionalists: both of them, that is, compose along a (usually condensed) narrative grid. In the younger David Wheatley’s work, on the other hand, one senses a restless postmodern consciousness, tugging this way and that at the dazzling display of particularities that is the world, as well as at the mind’s own brimming variety of responses, all pressuring language itself to discover a style that will be sufficient to its task of rendering what for want of a better word we’ll call reality. Mostly, I’d say, it’s a style allied to the habits of collage." Eamon Grennan on three new Irish books • Irish Times
"[Rae Armantrout's] poetry is duplicitous in the best sense of the word: intelligent in its ability to contain opposing forces." Daniel E. Pritchard • The Critical Flame
"With rhyme falling away as an aspect of poetic craft, and with so little consideration of rhythm and texture in reviews of and conversation around poetry, it may be that the current generation of poet/translators is at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with the formalities of earlier poetry." Barra Ó Seaghdha on two Irish anthologies • DRB
"To tear a phrase out of Ashbery again, what’s at issue is ‘difficult visibility’, a full amplification of which condition is supplied by Alain Badiou, in whose extensive writings lies a thoroughgoing effort to register those he terms ‘indiscernible’, to make those not placed the basis of expression. At the heart of his inquiry, then, is a suspicion towards constructions of voice that entangle it with place." David Herd on detention centres • PN Review
"Paterson adopts the idiom of his audience and assumes little knowledge." Alastair Fowler • TLS
"[F]orm is not an escape from ideology, nor is it distinct from feeling. Rather, form is a vessel to share what ore remains when the fires of affect and ideology are exhausted." Christopher Schmidt • Boston Review
"Something urgently expressed, with something at stake in the telling." Lisa Russ Spaar • Chronicle of Higher Education
"We poets and critics are therefore in a peculiar situation where no one’s expertise is definitive, where many people argue with passionate intensity, where no one can be proven wrong, and yet where the art of poetry remains . . . battered but not diminished." Jan Schrieber • Contemporary Poetry Review
"We have much to learn from [late] Whitman about how to read the virtues of lateness and transformation, how poetic tricks and tropes age across a poet’s work, and how a poet in age, just when his powers might seem to flag, becomes not worse, not lesser, but something else entirely." Anton Vander Zee • AGNI
"I rock, you rock, one trucks." CD Wright • Evening Will Come
"[Joseph Brodsky] was acting just as a poet should—educating himself in his art, preserving his freedom, steering clear of cant and obligation. In the USSR, however, this was an intolerable display of independence." Adam Kirsch • Tablet
"His poems seem and sound completely natural, completely un-literary, and yet in truth are little echo chambers, containing acts of homage to Romantic poets and other writers whose own enthusiasms confirmed his preoccupation with walking and the means of walking." Andrew Motion on Edward Thomas • Hudson Review
"This may have been the only afternoon on which Yeats, Eliot, and Pound were together in the same room." Denis Donoghue • Hudson Review
"Popular from the Victorian era, and revitalized by the psychedelic 1960s, nonsense verse renders sense syntactically while remaining devoid of overall or literal meaning." Ernest Hilbert on some of Ashbery's critical contexts • Contemporary Poetry Review
"[Rosmarie] Waldrop knows the opposite of concentration is dilation, and so she creates dilation camps in which we can safely sit. Surrounded by air, surrounded by the that which is and is not there." Vanessa Place • Constant Critic
"But this sensation of distance turns out to be part and parcel of the poet’s genius." Peter Campion on Leopardi • NYT
"[A]fter having waded through its nearly 200 pages of verse, the reader of New British Poetry feels less like he’s had a first-rate literary experience than having been assaulted by a choral version of the self-gratulatory anthem belted by the irrefragable Gypsy Rose Lee in the Sondheim musical bearing her name, 'I'm Still Here.'" James Rother • Contemporary Poetry Review

New poems

Rupert Loydell Great Works

Nick Flynn Boston Review

Derek Walcott Guardian

Jo Shapcott Poetry Archive

Caitlin Doyle Boston Review

Tony Hoagland American Poetry Review

Edwin Denby Sibila

Blake Morrison Guardian

Roberto Montes Sixth Finch

Todd Boss Harvard Review

Carolyn Forche Boston Review

Elaine Equi Harvard Review

Helen Mort Magma

Eric Weinstein Massachusetts Review

Daniele Pantano Great Works

J Allyn Rosser Hudson Review

John Tranter Poetry

Mark Strand Poetry

Thomas McCarthy Southword

Vona Groarke Southword

Elisa Gabbert Everyday Genius

Moya Cannon PN Review

WS Merwin American 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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