The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"He had hoped to see a tiger in Bangladesh, and when I asked him if he had he answered, 'No, but I smelled one,' an allusion to Yeats’s response to E. R. Dodds when asked if he had ever seen a spirit. No, but I’ve often smelt them, Yeats replied." Stephen Enniss • TLS
"[N]ationalism is wretched and collapses under its own weight. If the expression 'collapses under its own weight' doesn't make sense to you, imagine a statue made of shit slowly sinking into the desert." Roberto Bolaño on exile • The Nation
"Books are unjustly forgotten, Auden said, but they're never unjustly remembered." William Deresiewicz on Marjorie Garber • Slate
"Like all poets who love masking, [Mick] Imlah recognizes that it presents a wonderful stylistic challenge: if your face is disguised, your voice must be all the more distinctive to be recognizable." Adam Kirsch • New Criterion
"The squeamishness of those who ignore him gives credence to Murray's bonnet-bee about political correctness. And he himself is frustratingly inconsistent, sideways, unexpected in the things he champions, blending aphoristic reaction with moments of deep empathy and self-knowledge." Elizabeth Campbell • Tower Poetry
"Decades before the alarming stories in the news magazines, [Kenneth Irby] told us that the best place to fix global warming is to start with the weather inside the head." Mike McDonough • Coldfront
"[P]eople use a metaphor every 10 to 25 words. Metaphors are not rhetorical frills at the edge of how we think. [T]hey are at the very heart of it." David Brooks • NYT
"One wonders whether the next generation of critics will even be able to begin to map the exploding fields of web-based, sound- and visual-incorporating poetry in anything as old-fashioned as a lecture series or a bound book." Mark Scroggins on Marjorie Perloff • Bookforum
"[Anthony] Hecht’s great achievement was to discover a 'semantic' style, one in which the refinements of culture and beauty are continually being undermined by the squalid truths of history communicated through his diction and subjects—an affecting disconnect between the high music of his verse and the seemingly endless parade of human failing it describes." David Yezzi • New Criterion
"These are like reverse-homophonic translations, turning phonetic nonsense into merely English nonsense." Ange Mlinko on birdsong • The Nation
"It was copy editors, though, who made their mark on Bishop's most famous poem, changing a colon to a semi-colon in Bishop's 'One Art' ('The art of losing isn't hard to master;'), a subtle change that relaxes the statement rather than making it a declaration." Michael H. Miller • The New York Observer
"I associate blanks to the daily rigamarole and activity surrounding my upbringing—from translating (and not very fluidly) my parent’s mail and regular mishearings that occurred in conversation, to the missing associated with growing up in a family from a culture riddled with displacement, including [C]orean War reverberations." Esther Lee in conversation with Bhanu Kapil • Trafficker
"It is the business of criticism to dispose of ‘crazes’ and it was [Bruno] Tolentino’s contention that criticism had been neglecting its task in Brazil; he took it enthusiastically upon him." Chris Miller on Brazilian Modernism • PN Review
"Leopardi suffered from nervous disorders, poor eyesight and health, and developed a hunchback in his short lifetime. His family life was very difficult to say the least, as was his relationship to his mother. Women neither eased his pain nor offered much happy distraction, but rather added to his melancholy. His real refuge was his father’s library where he literally and figuratively spent his youth. As Galassi notes in the Chronology, '[1812] begins the "seven years of insane and desperate study" in his father’s library of sixteen thousand volumes.'" Heather Hartley • The Rumpus
"Margaret Crosland described Caton as 'a second-rate accountant, wearing the traditional dirty raincoat, on his way to a sex shop.' Think: Withnail as publisher. He died a very rich man, and yet at the time of his death he’d been in dispute with an advertiser who broke into his offices and stole his typewriter, the only object of real value to be found." Chrissy Williams on The Fortune Press • Hand + Star
"All the pragmatic poet cared about was saving his own life. He cared nothing for glory or the code of honour." Roberto Bolaño on Archilocus • NYRB
"The five prose poems presented here work similar ground, with a freer, yet more seasoned, comedic voice [...] The signature elements are witty dialogue, absurd juxtapositions, ribald satire, and philosophical flights that resemble Zen koans." Nicholas Christopher introduces Mark Strand • Boston Review
"I once got a really horrible review, by a reviewer who has reviewed me many times, each time more strenuously negatively, who called me 'the peeping-tom-bleeding-heart-liberal of American poetry'. I didn't mind the 'bleeding heart liberal', but I thought the 'peeping tom' part showed a real lack of knowledge of the traditions of modern poetry. Rilke does it a lot, everybody does it." CK Williams • PN Review
"It’s not narrative. Not to say that it couldn’t be, but in general it is not." Pavel Zoubok on collage • Paris Review
"Byron is a borderline bard in lots of ways—half-Scots, part-European, semi-Romantic: bi- in every sense he could think of. Now, I don’t amount to much more than bi-, in that my work is a type of poetic digression from both the mainstream and the experiment, but I’m still drawn to that rebellious, restless energy. And in my poetic middle age I find I wander further in search of models than before: neither Brit nor US, but a kind of passive drift through world poetries by bateau ivre in Rimbaud’s phrase." WN Herbert • Magma
"[T]he problem is not so much that a few highly intelligent writers with well-regarded credentials are bickering over what constitutes 'real' poetry. The problem is that this kind of rhetorical certainty and academic posturing is now what often serves as poetic dialog." Joseph Wood • Open Letters Monthly
"Absolute modernity was for [Arthur Rimbaud] the acknowledging of the simultaneity of all of life, the condition that nourishes poetry at every second." John Ashbery • Poetry
"What irradiates the poetry and compels the reader is a quality of wisdom. Everything is carried and feels guaranteed by the voice. Even in translation, even when he writes in a didactic vein, there is a feeling of phonetic undertow, that the poem is a trawl, not just talk." Seamus Heaney • Guardian
"What we are presented with here seems more like ‘canned philosophy’; a splicing of Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale or Derrida’s De la grammatologie into very short lines. So too with the lines from ‘Relations’ which read ‘Time flows / because no set / of proofs // can be complete’: lines which are successful only to the extent of forging the tired avant-garde preoccupation with the self-referential into a singularly unoriginal figure for provisional experience." Ahren Warner on Rae Armantrout and others • Poetry London
"[Sarah] O’Brien emphasizes the relativity of perspective through a combined array of windows (to filter light, to frame it) and faces (to collect light, to fix it). Without a window to frame the scene, the face is overwhelmed by the magnitude of the possible; without the face, documentation ceases to insist." Drew Dillhunt • Jacket
"Although not formally trained in zoology, Nabokov was a serious scientist who made important contributions to the understanding of the evolution of butterflies of the Americas. His peers, however, often referred to him as an amateur and didn’t take his science seriously." Eugenie Regan • Irish Times
"Like the home he lives in, Dermot is out there on his own," says Fallon. "It's hard to put him up against other Irish writers in fiction or poetry, so singular is his voice and his way of seeing. When you think of the Irish poetry tradition, for instance, he doesn't spring to mind. He stands apart. He's not on the team. He plays a game of his own, where different rules apply, and yet he commands his place. When you read his work, you have to adjust the straight line of the hierarchy just to fit him in." Peter Fallon on Dermot Healy • Observer
"It almost makes you want to go order lasagna at an Olive Garden—made, no doubt, by 'the naked hands of strangers'—just to spite the poem’s disdain for the world in its sloppy, awful, unfair actuality." David Orr on Timothy Donnelly • Poetry
"Some writers shyly prefer to let the poem speak for itself, others seem to feel it’s almost bad taste to explain." Chris Price • Best New Zealand Poems
"I encountered a lot of poems last year that were like printed circuit boards, those inscrutable wafers of dark green plastic obscured with wire and solder that come out of computers: closed, coded things, nouns. They might work, but they work for themselves, by themselves, in privacy, like a beehive or wormery." Jen Hadfield • Best Scottish Poems

New poems

CJ Allen The Bow Wow Shop

Andrea Scott Conjunctions

Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles Philippines Free Press

Yusef Komunyakaa Gulf Coast

Claudia Burbank Boxcar Poetry Review

Osip Mandelstam, trans. Ian Probstein International Literary Quarterly

Mabi David High Chair

Elizabeth Robinson Peacock Online Review (pdf)

Gerard Fanning Ploughshares

Dana Goodyear Canteen

Elizabeth Willis High Chair

Sampson Starkweather Sixth Finch

Paul Violi Coldfront

Elizabeth Robinson Conjunctions

John Beer Seven Corners

Bob Hicok esque

Scott Abels Sixth Finch

Danny Bird Hand + Star

Linda Chase Manchester Review

John Labella Philippines Free Press

Ian Pople Manchester Review

Jo Shapcott Poetry Review (pdf)

Sean O'Brien Irish Times

Jenny Bornholdt Best New Zealand Poems

Alan Gillis Best Scottish Poems


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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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