The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"What is this mystery of feeling and intellect, of incarnation in words? Why is it that even the best impersonal poets seem to charge their work with personality? And why is that quality missing from most of the poetry I read? I think of two contemporary poets who are polar opposites, Franz Wright and William Logan, two men who have had a very public squabble—Wright threatened to punch Logan out for a bad review—yet each has talents the other could learn from, talents that would expand the possibilities for his art. Wright is all confession, all open sores and sensitivity, while Logan is a prolific ironist. Neither of them moves me deeply—one because his writing is too raw, the other because he holds himself apart, impervious to feeling." David Mason • Hudson Review
"Expenditure and sector get used by [Geoffrey] Hill a lot more than most poetry uses them, but a lot less than they turn up in the general corpus." David-Antoine Williams • Poetry & Contingency
"This was in 1952, when department stores blithely stocked toy shelves with Ouija — Merrill might as easily have ended up with Parcheesi or Chinese checkers." Stefene Russell • St. Louis
"But the Odyssey is just as much the story of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus and Penelope; the story of his growing up; how over the course of the poem he matures from boy to man." Mary Beard • LRB
"We may all therefore question what motives lie behind the publication of A Prayer Journal. Some of us have begun to fear that the O’Connor estate seeks to control the image of the writer, as though, in a manner of speaking, her works sprang fullblown(and in nearly perfect form) from the head of Zeus and as though she were a model Catholic. Perhaps for Catholic readers who are schooled in the parochial ascetic tradition A Prayer Journal will prove inspirational; for other Christians and for secular admirers of O’Connor’s work, I suspect publication of this journal will be embarrassing,if not troubling indeed." Sarah Gordon • Georgia Review (pdf)
"Little absurdities and misunderstandings amused him, such as when the local newspaper sent a photographer round for a feature on Argument of Kings.‘What sort of book is it?’ the photographer asked ‘An autobiography, I suppose’, Vernon replied. ‘Oh,’ the photographer said. ‘Who’s it about, then?’ Scannell rather enjoyed that. But actually, it wasn’t a bad question."" Daniel Hitchens on a new biography of Vernon Scannell • Oxonian Review
"The sixteenth century is not usually thought of as medieval, yet a number of contributors in the Poets section focus on the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with Pádraig Ó Macháin even making a swoop into the twentieth. Should we give the editor credit for not taking his tidy title too seriously? Or must we suspect that the poets of Ireland are thought to be medieval irrespective of date? Actually, the notion of “medieval” puts time in a framework which those poets would not have accepted."John Minahane • DRB
"In Irish poetry, we place too much value on tact, on secrecy and on suggestion above all else." Conor O'Callaghan • WFU(pdf)
"The Outnumbered Poet proclaims with ample proof and felicitous critical force that poetry, because it is an art form, is a form of resistance to sloppy thinking and easy sentiment: “When more poetry books than ever are being published, critical judgement should be cultivated and encouraged, rather than ‑ through uncritical blurbs ‑ deflected, even supplanted.”" Gerry Dawe on Dennis O'Driscoll • DRB
"Today, the Idéal Séjour has been rechristened the Résidence le Louisiane, and refurbished with ugly verandas and a swimming pool. For €700-€900, one can rent a two-bedroom apartment there for a week. A simple plaque, placed by the Princess Grace Irish Library in 1995, reads: “William Butler Yeats, Nobel Prize winner, lived and died here, 1938-1939.”" Lara Marlowe • Irish Times
"It was my good fortune to come of age in poetry before the internet defined most of the ways poets communicate with each other." Peter O'Leary • Evening Will Come
"Today we are seeing a backlash against the idea of anti-lyric or anti-subjective poetry." Rachel Galvin • Boston Review
"My advice was: don’t publish. Wait. Read more. Write more. Get better, good enough to be actually, you know, read. Learn to respect the silence you want so badly to break. Once you don’t burn for it, you’re ready." Michael Lista • National Post
"The poet most likely to practice and evoke ethical imagination is not "poetical," in the sense of flamboyant or opinionated." Eric G. Wilson • Chronicle of Higher Education
"Auden said something disparaging about Samuel Beckett getting the Nobel Prize for Literature. Nikos said: ‘Who else is there?’ Auden shook his head so all the sagging wrinkles shook and said: ‘There’s me.’" Andrew O'Hagan • LRB
"According to Amir Tehiri, writing on Asharq al Awsat, much of Shaabani’s poetry is apolitical. “One of his odes is Homage to Karoun, Iran’s largest and only navigable river; in another poem he speaks of ‘the blonde sun of Khuzestan.’” Shaabani was able to smuggle a few letters out of prison." Julia Fleischaker Moby Lives
"From Auden, [Joan} Murray derives terms and means for communicating in shorthand or code a sense of the panoramic sweep of evolution, which is surely the force exerting the pressure, and she also borrows his cinematic technique of cutting from human distress to the indifference of the universe." Mark Ford • Poetry
"Dickinson scholars have been poring over these manuscripts for years; now there's opportunity for a broad readership to have ample opportunity to do the same." Patrick James Dunagan • Bookslut
"In a world seduced by easy understanding, the modernists believed that difficulty enhanced the pleasures of reading." Susan Cheever • Vanity Fair
"“Novelty” was a term of blame for Alexander Pope, but that term’s close cousin, “innovation,” has become a term of praise in our own time." Robert Archambeau • Virginia Quarterly Review
"What matters is winning, sales, celebrity, world domination. Yet this must never be acknowledged as the principal value." Tim Parks NYRB
"Kim Hyesoon’s 132-page translated collection All the Garbage of the World, Unite! contains a poetry that is not built on metaphysical or metaphoric associations." Deborah Schwartz • The Critical Flame
"Since the permanent formation of the art of American poetry under the Constitution, in 1789, most of the periods of crisis in our history have related to our narrative affairs." David Biespiel • The Rumpus
"But although Frost’s artistic greatness is nowadays more widely acknowledged, it is still generally thought to be the output of some kind of simpleton." Clive James • Prospect
"[Lisa] Jarnot succeeds in showing [Robert] Duncan and his behavior from multiple, conflicting perspectives, a gesture one wishes she had made more often---for it is a gesture such as this that most effectively carries over into language the marriage of granite and rainbow particular to Duncan’s life, his peculiar mix of vocational dedication, critical intelligence, narcissism, and unfettered aggression." Brian Teare • Boston Review
"What is poetry, then? One definition might be: a literate dissatisfaction with poems and poets." Jasper Bernes, Joshua Clover, and Juliana Spahr • Jacket2
"Historically, we might sympathise with the current insistence on one big happy poetry family – a “spectrum” of poetic practices, in which everyone does their own thing and has no right to take that right from others." JT Welsch • B O D Y
"Poetry drives some to suicide; for others, it’s the only thing holding them back from the abyss." Elyse Moody • Tin House

New poems

Albert Goldbarth Georgia Review

Padraig Rooney Wales Arts Review

Bill Manhire Turbine

Mary Ruefle Turbine

Declan Ryan Poetry London

Pascale Monnier, tr John Ashbery Massachussets Review

Nathaniel Mackey New American Writing

Dean Young jubilat

Gerard Fanning Irish Times

James Brown Arts Te Papa

Marsha Pomerantz Raritan (pdf)

Vona Groarke Gallery Press

Tiffany Atkinson Poetry Bookshop

Jon Stone The White Review

Helen Tookey Guardian

Mark Cox New Ohio Review (PDF)

Jeramy Dodds Véhicule Press

Mary Jo Bang Graywolf Press

Stephen Burt Virginia Quarterly Review

Dean Young American Poetry Review

Sam Sax Anti-

Carl Phillips Kenyon 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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