The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"On October 25, 1914, just over one hundred years ago, the remarkable poet John Berryman was born in McAlester, Oklahoma.” Helen Vendler • NYRB
"The Sydney Morning Herald headlined Andrew Riemer’s review of Waiting for the Past, ‘The Poet as Champion of the Rural Past’ – yet another review of Murray’s work without a single mention of his influences. But for Murray prose is ‘narrowspeak’ and poetry is ‘widespeak’; in his poetry, he shows a wide engagement with poetic traditions. The setting of a poem is never simply a place, because the style of a poem is its imaginative setting." Lisa Gorton Sydney Review of Books
"We do need to understand the poems and we do need help such as we get in this book, but we cannot allow the poem to remain as an explained thing. It must stay open not only to responses deriving from individual experience, but to enigmas which may be explained but not explained away." Peter Riley Fortnightly Review
"Books about Irish poetry are rarer than you might think." John McAuliffe • PN Review
"Poetry is my passion. It has become my way of life." Simon Armitage Arete
"At times [Muldoon] brings to mind the concrete specificity of Elizabeth Bishop or Heaney himself (as when, in one of his slow-release time-lapse metaphors, he describes a “slow handclap of grouse”); at others, the immersive cartoonish weightlessness of John Ashbery. His long poems in particular seem, through the intricacy of their “complex joints”, perennially on the verge of collapse, and yet somehow they remain intact, implausibly secure." Oli Hazzard • TLS
"Russians generally like their poets stainless, and her memoir is as candid as it is affectionate. Her Brodsky is brilliant, reckless, and deeply human." Cynthia Haven • The Book Haven
"I feel I'm spending roughly half my time hiding in plain sight because I used to be something. And the other half of the time I feel still so hard pressed to the national bosom that I'm suffocating. So I'd quite like to go and live in America.” Andrew Motion • BBC
"Derek Walcott is a Nobel Prize winner. That sort of thing always makes me nervous.” Toby Barlow • Work in Progress
"She is one of the last representatives of that mid-century haut-bourgeois Catholic Irish world. Her literary mentors are in Catholic Europe; in Mauriac’s fiction and Kate O’Brien’s Presentation Parlour, in Máire Mhac an tSaoí’s diplomatic briefcase and Eilís Dillon’s childhood summers. This world, especially as it is mediated here through a postdoctoral education and a Trinity workplace of Huguenot reticence, has flowed easily and fluently for her whenever she’s put pen to paper." Thomas McCarthy • DRB
"It must be disconcerting for those who find poetry difficult, to discover that the simplest poems are often the most enigmatic." Ivor Indyk • Sydney Review of Books
"Occasionally some poets employ cloying New Age idioms, or even imitate a kind of computerese gobbledygook, as if overly impressed by the possibilities of randomly generated phrasing, smearing dollops of language like a piquant sauce across the page. But most in this by-and-large shrewdly chosen and apposite anthology reward rereading. Puna Wai Kōrero is another New Zealand literary turning-point." David Eggleton • Landfall
"One of the most puzzling, if compelling, aspects of recent poetry in English in South Africa has been the way in which it has engaged with, reflected upon, and tried to influence ongoing processes in the country’s wider sociocultural and political life. Since liberation, it is apparent that private spaces have become more porous: and the traditional dividing line in South African poetry between private and public expression has been brought increasingly into question." Kelwyn Sole • Mediations
"Housewife or serious poet? What was [Gwen] Harwood?" Simon West • Sydney Review of Books
"Received wisdom has it, for example, that [Edward] Thomas died at Arras when a shell passed so close to him that the blast of air stopped his heart (Matthew Hollis, another recent biographer, remarks that 'He fell without a mark on his body'). Wilson's research leads to a different conclusion: he was 'shot clean through the chest by a pip-squeak (a 77mm shell) the very moment the battle began'. Her account of Thomas's early years is no less visceral." Matthew Bevis Literary Review
"The kickings remind us that the operating temperature of the critical writing is high. [Michael] Hofmann does advocacy as warmly as he does displeasure, and in both modes he writes the kind of prose that relishes its own performance, that leaves the print of its own style securely embedded in the reader’s brain. In its way, it’s poetry by other means, written with elaborate attentiveness, each occasion meticulously prepared for and answered to." Peter Sirr DRB
"Even long-established poets can be nagged by the feeling that the aesthetic communities from which they gain recognition only reflect back the effort they put in; miss a few readings, take a break from publishing, leave an editorial post and you and your work might disappear." Ben Etherington • Sydney Review of Books
"And later, in what seems to be a poetry launch setting, she notes how ‘the generic wine flood[ed] the loss of words / like a late transfusion’. One senses that the poetry world is not always a good source of reinvigoration for the poet." Jessica Wilkinson • Sydney Review of Books
"Erotic poems are hard to write." Vidyan Ravinthiran • Prac Crit
"Displeasure, I believe, is the word I'd choose, as to how I feel. And disapproval, as to what I think about uncited appropriation of my work or that of other writers, or of artists of any sort. College students are routinely expelled for such behaviour” August Kleinzahler • Write Out Loud
"A bit of a statesman himself, Yeats would argue the toss repeatedly, with himself and others, in his poems and in his prose, about what the poet should or should not do “in times like these” – in other words, war times." Gerald Dawe • Irish Times
"JH Prynne is the ultimate poet of anti-pathos. Everything about him spells distance and difficulty." David Wheatley • Guardian
"One of my greatest guides in this pursuit has been the poet Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970), a woman who spent most of her life living in a tiny cabin on rustic Blackhawk Island, a small, marshy peninsula which juts into Lake Koshkonong on the Rock River just outside of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin." Steel Wagstaff • Edge Effects
"Are there really two different Dunstan Thompsons?" Dana Gioia • Hudson Review
"And yet it does surprise me how often people I respect, people who take gender discrimination and racial justice very seriously in other contexts, will explain that gauges like the annual VIDA count are irrelevant to poetry, which must be (which can be) measured purely in terms of quality." Jonathan Farmer • Partisan
"Trying to read him amounted to the pursuit of an elusive fugitive." Brooke Clark • Partisan
"For Rilke nothing was trivial, and order was to be found, and had to be found, in all things." Idris Parry • PN Review

New poems

Eric Ormsby Partisan

Daisy Fried Berfrois

Billy Ramsell Poetry London

Mazen Maarouf Words Without Borders

Eleanor Hooker Irish Times

Liyou Mesfin Libsekal Brunel African Poetry

Anna Jackson Turbine

Rae Armantrout Prac Crit

Justin Quinn Berfrois

Katharine Kilalea African Poetry Review

David Sergeant Prac Crit

Campbell McGrath the Core

Dean Young Threepenny Review

Brian Sneeden TriQuarterly

Gabeba Baderoon Badilisha

Karen Solie Poetry

Daisy Fried Poetry


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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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