The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"John Betjeman said: “I hold Charles Tomlinson’s poetry in high regard. His is closely wrought work, not a word wasted … ” For the American objectivist poet George Oppen, “it is [Tomlinson] and Basil Bunting who have spoken most vividly to American poets”. Tomlinson bridged the vast gulf between old and new world poetry, and was an heir equally of Dryden and Williams, Coleridge and Pound." Michael Schmidt • Guardian

"Gerry Adams (pictured), as Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast, led a delegation of language activists to the Arts Council on April 22nd, 1986. They met the council’s director, Ken Jamison, and the then traditional arts officer, Ciaran Carson. Mr Carson is now professor of poetry at Queen’s University Belfast." Irish Times
"I quickly began to recognise that Octavio [Paz] was a master with a vision of and for humanity and poetry that was as passionate as it was intelligent." Richard Berengarten Fortnightly Review
"A difficulty of poetic translation in our time has been the tendency to translate the poem, but to make little comparable effort to translate the poet." Eavan Boland Irish Times

"At the time, few women in Japan wrote poetry, and those who did typically used traditional forms to address domestic concerns. Sagawa sounded different: she wrote in free verse, not tanka or haiku, and her images were shockingly new." Adrienne Raphael • New Yorker

"'It’s a bit of a shock to find, all of a sudden, that I am driving Yeats!’" Avies Platt LRB
"One trouble with that old dispute in Australian poetry between the country and the city is that it misses this conscious largeness in [Philip] Hodgins’ work. As Roy Fisher put it in his poem ‘Six Texts for a Film 1. Talking to Cameras’: 'There’s no shame / in letting the world pivot / on your own patch. That’s all a centre’s for. / Anything else is politics …'" Lisa Gorton Sydney Review of Books
"[O]ne of the most demoralizing aspects of these changes is how [Ken] Babstock’s poetry has crossed into that area of initiates, best understood by those who claim to understand it. And as astonishing as it is to willingly transform oneself, in the span of five books, from an addictive substance into an acquired taste, On Malice may present even Babstock’s most ardent decoders with the chore of acquiring that taste anew." Carmine Starnino Maisonneuve "Rather than having liberated his work from its early rootedness in persona, Babstock has simply shifted the frieght of persona to the paratext. Whereas the most striking line in the Acknowledgments section of Mean offers “Deep thanks to everyone at The Banff Centre for the Arts—not least of all, the bartender with the Uncle Tupelo and Wilco albums,” its relative equivalent in On Malice tells us that “Fredric Jameson’s Valences of the Dialectic broke a silence, or opened on to one.” In the conceptual and rhetorical space between these two sentences of acknowledgement can be charted Babstock’s aesthetic journey thus far in all its dazzling ambition. In less than two decades he has not only irrevocably altered our poetic climate but briskly evolved multiple new ecosystems in which his fellow songsters can work and flourish. In the wake of On Malice, I think we should prepare ourselves for a raft of source-text experiments and procedural treatises. Because as Canadian poets, it’s Babstock’s planet we’re walking on." Stewart Cole Partisan "The effect of reading the book is akin to perusing mined data and trying to assemble sense from it." Jason Wiens Quill & Quire
"“The Third Hour of the Night” remains the apex of the series and indeed possibly of Bidart’s career." Christopher Adamson Boston Review
"The technical accomplishment is almost the least significant point of the collection. When it is done so well, it, like the ghosts that haunt many of the poems, is literally invisible." Stuart Kelly The Scotsman
"The acronyms make it clear that the AWP lives in a world of categories and abstractions. No mention of talent or imagination, development and growth. The political objective is – not to give offence." Michael Schmidt PN Review
"Part of the tradition of patriotism that I respect is one that I find in all the American writers that I admire." Robert Pinsky Irish Times

"With a confessional poet, it is the honesty that counts. With Cole, it seems, the confession is a seed that can and must be buried before it can bear fruit." Sean Hewitt on Henri Cole Prac Crit
"Where the poem isn’t a statement, it’s a questioning. The thing with the Beats was that it was a confessional thing. And the same with Lowell. But the thing about Ashbery was that he was completely outside of it, creating this world which the reader is invited to enter, and play with, and think about. So the emphasis isn’t on the personality of the writer – even though, no matter what John says, it is personal. There is personal stuff there, but it’s well wrapped-up. With a poem like ‘How Much Longer Will I Be Able to Inhabit the Divine Sepulchre…’, what he’s talking about is how much you dare expose yourself, your real feelings, to other people." Lee Harwood PN Review
"The institutions meant to uphold NZ literature are drooping on their piles. In some cases they have collapsed altogether. In a brave recent commentary piece called ‘Abandon Normal Instruments: A Call for Change in New Zealand Literary Arts’, Kirsten McDougall calls our ‘stagnating’ literary culture ‘a worn discarded toy that many people have forgotten how to play with.’ Here are some of the casualties: the New Zealand Book Awards and the BNZ Literary Awards have both recently lost their sponsorship. The Book Awards scheduled for 2015 did not take place at all. The prestigious Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship is fighting to secure funding, and its stipend has been cut. The future of the Berlin Writers’ Residency is under review. The National Schools Writing Festival, for promising high-school age writers, is on hiatus. Creative New Zealand writing grants have declined from what they were ten years ago by almost half." Joan Fleming Cordite
"Where on one’s naked body is there room for art, for artifice? And hadn’t poets been taking their clothes off, in some sense, for centuries before confessionalism? Like the Whitmans and the Wheatleys, and others so radical in their nakedness, we don’t remember their names? Not to mention religious poets like Herbert, Donne, Bradstreet—who were literally using the space of their poems to “confess” in the full glory of the word." Jake Orbison • Paris Review

"‘S’il vous plait,’ I said meekly, ‘parlez-vous anglais?’" August Kleinzahler • LRB

"While being an example of it, Underwood is a valuable observer of this phenomenon. It often manifests itself as a performance of selfhood; for example, in its fearful, guilty anticipation." Sean O'Brien Guardian
"Claudine Toutoungi’s ‘Cats Breakfasting’ is a beautifully lucid and subtle response to this inner structure of Craxton’s work, a poem that both sends the reader to the painting with opened eyes, and is totally of itself, needing no supporting illustration – ‘held with an internal and external pressure’." Judith Willson • New Poetries

"We at Enitharmon are all deeply saddened to hear of the death of Lee Harwood on Sunday 26th July. Not only a highly gifted and skilled poet, but a man of immense kindness and thoughtfulness." Enitharmon

New poems

Kay Ryan VQR

Paul Farley Guardian

Les Murray Guardian

Ken Babstock Coach House

Jacqueline Waters Chicago Review

Edward Doegar Poetry Ireland Review

Henri Cole PracCrit

Luke Kennard Stride

Nausheen Eusuf PN 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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