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" I’m reminded of Gore Vidal’s Lincoln, when back in 1984 his depiction of the great man stirred up quite a storm. Vidal was interviewed on Start the Week along with Richard Adams, of Watership Down fame. Adams was asked his opinion of Vidal’s novelisation. “I thought it was meretricious.” “Really?” retorted Vidal. “Well, meretricious then – and happy New Year.”" Maurice Riordan • Poetry Review
"I know some people love the book, I’m aware of that, but I really think being in the audience when these lectures were delivered was a better experience, because it’s really true that at some point in the middle of that particular lecture, I passed out all these notes to the audience. I just passed out pages of my own notes." Mary Ruefle • Divedapper
"So you can observe all you want, and you can observe other people’s problems all you want but you have to get at the emotional and maybe the political repercussions for the speaker. That doesn’t mean you necessarily confess, that doesn’t mean you have to tell true facts, or anything like that. It means you can use narrative in a way that will make the poem be about more than just how you feel about something." Daisy Fried • Divedapper
"In very different ways, both Grennan and Sweeney write poetry with a youthfulness that only comes with maturity. Likewise, these collections affirm the accomplishments of each poet’s distinctive style. “I can’t stand / being in this crap poetry world without / you”, Sweeney complains, to John Hartley Williams (‘Co-Author’). Whatever contemporary malaise Sweeney has in mind in those lines, neither he nor Grennan are in thrall to it. Anglophone poetry is richer for Sweeney’s fantasia and Grennan’s lyric infusion." Gregory Leadbetter • Poetry Review
"Bate, it appears, turns a blind eye to anything that does not obviously fit his thesis." Jane Feaver • Poetry Review
"What was the most expensive work of poetry in 2015?" Gregory Cowles NYT
"It’s possible to speak of a mental calm in the act of composition which opens the mind to progressive thought and enlarges its resources by overcoming the inhibitions created by anxiety. It’s a quality of the text rather than the author, though I think certain mental habits must be conducive to it." Peter Riley Fortnightly Review
"I am not writing epic poetry although I like what Milton said about lyric poets drinking wine while epic poets should drink water from a wooden bowl. I would like to drink wine from a wooden bowl or to drink water from an emptied bottle of wine." Anne Boyer • Bookforum
"The erotic doesn’t operate on the level of nouns. The proliferation of certain kinds of nouns we might be conditioned to regard as “erotic” doesn’t actually make the text, nor even the nouns themselves, erotic." Mia You • Jacket2
"Brooke’s reputation, or symbolism, rather, as doomed promise destroyed by war, reached its zenith in the interwar period. An international committee (Cavafy was a member) founded by Belgian poet and intellectual Paul Vanderborght organized the creation and establishment of the memorial, which was to be set on a plinth of Skyrian marble—400,000 drachmas (a princely sum) were raised by public subscription for the monument alone. Then there was the question of where to put it." AE Stallings • Hudson Review
"Middleton’s verve is such that what begins as an academic exercise will suddenly take an imaginative leap in a wholly unexpected direction." Marius Kociejowski • Guardian
"Twelve years of close textual study have led us to conclude that this is indeed the most likely explanation, but some critics have been more hesitant about jumping to conclusions." John Crace • Guardian
"The racism and mirthless obscenity of the King Bolo pieces, like the utterly tedious Columbiad, are a form of punishment, like being locked in at the Ivy League equivalent of an interminable rugby club dinner. Hamlet says of his father, ‘He was a man. Take him for all in all’, and we must do the same for Eliot, while wondering how grateful he himself might be for such liberal consideration." Sean O'Brien • Independent "Does this edition matter? Of course. I am so pleased to have lived to see it. “Eliot wrote nothing that is not of interest,” said Ricks at an event at the British Library on Monday. Is it where to begin? Of course not. “Anyone who reads Larkin for the first time in that edition [the scholarly Archie Burnett] needs his head seen to,” said Ricks. “Or her head. Equal opportunities.”" David Sexton • Evening Standard "Ricks has written of his dislike of “intertextuality”, preferring “allusion”, but the Eliot echo chamber mapped in the notes is distinguished by the amount of references it turns up to Milton, Keats and Tennyson – favourite poets of Ricks – rather than to a poet such as Yeats, who is less favoured by that editor. “These fragments I have shored against my ruins,” Eliot writes at the end of The Waste Land. Might the sheer mass of allusions uncovered in Eliot’s simplest utterance be sand-bags piled against the hostile claims of canonical rivals?" David Wheatley • Guardian
"In the aftermath of a poet’s death, images become metaphors; metaphors, symbols; and symbols turn into neon signs. Gestures otherwise innocent come to mean more than they should." William Logan • New Criterion
"Three forms inspire Bluets: the philosophical tract, the lyric poem, and the autobiography. Where it is philosophical, it borrows from a form of writing perfected by early twentieth-century philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose books suggest order because their propositions (or mini-arguments) are numbered but whose writing subverts that order because the argument posited in one proposition is often reversed in the next, a method Wittgenstein called “pulling the rug out from under the reader.” The experience is destabilizing but also intimate: his reversals allow his readers to think with him. " Jocelyn Parr on Maggie Nelson • Brick
"The self-scrutiny of his earlier work is still there, but there is more light than darkness in the imagery, as the imperative persists to bear witness and to give expression to the realities of human life in all its complexity and imperfection." Mairin Nic Eoin • Irish Times
"As I read postwar British poetry fully, I became less enamoured with the Movement tones of Phillip Larkin or Donald Davie and reviled their small, digestible, miserable artifacts of everyday British life, what Andrew Duncan likens to the 1950s domestic white goods of an individualist capitalist economy. If we believe the historical rewrite of pro-Movement critics, the Georgian poets had all but done away with early modernist experimentation. Gradually as I labored through postwar British poetry, the technical, lyrical sameness — a self-assured universal “voice” — began to rise from the pages, forming into homogenous, efficient, and consumable vehicles of meaning. The conservative, mainstream British poem behaved like modernism had never happened. Its low-risk game of truth and meaning left little room for nuanced poetic subjectivities that challenged the singular British voice." Sandeep Parmar • LARB
"[His] sole purpose in choosing to write in English rather than Russian was to get closer to Auden, “the man whom I considered the greatest mind of the twentieth century”. Andrew McCulloch • TLS
"“There was a chap working there who was very different from the others. He was grumpy and he was older, and differently dressed, and I learned that that was Basil Bunting." Mark Knopfler • The Chronicle
"The politics of Utter comes ultimately, then, not in its readiness to champion and answer to old categories and interpellated postcolonial identities, but in fact in its fierce refusal of easy reading or reduction." Vivek Narayaran on Vahni Capildeo • Caribbean Review of Books
"[Christopher] Middleton, whose verse is generally spoken of as "experimental", was a restless spirit among poets, which went hand in hand with a life-long compulsion to travel – he was a regular visitor to France, Germany and Turkey, for example. Few poets have been quite so fully steeped in the literature of other tongues. He belonged to no school or movement, and he is quite impossible to place or to pigeon-hole." Michael Glover • Independent
"Rankine mulls over several highly publicised sports events (with Serena Williams, the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, and an Algerian footballer) where the bright light of international television captures racially situated aggressions. These public performances do the work of solidifying, making real through a poetic archiving that which is often denied." Anton Nimblett • Caribbean Review of Books

New poems

Jana Prikryl The Nation

Liz Berry Compass

Rachael Allen The Quietus

Tara Bergin Blackbox Manifold

Chris Andrews Blackbox Manifold

Vona Groarke Turbine

Medbh McGuckian The Harlequin

Robin Fulton Macpherson The Dark Horse

Dorothea Lasky Prac Crit

Claudia Emerson Blackbird

Lyn Hejinian Coconut

Anne Carson New Yorker

Frank Bidart Threepenny Review

Henri Cole Paris Review

Caroline Bird 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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