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poetry, essays, ideas
"Now imagine that you’re a rat, two rats in fact, and you’ve been scavenging for scraps in a trench. And then you hear a pistol shot: your body and your ears explode with a sharp, percussive crack which, in its violence, seems cruel and absurdly disproportionate to whatever offence you’ve unwittingly given. You lie unmoving in the bottom of the trench, and wherever a rat’s spirit goes, that’s where your spirit goes." Tom Sleigh • Poetry Review
"I’m looking for poetry I can’t resist. Poetry that arrests me, reads me its riot act, signals my rights, detains me with its linguistic and thematic force (high volume or seductively subtle), and liberates me with a subtext of human culpability, vulnerability, acceptance, and possibility, what Emily Dickinson would call its “costumeless consciousness.”" Lisa Russ Spaar • VQR
"It’s a well-known poem, but seemed, in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, to take on new meaning. “We are closed in,” writes Yeats in stanza two, as though he were looking up the long dark corridor of history, “and the key is turned on our uncertainty.”" Tara Bergin Irish Times
"When it comes to interpreting the arts, intellectual seriousness demands that we accept the limits of any given system or structure." Jed Perl • NYRB
"I don’t think I intend to make the world strange myself (as it already is) but just put feelers out into the ice over the river, which is exciting. Our normal language is not very thick with new thoughts. I refer a lot to angels, as they are poetic bridges we have perhaps concocted to help us explore the before and after of our lives." Medbh McGuckian • Wake Forest
"Elsewhere, and to my mind, more successfully, [Amali] Rodrigo focuses more fully on things as opposed to ideas. ‘Ossuary’, for example begins with a lovely, atmospheric description of the passage of time in the ossuary, ‘One bone fell upon another/ as a loved body deranged,/ femur to humerus, mandible/ to radius, to lie apart from faint/ quakes of loincloth spill, tinsel/ voices gone inside out, as if/ small hands of ash dropped/ through skin into salt longings.’" Ian Pople • Manchester Review
"Popularity and posterity are not synonymous. A select few manage both. Most manage neither. Others manage the former, but not the latter. Pick up a poetry periodical from the early 1960s and you will find W.D. Snodgrass, often bracketed with Philip Larkin. Larkin remains on the shelves of any provincial Waterstones, but you never see someone reading The Führer Bunker in a doctor’s waiting room." Tom Jenks • The Wolf
"Other poems in Loop of Jade make clearer the various forms of power against which [Sarah] Howe hopes to pit the multifarious, illusory space of poetry. Sometimes it is state censorship by the Chinese government, as in the excellent poem ‘Having just broken the water pitcher’, where a dissident blogger “ponders” the subversive possibility of homophonic puns in Chinese characters." Hugh Foley • Oxonian Review
"Anthologies are fraught, question-begging enterprises, as are translations. Who is in? Who isn’t? Is this or that poem (not) included? Does this translation truly capture that great summit of X or Y’s writing? And de Paor’s book will prompt its share of healthy conversations on those topics, but the overwhelming response of most readers to this anthology will be that a brilliant and various century of writing has been assembled." John McAuliffe • Irish Times
"Oswald first mentions Anne Carson and Robert Bringhurst, but seems to set them apart from her idea of Canadian poetry, which is based more on Moosewood Sandhills — a book I haven’t read, but the title strikes me as a two-word compendium of ideas non-Canadians associate with Canada. Based on this book, Oswald describes Canadian poetry as “a quiet discipline — watchful and outdoor”." Brooke Clark • Wow -- Canada!
"Oswald first mentions Anne Carson and Robert Bringhurst, but seems to set them apart from her idea of Canadian poetry, which is based more on Moosewood Sandhills — a book I haven’t read, but the title strikes me as a two-word compendium of ideas non-Canadians associate with Canada. Based on this book, Oswald describes Canadian poetry as “a quiet discipline — watchful and outdoor”." Brooke Clark • Wow -- Canada!
"Canadian poets are interesting precisely when they steal the whole world for themselves and sing it in all its useless complexity." Michael Lista • The Walrus
"How they sound. What they’re like to read, for pleasure and instruction. Something like that. In other words, they would be poems that you read because you wanted to read poems. Rather than, say, [the gossip column] Page Six of the New York Post." Frederick Seidel • Guardian
"Amongst a tradition that values neat poignancy angling towards resolution, he is our foremost poet of the troublesome indeterminacy of sadness and embarrassment." Charles Whalley on Luke Kennard • Literateur
"In Gibbons’s most autobiographical chapter, the character of his teacher, the British-born Donald Davie (1922–1995), is dissected for those same qualities. Estranged from London literary culture as a Northerner and Baptist, Davie immigrated to California (of all places) to inherit Yvor Winters’s position as the traditionalist of the English-department faculty at Stanford University. Gibbons, and indeed the whole of late-’60s culture, were against Davie, who struggled against his conservativism and tried to train himself into a greater openness." Ange Mlinko • The Nation
"About the matter of poetic projects, I am, as about many things, agnostic — a diagnostic mark, some might say, of my lack of commitment, my being on the wrong team. As someone partial some days to Keats’s proclamation that, “if poetry comes not as naturally as the Leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all,” I find Lasky’s hostility to projects salutary." Maureen N McLane • LARB
"There’s also room for experimental work, with digital poetry now more widely known and a lot of visual or audio poetry installed in public places – and, as you mention, there is a wave of interesting new poets, including Rebecca Perry, Sam Riviere, Russell Jones, Harry Mann, Fiona Benson, et cetera. So I would say that poetry is thriving in its world – but there is a wider context, in which the arts are being undervalued in schools and universities and underfunded across the country. I do think our culture is suffering from the unequal education systems that now operate over here." Alice Oswald • Globe & Mail
"Few today have heard of [Lola] Ridge, but her impact on America society cannot be denied. She was that rarest of creature: a poet whose work brought real, tangible change. Ridge’s poem about Sacco and Vanzetti, for instance, was duplicated by the thousands, passed hand-to-hand among activists, and would help free the labor activist Tom Mooney from unjust incarceration." Zara Raab • The Critical Flame
"Like certain words in English poetry, he came to believe, Buddha faces could be regarded as expressing at least two and sometimes many different meanings at the same time; and the sculptural convention that allowed this was asymmetry, with the left and right sides of the Buddha’s face showing different emotions or spiritual states." Kevin Jackson • Literary Review
"Lerner is fascinated by the question of why people dislike poetry—and most important, why poets dislike potery. A wry, highly self-conscious guide, he lures us in by sharing with the reader that, at events, when he or another poet is introduced, the words I, too, dislike it run through his head. When he is teaching or discussing poetry, the phrase sometimes takes on “the feel of negative rumination and sometimes a kind of manic, mantric affirmation, as close as I get to unceasing prayer.”" Meghan O'Rourke • Bookforum
"All these adjectives point to a poet who is hard to categorize and not really like anyone else at all. They also, often, suggest a writer who has been marginalized as an oddity. Now, forty-five years after her death, bound inside this large annotated collection, she can be celebrated as a major English poet of the twentieth century. She is a writer of astonishing skill, range, comedy, and depth of feeling; she is inimitable, strange, and utterly original." Hermione Lee • NYRB

New poems

Rebecca Perry Poetry Review

Carmine Starnino The Manchester Review

Nyla Matuk Manchester Review

Patrick Mackie New Statesman

Harry Giles Guardian

Alicia Ostriker Massachusetts Review

Jana Prikryl Harpers

Nyla Matuk The Literateur

Nyla Matuk The Literateur

Brett Foster Kenyon Review

Mark Waldron Poetry London

AF Moritz The High Window

Tom Sleigh Threepenny Review

Andrea Cohen Cincinnati Review / Poetry Daily


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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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