The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"The first words spoken by a mortal in Virgil’s poem are Aeneas’ in terror of the storm and in dread of a watery grave.” A.E. Stallings • The Hudson Review

"Away from social media, [Leontia] Flynn archives instead the near past of the pre-internet.” John McAuliffe • The Irish Times

"Was Arnold any good as a poet? Or rather, to anticipate an answer – which is that, yes, I think he was very good – what are we to make of the fact that so many of his readers, both contemporary and since, have thought he wasn’t up to much?” Seamus Perry • TLS

"The new details will not change most perceptions about Wilbur’s “almost suspiciously normal life,” although it should dispel the sense that he shared none of the horrors and despair of his more self-revealing peers.” A.M. Juster • First Things

"Newspapers a century ago often carried verse, and verse, learned by heart at school, was also recited at home. Public verse was high on patriotic hope in 1914. A line from the first stanza of ‘For the Fallen’, lamenting those who have ‘Fallen in the cause of the free’, was absolutely meant.” Michael Alexander • Literary Review

“We are cast by chance into an age in which nothing is worse than to be openly ignorant, nothing more rare than to be fully learned.” John Donne • Guardian

"In his new book, Bunk, a cultural history of hoaxes in America, the poet Kevin Young argues that the popularity of the Sun’s story “owed much to its re-creating on the Moon what many white readers believed could be found at home.” Robert P. Baird • Esquire

"In “To Thom Gunn in Los Altos, California”, his friend Donald Davie wrote: “Conquistador! Live dangerously, my Byron, / In this metropolis / Of Finistere. Drop off / The edge repeatedly, and come / Back to tell us!”” Patrick McGuinness • The Guardian

"Plagiarists rarely confess their sin, the worst a writer can commit. Almost all, when caught, make excuses. The most common are: (1) everyone does it, (2) it’s not really plagiarism, (3) any similarities are slight or irrelevant, (4) I forgot to cite the sources, (5) quotation marks and citations were accidentally removed, (6) the passages are only a small part of the book, (7) I unconsciously memorized the original, (8) my researcher is to blame, (9) drinking, drugs, or mental illness is to blame, and (10) the critic who caught me is to blame.” William Logan • The Walrus

"'Many' or 'multiple' could suggest that he’s much turned, as if he is the one who has been put in the situation of having been to Troy, and back, and all around, gods and goddesses and monsters turning him off the straight course that, ideally, he’d like to be on. Or, it could be that he’s this untrustworthy kind of guy who is always going to get out of any situation by turning it to his advantage. It could be that he’s the turner." Emily Wilson • New York Times

"[Robyn] Sarah’s entire career is an antidote to the pervasive anxiety about poetry’s incomprehensibility. " Anita Lahey • The Walrus

"Modigliani produced several drawings and paintings of the young Akhmatova that captured the elegant lines and distinct features of the poet whom critics would soon call the Russian Sappho." Martin Puchner • Lithub

"I emotionally buckle at this display of passion and lament about paternal relationships." Jonathan Tait • The Stray

"These were the people who had learned from his verses how to shape their dreams and dream their love, and forlorn and enraged, they chanted that their bard was alive inside them." Ariel Dorfman NYT
"I think now though we will start to see better how these poems confront darkness (Wilbur was a soldier in WWII) and irrationality (there was a history of mental illness in the family) as a deliberate act, the subversive cultivation of civilization in the face of evil and entropy." A.E. Stallings • The American Scholar

"So who is this Seidel anyway?" Matthew Halliday • Wildcourt

"Because poets don’t make any money, he continued to write art criticism in addition to teaching, to make ends meet—a problem alleviated only by a five-year MacArthur Fellowship in 1985. His productivity increased with age: he published a new book almost every couple of years for his last three decades. He was lionized, imitated, studied, analyzed, enshrined, revered. He outlived nearly all his contemporaries, settling gently into eminence in his Victorian manse (bought cheaply and restored slowly) in Hudson. Now he joins the marble busts of American literature." Luc Sante NYRB
"What can one say? As a last resort, I ask my partner: what do you think is behind the poem? “Vanity,” she replies, “And a mid-life crisis.” Harsh, but I’ll let her have the last word." Colette Bryce The Poetry Review
"But where Stein wrote a novel called The Making of Americans, Trump has added a word to the making of contemporary Americans. Sad! And just as much as a time of Trump will have its effect on language, language will reveal the workings of the era of Trump, a whole new terrible layer added to the meaning of that word sad. This is because language will always renew itself. It’s what it naturally does." Ali Smith New Statesman
"Part of my poetic consciousness is embedded in the reality of the poetic self as other to functioning society. The poet as the last custodian of language, on the fringes of capital landfill, and somehow free of it." Chris McCabe the Wolf
"All cries are thin and terse; / The field has droned the summer’s final mass; /A cricket like a dwindled hearse / Crawls from the dry grass." Richard Wilbur NYT
"There are more poets than stray dogs in this country,’ Thitsar Ni, a leader of a Burmese poetic pack was heard to lament at a Yangon teashop. Burma/Myanmar, with its diverse literary and oral traditions, should not surprise you if it brags the highest density on earth of poets per square mile." ko ko thett Asia literary Review
"Challenging assumptions and definitions is important. Challenges also need to be made well, to be heard as anything other than ornery. A ‘book’ has coherence, yet might not make much sense or yield its pleasures and illuminations to a reader dipping in at random. A ‘collection’ may have been rearranged by mentors and editors and will comprise roughly equal, publishable or performable, stand-alone pieces." Vahni Capildeo PN Review
"As well as hunting for poems in at-risk languages, the National Poetry Library has commissioned four poets to write new poems in threatened languages, or languages lost to them personally. Joy Harjo will write in the language of her own Native American Mvskoke (Creek) Nation; Northern Irish poet Gearóid Mac Lochlainn in Irish Gaelic; Iraqi poet Nineb Lamassu will use Assyrian, a language not officially recognised in Iraq; and Ugandan poet Nick Makoha in his mother tongue, Luganda, which he lost when he fled Idi Amin’s dictatorship as a boy." Alison Flood Guardian
"At a more basic level, however, literary community can have a deadly impact. The most obvious fatality: your critical faculty. It becomes harder to file an honest review of a book if you’re always rubbing shoulders. Not long after I first started writing criticism, I ventured out to a reading on the invitation of an editor—and almost immediately encountered a poet whose debut I’d recently been assigned to review. His poetry was dull, but he seemed decent enough. It took me months to file my piece, and even then I pulled my final punch—and I’m one of the few jerks in Canada willing to bloody a book of poetry. How are younger, less jerky writers ever going to develop the independent spirit required to lob a rotten tomato if they’ve committed themselves to nurturing the community garden?" Jason Guriel The Walrus
"Glibness will always be a risk in concrete poetry, and in particular the manipulation of found text can end up little more than a cheap joke, but the collages here maintain a mantic edge. Houédard wrote of Vatican II that it acknowledged the “SACREDNESS of ambiguity”, and the works here are not the sort of thing that can be paraphrased or explained. (Other, more well-known, pieces of Houédard’s, such as the reworking of Basho’s most famous haiku, “frog pond plop”, are.)" Rey Conquer Oxonian Review
"Reading this, I feel I’ve been imprisoned in a poetry theme-park." William Logan • Tourniquet Review

"It is to cultural policy what tweets are to literature, what LinkedIn is to poetry, what Facebook is to friendship. Canadian creativity will, of course, continue to thrive long after Creative Canada has been forgotten, and it will flourish in direct proportion to its capacity to resist the homogenizing, programmatic, and deadening future the policy imagines." Ira Wells The Walrus
"There are worse things to get horribly, almost unthinkably wrong than the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. (The outcome of a presidential election, for one.) But there has definitely never been a worse time than 2016 to make bold predictions." Alex Shephard New Republic
"The hope, at least one hope, is that as a poet progresses in their career their sensitivity has not been shuttered and habit made them automatic in their own style: that the reach toward new subjects requires, in the reaching, a new hand." Chad Campbell The Manchester Review
"The tradition of poets not simply making cultural artifacts out of language, but also wielding some sort of intellectual control over the broader shape of culture itself, goes back to the very beginnings of Western thought." Scott Beauchamp The New Criterion

"Therefore, a chronological approach to this extraordinary body of work will not yield any useful results – in fact, his oeuvre almost insists on being discussed only on the terms in which it itself exists: criticism tends to become, perhaps in sheer despair of finding any other approach, mere replication, or, at best, parody. (Ashbery has also commented that his aim was to produce a poetic statement that could not alone not be expressed in any better way, but that could not be expressed in any other way whatever.)" Terence Killeen Irish Times

"On the other hand, a diabolically bad poet is like a rotting corpse." David Blair The Critical Flame
"This auction asks questions of the national culture Yeats knew, questioned and shaped: he was aided by benefactors, John Quinn, Lady Gregory and her nephew Hugh Lane among them, who worked to make new theatre and visual art and poetry available to anyone. Is that culture of artistic patronage still alive? The auction also asks a question of collection policies: is it time for a more co-ordinated approach to protecting Ireland’s literary heritage?" John McAuliffe Irish Times
"Original things always exceed definitive presentation and containment. Long may her poems confound us." Heather Cass White Faber
"There’s a clever-cleverness in contemporary American poetry that keeps alive older verse traditions, straddles generations, and seems very much a boy thing—Frederick Seidel, Paul Muldoon, Michael Robbins, and Adam Fitzgerald come quickly to mind." Joshua Weiner • The Chicago Review
"Every day, it seems, I learn again how little power I have, and how much. In the process of bringing this forum into being, I have been confronted, again, with my complicity in structures of power, and I remain enraged by the way ignorance (my own and others’) greases the wheels of those structures. Knowledge is power, and ignorance is a privilege you pay for in units of power." Evie Shockley Evening Will Come
"When the novelist E. M. Forster wrote to Housman expressing enthusiasm for his poetry, Housman responded with a letter that Forster described as “absolutely hateful … I was so disappointed and hurt that I destroyed it after one rapid perusal."." Adam Kirsch • The Atlantic
"Emily Dickinson, for example, masterfully simplified complex topics with poems like “Because I could not stop for Death,” and many poets are similarly adept. Business leaders live in multifaceted, dynamic environments. Their challenge is to take that chaos and make it meaningful and understandable. Reading and writing poetry can exercise that capacity, improving one’s ability to better conceptualize the world and communicate it — through presentations or writing — to others." John Coleman Harvard Business Review
"Poetry is an ancient art; it’s our communal language. Poetry is not written for experts and it’s not written for scholars and it doesn’t belong to the priests of literature, it belongs to the people. I know a lot of poets, and I don’t know a single one of them that thinks they write for scholars — they write for other human beings." Matthew Zapruder • LA Times
"On 11 May 1922, Marina and Alya boarded a train at the Vindavskii (now Rizhskii) railway station. The train took them to Riga, where they caught another train to Berlin. Alya in her memoir, Marina Tsvetaeva: My Mother, records a list of thirteen valuable items Marina decided to take with her. It includes two I find most interesting: a papier-mâché pencil holder and a bronze inkpot with a drummer painted on the outside." Subhash Jaireth • Sydney Review of Books
"What the speaker enters could be love; it could be water; it could be both. When I read that I felt really emotional. That’s what happens to me when I’m in water." Amy Key • The Poetry Extension
"If the struggle of the modernists was to make peace with bureaucratic institutions without compromising the purity and quality of their work, the question for those who have come after them has been whether to challenge or sustain that peace. The modernist union of poetry, criticism, and bureaucracy has had many obvious benefits: Certainly the levels of comfort, prosperity, and productivity enjoyed by several generations of Anglo-American poets from the postwar era onward as a result of their connection to bureaucratic institutions are nothing to minimize." Evan Kindley Chronicle of Higher Education
" But this is the first publication of new material that precedes Oppen’s storied twenty-five years of silence between the publication of Discrete Series and his next book, The Materials, in 1962. 21 Poems nearly doubles the size of Oppen’s early and influential corpus, and happily, the poems themselves are fascinating." David B Hobbs NYRB
"In one last example, let's return to Elmore Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing. His first rule (#1!) is “Never open a book with weather.”" Ben Blatt PW
"Tom Raworth’s poetry can be read, then, as if Tom’s performance underscores the work’s quick-fire wit. But his masque of collaged differentials also invites slower, more accumulative readings, readings that take note of the decisions and judgments, the omissions and abstractions that make up the texture of his poetry’s knowing condensations. Put simply, Tom knew what he was doing, and what he wasn’t, and not just intuitively. Although he avoided offering a poetics or theory, his writerly practice nevertheless articulates implicit principles of construction. His knowing skill is evident in the comparative absence of traces of literary influence: his occasional borrowings are made new. In conversation, Tom often revealed an exceptionally precise power of recall, and the absence of clumsy repetitions of his or anyone else’s writing speaks to his powers of memory." Drew Milne PN Review
"That it inhabits the uncertain territory between dream and meaning is one of my chief pleasures when reading it." Anthony Wilson Lifesaving Poems
"In one of my favorite Ashbery poems, the early “They Dream Only of America,” whose title always brings to my mind Alfred Stieglitz’s beautiful photograph juxtaposing first-class and steerage passengers arriving in the U.S. (“The Steerage”), John characterizes the poem’s nameless “they” as “lost among the thirteen million pillars of grass”—a profoundly witty amalgam of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, now replaced by the pillars of the urban landscape, the original Thirteen Colonies, the fate of Lot’s Wife—don’t look back!—and the immigrant dream of the millions of new arrivals in America." Marjorie Perloff • Boston Review
"A lot like the late T.F. Griffin, Ian Parks is an outlier of British poetry whose writing was spotted and praised early by figures whose judgement we would do well attend to. With Griffin, it was Philip Larkin who provided the encomium; with Parks, it is Donald Davie, who commented that Park’s voice was ‘spare, lyrical, memorable and intense’, and remarked on ‘the sheer force of his poetic identity.’ Over the years, that voice has become more particularised; an Ian Parks poem is instantly recognisable. But the lyricism, which has characterised his writing from those early days, has remained as intense, as spare and as memorable as ever." Ian Pople Manchester Review
"This casual attitude toward what would turn out to be one of the masterpieces of world literature is puzzling, even in someone as unpredictable as its author." John Ashbery Poetry "As was his way, Ashbery went off and championed the dead-pan figuration of Alex Katz and the work of Jane Freilicher, Robert Dash and Fairfield Porter. That was a typical twist of Ashbery’s Moebius strip, to champion figurative art while writing surreal poems. But again, it was the material sense of the thing, how it was done, which distinguished a work, not so much the orthodoxy to which it adhered. There was something of the dandyesque about this aesthetic. A fastidious sense of the eccentric." Anthony Howell Fortnightly Review
"I opened Facebook on Tuesday and found that poets were contributing to what was already a long list of sentences beginning, “Reading a John Ashbery poem is like …” I didn’t attempt a contribution then, but I will do so here." Rae Armantrout NYT
"What the poet owes or doesn’t owe to the world around him or her is a familiar subject. Conscription adds another layer: conscribing a poet to a cause, or an event, or an occasion, or an ideology, may sound coercive. But the fact remains that many poets of worth and reach have been taken out of their comfort zone by an occasion or commitment and have documented that transit with powerful work. Yet today, so much has changed – so many new voices, so many different tonal registers – that the idea of the conscripted poet has had to change as well." Eavan Boland Poetry Ireland Review
"As I remember it, the lecture on King Lear completely transformed my sense of the play I’d studied at A-level by describing it as a clash of generations, between ‘the flashy old and the spivvy new’. The new way of perceiving the play’s conflict was powerful, the fact that it had been produced by those two surprising, non-standard English adjectives was linguistically liberating." John Whale Stand
"Local color doesn’t disclose value or inquire into value. It’s mostly a collection of icons. It estranges poets from their material and becomes the kind of irony that baffles revelation." WS de Piero Threepenny Review
"It’s not that I don’t believe my poems can be improved; it’s that I have no idea how I, the I that I am now, can do it. There’s almost a metaphysics to this resistance. “Neither am I convinced,” wrote Basil Bunting, “that the poems that bear my name are not the work of some other person, long vanished, whose passport and pension card I have somehow inherited.” Part of poetry’s mystery has always been its estranging quality; the “one rapture of an inspiration,” when it descends, feels alien to my nature. And so I have never believed Valéry’s (sneakily self-congratulatory) insistence that a poem is never completed, only abandoned." Nate Klug Threepenny Review
"Anyone reading Mlinko needs a refresher course on the meanings of “craquelure” and “combinatorics” and many other words that would not be out of place in Wallace Stevens’s “Harmonium,” a strong forebear of Mlinko’s style. I read Mlinko with my phone at the ready: Googling wildly, I must look as if I were day-trading or refreshing Twitter. And yet this work has more in common with the gregarious poems of Frank O’Hara than with the rarefied art pieces of early Merrill or Anthony Hecht. A writer with a big vocabulary and lots of learning can be spontaneous, too." Dan Chiasson New Yorker
"Would one of the greatest poems in the English language have turned out differently, had he not visited Italy? Moshenska has no doubts, believing the Italy that Milton experienced in his youth was a well upon which the older poet drew for some of his most evocative, detailed passages." Jamie Doward Guardian
"You can no more say what an Ashbery poem is about than you can say what a laughing hyena is about. The limits of sense, the tomfoolery that isn’t quite foolery, the impending doom that never pends—all the poems are about poetry, more or less. They’re like watching a man on a distant breakwater. From his panicky gestures and his leaps and caracoles you know something is terribly wrong, unless he’s just rehearsing the fencing scene in Hamlet." William Logan New Criterion
"While lamenting the fact that no publishers would deign to put out his work, Knott turned down publishing offers from big presses like Farrar, Straus and Giroux (which, while he was alive, put out his 2004 volume The Unsubscriber and wanted to continue working with him on other volumes) and well-known small presses like Black Ocean. Instead, he released his own collections online, maintaining that the “vanity” publishing of his work was something he was reduced to when, in fact, he willfully chose that route. The “traditional” publication of Knott’s poetry was, to be sure, desired by multiple outside parties." Jeff Alessandrelli Lithub
"The Lice foreshadows our current political climate, as though Merwin were somehow reflecting from the future. “The judges have chains in their sleeves / To get where they are,” he writes in “Bread at Midnight.” “Caesar” ends with a ghastly image of a dictator who is both tyrant and puppet. The speaker has the horrific job of transporting the leader, “Wheeling the president past banks of flowers / Past the feet of empty stairs / Hoping he’s dead.” Those banks of flowers call our attention to the hellscape that the environment has become. If these banks of flowers are natural, they’re in stark contrast to the president, forcing his control and reign over the world. More likely, they’re banks of flowers planted where they don’t belong, heaped in forced, funereal abundance in celebration of a tyrant." Adrienne Raphel Poetry
"There’s only one full-dress essay in the book, and it’s much more heavy-duty than the rest. The subject is the poetry of Frederick Seidel, and the essay handles a familiar critical problem—the morality of bad taste, the Jeff Koons–Michel Houellebecq–Bret Easton Ellis problem—expertly if not entirely originally. The essay does include observations like “The death drive is figured here as the desire to literalize the trope of the subject’s dispersal.” When I hear the words “literalize the trope,” I reach for my remote. Hyperbole is an ever-present danger up there on the high-low tightrope. What helps the critic keep his or her balance is the acknowledgment that it is hyperbole, that there is a rhetoric of aesthetic experience—the experience of reading poems or listening to songs we’re strongly attached to—that is always in excess of the actual content." Louis Menand New Yorker
"The Soviet Writers’ Union had been able to give writers enough to live on after publishing a book or a collection of poems in some literary magazine — for the official writers, of course, not to the authors of samizdat. You could live for three years after publishing a book, but it had to be a bad book, because it was the result of an inner compromise. Nevertheless, lots of people had the feeling that they could stay themselves and still, somehow, occupy some cozy step on the enormous staircase of the official Soviet literary establishment. When the system crashed, people were disappointed and disorientated. By 1992 or 1993, it became evident that the utopia wasn’t working anymore, especially for poets. It became evident that a book of poetry would never have a press run of more than 2,000 copies. It would never bring you money or even fame. I saw people crushed, melted, changed because of that. They had relied on a system that had suddenly vanished into thin air. They were still willing to make compromises, but there was no longer anyone to make a compromise with." Maria Stepanova LARB
"It can be argued she is referring to a more general language exercised in American documents, including American poetry. “Whereas” is an excavation, reorganization and documentation of a structure of language that has talked the United States through its many acts of violence. This book troubles our consideration of the language we use to carry our personal and national narratives." Natalie Diaz on Layli Long Soldier NYT
"[Tara Bergin's] The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx might sound gloomy and, as a title, even mock-Shakespearean, but it is an exhilarating read, daring, original and very funny." John McAuliffe Irish Times
"Pantling’s fine book from Smith Doorstop is yet another of those books which is likely to slip rather unnoticed beneath the average poetry buyer’s gaze. That is a great pity, because as a kind of ‘state-of-the-nation’ volume it is exemplary. And even that undersells Pantling’s rich, adroit, poetic skills." Ian Pople Manchester Review
"Lucretius, born in Rome in 99BC, in his great poem De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) sought to rid us of our superstitions and make us see and love the world for what it is, not for what we imagine it to be. “There is a sense of luminous calm and serenity about the poem,” Rovelli observes, “which comes from understanding that there are no capricious gods demanding of us difficult things, and punishing us.”" John Banville Irish Times
"AB: Can we finish with some discussion of Channel 4 and what’s wrong with it?
DA: Wrong? What could possibly be wrong with poking fun at plebs, reality tv featuring rampant narcissists and endless advice on how to make money out of a housing bubble? You’re so moralistic, Alfie." Alfie Bown and David Alderson HKRB
"My entire room is decorated with pictures of the Rosetta Stone and Stonehenge and Roman columns and the wonders of the ancient world, but I’m also a true contemporary dirtbag, and I love Paris Hilton and figure skating rivalries and Liza Minelli made-for-TV movies. Basically, what I am trying to say is all of the imagery and references in my poetry are things that I deeply love, and want to include regardless of how thematically relevant they are to the poem." Hera Lindsay Bird • Cordite
"In that case, perhaps what Kavanagh sees as a piece of stoical gallows-humour could also be read as a tongue-in-cheek tiff in which God and man merely squabble over who is the bigger disappointment." Andrew McCulloch TLS
"It’s not about dry or pedantic interpretation, or the deadening jargon most of us were taught in school. It’s about how poets write, and how people feel when they read poems and say them aloud." Joan Wickersham • Boston Globe
"Zagajewski can seem anachronistically highbrow: “Poets who listen to pop music — their numbers are growing — don’t seem to have … mystical leanings.” Once I unroll my eyes, I can see that Zagajewski is much attracted by “the ineffable,” by which he means, I think, what can’t be perceived entirely by the senses. He pokes fun at himself about this, or allows his father to. A journalist asks about an essay in which Zagajewski claimed settled people prefer painting while displaced people prefer music, “the most metaphorical of the arts” — metaphor being that which moves the literal toward the ineffable. “Slight exaggeration,” says Zagajewski’s father, an engineer — unwittingly giving name to this book. Zagajewski retorts: “A good definition of poetry … a slight exaggeration, until we make ourselves at home in it. Then it becomes the truth. But when we leave it again — since permanent residence is impossible — it becomes once more a slight exaggeration.”" Daisy Fried NYT
"Ever since I have first begun reading his work, I felt that here is somebody who has taken coincidence head-on. He braves constellations that illuminate life’s dazzling diversity in a flash. His poetry, his prose (one may not be sundered from the other in his case) is in search of immediate insight, among philosophers also commonly referred to as evidence. The image-complex is at the core of his poetics. The image contains an abundance of vantage points, an entire gallery of images. In his texts one may wander about like in a Baroque cabinet of wonders, a hermitage with walls covered from top to bottom with paintings in the style of the Petersburg Hanging." Durs Grunbein PI Online
"Despite the prevailing logic of the time, Miłosz would later write that “Representing a country that was turned into the province of a totalitarian foreign state was wrong and degrading, which I feel ashamed of today.”" Scott Beauchamp DRB
"Anyway I took these and other notes, before halfway through ‘A TUMOUR…’ I became suspicious of my suspicions, and Atkins emerged over a few pages as perhaps the most imaginative, sincere, and horribly, gloriously intent contemporary writer – certainly from Britain – I’ve read. Excess is part of it: after a while it’s pointless to complain about the ‘lack of economy’ or scary-funny fluency with which he switches up registers – it’s better just to stay alert and let the astonishments happen. The choicest of these occur between hiccupping interjections of the body – um’s, er’s, erratic BLOCK CAPS – and a woundingly offhand blokiness – ‘Chin up matey’, ‘Classic stuff, that’ (‘he do masculinity in different voices’, as one blurb promises)." Sam Riviere Poetry London
"I don’t in any way regret this exhumation; it corrects a serious error of memory in the dispersed and numinous mind of the “poetry audience” and demands respect for ways of writing poetry which are vulnerable to populist disdain." Peter Riley Fortnightly Review
"In the Beats they found a compelling image of the poet as adventurer, visionary, outsider, and intellectual provocateur. And in Hora Zero they found an attractive conception of the literary text as a “poema integral, ” a total or comprehensive poem that would incorporate a mixture of languages and genres into the text as a way of representing the full integration of the poet into all areas of life. A year after the publication of the Zarazo tabloid, Santiago Papasquiaro met Bolaño and several other young poets who shared his neo-avant-garde position and became the first recruits of his projected group." Ruben Medina Chicago Review
"It wasn’t until I was translated into German, by (the poet and novelist) Marcel Beyer, that I appreciated how devious I was in English. Deviousness, for me, is a prime quality of English—English English, that is. I don’t know that Americans do devious, and if they do, then it comes out different. Maybe high-energy devious." Michael Hofmann • Asymptote
"Whitman, who would go on, during the Civil War, to volunteer at an Army hospital, vacillates between empathy and disgust for such infirmities. He doesn’t so much sing the body electric as linger on the sad sack whose “joints move like those of some rusty machine,” whose “bowels are clogged with accumulations of fearful impurity, like sewers that have been stopped.”" Dan Piepenbring • The New Yorker
"This is primarily because Vuong possesses a large and unusual imagination, but the road he has taken to poetry is also a factor: he was born in Vietnam and emigrated to the US after a spell in a refugee camp; he is also gay. Being a Trump-voter’s worst nightmare seems to have provided him with a unique and often comic perspective on Western language and life." Paul Batchelor on Vuong, O'Riordan and Bryce New Statesman
"That’s one of our great societal difficulties with poetry; we can’t accept that it’s as it is, because we’ve been taught to believe that it’s about something else. We’re always looking for the something else it’s about. It’s a banal thing to say, but it accounts for a lot of trouble that readers get into." Paul Muldoon Princeton News
"The Soviet educational system was dominated by the atheism that she abhorred, but precisely why she was singled out for such inhuman treatment remains a mystery. One might have expected that she would have been given an intimidating rebuke by the KGB and dismissed from her job. Instead she found herself confronting the full force of the Soviet law, but poetry in Russia was always dangerous." Michel Bourdeaux Guardian
"Kleinzahler wants to capture experiences live, before they are recorded and mediated. He is always aiming for the moment of potential when something – in this case, history itself – is up for grabs. An impossible ambition perhaps but one that can produce thrillingly various results." Paul Batchelor New Statesman
"On 5 January 1934 he writes to Marianne Moore to suggest a new, expanded selection of her poems ‘to be put on the London market again’. This is followed, on the same day, by a letter to Harriet Weaver about the possibility of publishing Ulysses, an earlier attempt, by the Egoist Press, having been frustrated by the Home Office and the Customs who seized it as ‘obscene’. Two days later he writes to Ezra Pound, in a playful spirit, that if he is coarse (his caps), ‘as my old friend Winthrop Sprague Brooks used to say, I’ll be horse-fucked.’ Haffenden tells us about Mr Brooks but does not expand on ‘horse-fucked’." Michael Schmidt PN Review
"His visitors ranged from illustrious old friends, such as T. S. Eliot, Marianne Moore and William Carlos Williams, to eager younger poets, such as Robert Lowell and Allen Ginsberg, to less savoury members of the real lunatic fringe, among them the violent white sup­rem­acist John Kasper, whose neo-Nazi views “Uncle Ez” warmly supported and encouraged. To the end Pound remained an anti-Semite, but now he added black Americans and civil rights protesters to his roster of well-nurtured hatreds." Eric Ormsby • TLS
"“If you believe you’re a citizen of the world,” according to Theresa May, “you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means.” In the context of the Brexit negotiations, the enduring refugee crisis, the Trump presidency, tabloid xenophobia and the alarming rise in racist assaults since the EU Referendum, this kind of political illiteracy cannot be challenged often enough." Andy Croft Morning Star
"It was as if the bass on a sound system had been turned too soft. Was Shivanee Ramlochan’s poetry sounding out as it should – disturbing the heart’s function, not just thrilling or pleasing it? For the scope and foci of her writing are deeply and subtly offensive, both to the internationally marketed ‘Caribbean woman’ image, and to the strand of conservatism at home in the region (and not without its mirrors or twins elsewhere)." Vahni Capildeo the Poetry Review
"And for someone such as me, who often has a seat at the table, what is the role of tokenism, which I consider to be one of the most egregious and insidious pillars of oppression? Social media is the global platform for marginalized groups. It is certainly where black women communicate without being brokered by the mainstream – the white editors, producers and institutions who decide whose voices are heard. Online, our ideas and experiences are shared, honed and validated between ourselves. It is no coincidence that Reni Eddo-Lodge arose out of this blogosphere full of chutzpah. But it is a sign of the times that such a forthright book about Britain has been taken on by a major publisher. One hopes it will open the door to many more." Bernardine Evaristo TLS
"This just shows how incomplete every published account is – and, yes, I could do with another book about poetry in the cotton towns. Wilkinson mentions my work at one point and criticises it. The convention is to reply to these things, so I apologise if this is egoistic. He takes me down for mentioning Jim Burns but not discussing his work as magazine editor. OK, this is true. But there were 2000 magazines in the 60s." Andrew Duncan Litter
"The quality of anger is usually strained, but Williams’s muse was fuelled by a witty and beautiful anger that he channelled in three great poems at the end of the 1980s: Whale Nation, a wonderful hymn to the largest of all the mammals and a plea for their protection, Sacred Elephant, and Autogeddon, a JG Ballard-style ballad about the plague of the motor car. All three were filmed by the BBC, the third performed by Jeremy Irons." Michael Coveney Guardian
"Welton has cited numerous influences, from Gertrude Stein to Raymond Roussel. But, to this reader, the two most important ones are Wallace Stevens and Raymond Queneau. Stevens was using repetition as early as his first collection, “Harmonium” in 1923; his poem “Sea Surface Full of Clouds”, seems to be a foundational text for Matthew Welton’s poetry." Alan Baker Litter
"Part of Milosz’s lifelong project was to write as if poetry “is no longer a foreigner in society,” to make a poetic model out of shared trauma." Edward Hirsch New Republic
"He had already thought through some thought that I was presently struggling with. He had thought it through carefully and had articulated, in a way that profoundly resonated with me, what it meant to be a poet from the Caribbean, what it meant to speak one language while committing another to the page." Kei Miller PN Review
"I admit, I thought that ‘writing what I knew’, in this case, was a complete cop-out. The reason why I hadn’t written about disability before, I reasoned, was because I was more than that. (Read that last sentence in the most pompous voice you have. I dare you.)" Kit Kavanagh-Ryan Cordite
"There is a corner of English poetry which is forever Georgian." Ian Pople The Manchester Review
"With ‘Life scarce can cast a fragrance on the wind’, there is no hesitation. As we accede to this boldly memorable, lapidary eloquence, we can see what Larkin has learned from Yeats, even as he turns instead to Hardy’s more modest example: ‘What will survive of us is love.’" Craig Raine Arete
"“The Nobel,” he says. “That I kept it in proportion – the way most of the world didn’t. But I have had to be very judicious answering questions about Seamus since he’s been turned into a kind of saint.”" Michael Longley Irish Times
"Churchyard was no less keen on the use of words as weapons. Woodcock finds that his “dominant character” is “Churchyard the complainant or petitioner”, adopted right from his first publication, Davy Dycars Dreame (1551). Emulating Langland and Skelton, he sets out the social and economic grievances of the common man (in this case a “dyker”, a ditcher or labourer) in a broadside poem which provoked a print controversy comprising sixteen further works by various authors." Helen Hackett TLS
"Well the sonnet is an obsessional form. Its intellectual skeleton is opposition, its form is imbalance, the impatient compression of its concluding section (whether six, four, three or two lines) always leaving a question only temporarily settled, so the writer is invited or compelled to return to the charge, as in a domestic argument: “ … And another thing”. Eilean Ni Chuilleanain DRB
"The curse poem is a well-known Irish literary genre, especially in the Gaelic tradition Hartnett inherited through his Kerry-born grandmother, one of the last native Irish speakers in west Limerick." Frank McNally Irish Times
"After the discovery of a cache of Boswell manuscripts in 1929, Woolf’s diary records her feelings about the find: “Think! There are 18 volumes of Boswell’s diaries now to be published. With any luck I shall live to read them. I feel as if some dead person were said to be living after all”." Rachel Bowlby TLS
"The most discerning portrait in The Bread of Time is the one of Yvor Winters, whom [Philip] Levine got to know after Iowa when he was awarded the Jones Fellowship in Poetry at Stanford University in 1957. At one time a well-known poet and literary critic, Winters started out in the 1920s as an admirer and imitator of the Imagist poets, only to turn against modernism completely and propose a neoclassical poetics that was supposed to take its place." Charles Simic • NYRB
"When people ask me about writing poetry in collaboration, I tell them that writing collaboratively is a way to shake up your creative process, to make it new. Is this is true? I don’t feel any freer than I ever did, when I sit down to write. The most startling moment in my collaboration with Fowler came late, when we were revising the manuscript. We had gone through several rounds of revisions, rearrangements, and edits, tinkering with the manuscript. Suddenly, Fowler wrote to ask if he could attack the text and revise it radically—“be rampant,” in his words. Without a second thought, I said yes: this sounded wonderful. When Fowler’s revision arrived in my inbox, I was both horrified and embarrassed by my own horror. I couldn’t fathom what he had done." Ailbhe Darcy Critical Flame
"Unlike the word ‘O’, the word ‘Dear’ doesn’t offer the same echoes of Shelley or Blake or Horace. Yet more and more often it is being used to remarkably similar effect, as a way of ironising the act of waxing poetical while, at the same time, continuing to avail the poet of all the resources of the lyric." Anna Jackson PN Review


New poems

Han Bo Asymptote

Hannah Lowe Magma

Kayla Bashe Hypnopomp

Troy Jollimore Narrative Magazine

Anna Akhmatova Interim Poetics

Medbh McGuckian The Lonely Crowd

Leonard Cohen Literary Hub

Khairani Barokka And Other Poems

Holly Pester The Believer

Michael Farrell Cordite

Gerard Fanning Irish Times

Gerard Fanning Manchester Review

Kavita A Jindal Asia Literary Review

Derek Mahon Irish Times

Simon Haworth Honest Ulsterman

Sebastian Agudelo Scoundrel Time

Colette Bryce The Poetry Review

David Samoylov World Literature Today

George Clooney The Daily Beast

DA Powell The Volta

Adam Crothers Southword

AR Ammons Poetry

Gwyneth Lewis Hudson Review

Vincenz Serrano High Chair

Ida Börjel Asymptote

Ian Pople Poetry

John Ashbery Poetry

John Ashbery PN Review

David Ferry Threepenny Review

Naomi Huan Berfrois

Derek Mahon New Yorker

Pippa Little New Statesman

Anthony Madrid Blackbox Manifold

Natalie Shapero New Yorker

Medbh McGuckian Blackbox Manifold

Nausheen Eusuf World Literature Today

Vona Groarke New Yorker

Denise Riley Blackbox Manifold

Tara Bergin Honest Ulsterman

Michael Hofmann New Yorker

August 2017. The Page is still on holidays.

August 2017. The Page is on holidays.

Amanda Newell Scoundrel Time

Mark Ford Poetry London

Andrea Brady Granta

Kit Fan The Poetry Review

Evan Jones Poetry Ireland Review

Gordon Mitchell Smith Kenyon Review

Ocean Vuong Poetry London

Heather Phillipson Poetry international

Ian Pople Berfrois

Julian Stannard the Poetry Review

Atsuro Riley Threepenny Review

Marianne Moore Guardian

Joel Brouwer Conduit

Allis Hamilton The Poetry Review

Ocean Vuong Poetry

Debra Nystrom Blackbird

Keshia Starrett Honest Ulsterman

JT Welsch Honest Ulsterman

Michael Longley Forward Arts

Arthur Mortensen The Dark Horse

Elise Paschen The Hudson Review

Leanne O'Sullivan Irish Times

Ian Duhig The Punch

Luke Kennard Poems in Which



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