The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"Reexamining the literary and autobiographical record in that archive reveals important new historical information about the cultures and literary movements of the Hispanic world that [Langston] Hughes visited." Evelyn Scaramella • Massachusetts Review (pdf)
"So it would seem that, after Keats's death, the Stansted chapel gradually came to look more like his description of it than it did when he actually saw it. Of course a poet needs only a spark of fact to light a trail of imagery. It is not surprising that he could make so much of so little. What is perhaps surprising is that three-dimensional reality, architecture, glass, and decoration should have imitated his vision to the point where his description assumes something of the quality of prediction." Rosemary Hill • Essays in Criticism
"The best poems remind you that a poem is a made object, not just an act of self-expression. They read as exploratory, not simply as an account of pre-formed ideas or feelings." Michael Symmons Roberts • Poetry London
"In his recent book, Cinepoetry: Imaginary cinemas in modern French poetry (2013), Christophe WallRomana singles out “New York in Flashlight” as the foundational statement of Cendrars’s futurist aesthetics. For a poet still struggling to fight free from his post-romantic subjectivity, the shock therapy of film would allow him to shed all metaphysics, all abstractions in order to emerge as an objective medium for the Orphic expression of the optical unconscious of the modern world – Rimbaud and Whitman updated for the century of cinema." Richard Sieburth • TLS
"Robert Gray’s imagery is the first thing a reader notices. Individual, surprising, evocative – his images have more in common with Amy Lowell’s imagism than with the hard objectivism of Ezra Pound. Like Gray, Lowell wrote versions of Japanese poems and her interest in what she called polyphonic prose probably lies somewhere behind Gray’s prose poems, such as ‘In the Bus’ and ‘Damp Evening’." Lisa Gorton • Sydney Review of Books
"Older writers tend to be provident with their material, Godwin says, comparing their tendency to a baker’s practice: “The old writer wants to use up his fatal tissue like biscuit dough, pushing the leftovers into another and another artful shape—down to the last strange little animal,” implying frugality can stoke creativity." Rosemary Booth • Critical Flame
"As versions go, The Architect’s Dream of Winter is a confident upgrade of Billy Ramsell’s promising first collection, Complicated Pleasures; and it bodes well for those to come." Alex Runchman • The Stinging Fly
"Not every award-winning poet has played minor hurling for his county." Michael Moynihan talks to Ciaran Carson • Irish Examiner
"As happens now when someone famous dies, the internet fills with stories of the champagne and ice cream type. But the memorial aspect of such anecdotes can too easily cover the work. The danger of encomiums is that against their intention they can entomb the very achievement they celebrate." Michael Helm on Mavis Gallant • Brick
"It is possible, as library closures continue across the UK, despite the occasional spectacular exception as in Birmingham and Manchester, to lose sight, in the battle for basic provision, of the principles which underlie that provision, and the radical challenges that the free flow of information can, for good or ill, give rise to." Michael Schmidt • PN Review
"“What a fantastic list”, said McMillan, who was joined on the judging panel by the poets Caroline Bird, Robert Crawford, Pollard and Paul Farley. “We are going through a really fantastic period for poetry and these writers show the confidence poetry has at the moment. It is everywhere – in festivals, open mic nights, on the internet.”" Ian McMillan • Guardian "Once a decade, the Poetry Book Society announces a list of Next Generation Poets, the ones who they think will "dominate the poetry landscape of the coming decade". Today they released the full roster for 2014. It's an unusual remit. And "dominate the landscape" is an odd turn of phrase, which makes the list sound like a series of dark satanic mills planned for Shropshire." Charlotte Runcie • Telegraph
"Is it literary criticism wearing poetry’s clothes, poetry dipping its toes into academic discourse, a hybrid form, or something else entirely? Unkind critics have accused her of co-opting parts of either to conceal her weaknesses in both, but [Anne] Carson appears to be operating, as usual, in a space where boundaries and expectation mean little." Jennifer Thorp • Oxonian Review
"What does this selection tell us about Scottishness? Not a lot: that’s not the point of it, though W.N. Herbert’s ‘Rabbie, Rabbie, Burning Bright’ is certainly a reminder, even when comically distorted for our own times, of that common culture." David Robinson Scottish Poetry Library
"There is obviously a lively imagination at work here. But [Liz] Berry does not simply make things up: she also knows how to use bizarre facts to fuel her imagination. The Mills & Boon volumes lining M6 may or may not be fictitious; but Berry can make a poem out of a report about coconuts floating in a Birmingham canal." Matthew Bartholomew-Biggs • London Grip "Liz Berry knows her own flight-path, that is for sure, coming in to land with a beautiful poem The Night You were Born in which she imagines her partner's birth while pregnant with his son. It is moving because not overworked. It exists as an imagined and a remembered moment." Kate Kellaway • Observer
"From one angle, it’s hard to say what a book like [Tarfia Faizullah's] Seam is for. It doesn’t seem to serve the history it burrows into; it doesn’t suffice as a historical document; it rewrites the voices of the Birangona Faizullah interviews into her own lush lyricism, seemingly erasing the singularity of those women who speak to her, she notes, at the “command” of “the woman who runs a support group.” And yet taken from another angle—would I, as a reader, lose something important with the absence of this book?—the value is clear. I would." Jonathan Farmer • Slate
"All those barely missed connections between the units, coupled with their strict regimentation on the page, creates a kind of prosodic static electricity." Stephen Ross on Oli Hazzard • Boston Review
"One of his finest moments in [Michael Symmons Roberts' Drysalter] – which is dedicated to composer James MacMillan with whom he has collaborated in writing opera and oratorios – is the austere and beautiful love poem The Vows ( it is described on a website that recommends poems for marriage ceremonies as a “killer of a wedding poem”)". Gerard Smyth • Irish Times
"The young American writer and translator met the newlyweds in 1967 at Harvard, where Borges (who had come to international notice after sharing the first Prix International with Samuel Beckett in 1961) was giving the Charles Eliot Norton poetry lectures. Di Giovanni pitched the idea of editing a collection of his poetry in English. Their association was so satisfactory that it continued in Buenos Aires, where they translated other early works together. Di Giovanni also encouraged Borges to write new poems and stories, which he funnelled straight into the New Yorker, while finding a publisher for the new collection, Doctor Brodie’s Report; indeed, he is justly credited with rebooting the elderly writer’s career and consolidating his cult status abroad. Borges granted him 50 per cent of the rights over their joint output. However, after the master’s death in 1986 his second wife, María Kodama, rescinded this contract and commissioned new translations, from Andrew Hurley. There have been many lawsuits in the intervening decades, and di Giovanni, apparently powerless to reprint and even post his versions online, remains understandably bitter." Lorna Scott Fox • TLS
"Elsewhere, many lines read like attempts to get as many “poetry words” as possible into a single sentence. “A sepia/penumbra clears round a moon of blood” comes close but “Shadow-green patina, faint turquoise wash/over wafer-thin kaolin” probably takes the biscuit. Such lines are interspersed with fridge-magnet wisdom: “The past is not lost/but covered up by time.”" Paul Batchelor on Padel. Harsent and Longley • New Statesman
"Each generation seems to need a true adventurer, a knight who will ride out and slay all the dragons of the literary world, while we stay at home in Eire and do little chores about the house. Heaney was the dragon-slayer, bringing entire poetry scenes from Oxford to Harvard within his dominion." Thomas McCarthy • Irish Examiner
"Brain-storming of this kind, however, represents a low-level of thought: a wealth of connections is indicated, but nothing is unpacked or worked out. It is as if the quantity and diversity of associations are considered adequate to the creation of a satisfying poem. And if it turns out that the associations are not particularly appropriate to the topic, this is of no real concern. They can be superseded at will." Simon Patton on John Kinsella • Sydney Review of Books
"Irish poetry in the twentieth century, and particularly that written in and about the North after 1969, has been relentlessly, exhaustively contextualised, and not always with the insight and acuity one would wish for. It is easy to point unthinkingly to events in the Troubles to elucidate or gloss the literary works which would seem to respond to or represent them; ironically, by the same token, it is easy to slide into a New Critical belligerence which leads to a problematic and rather prudish formalism seeking always to stress literature “as” literature, somehow imperviously superior to the conditions in which it is written and received. It is refreshing to find in Russell’s study [of Heaney], therefore, some unexpected contextual connections being asserted with care paid to both text and context." Rosie Lavan • Oxonian Review
"[Thomas Kinsella's] densely packed poems reward repeated re-reading giving the reader - somewhat ironically given his bleak outlook - a life affirming modus vivendi also." Belinda Cooke • Stride
"By the closing years of the eighteenth century, well-to-do readers had at last become familiar with the astonishing fact that ordinary working people liked to sing, to make poetry, and even, sometimes, to write it down. Yet the sensation caused by Ann Yearsley’s first volume of poems in 1785 would not have been possible without her complacent editors having described her in its preface as a “poor illiterate woman”." Min Wild • TLS
"Part of the ambivalence of Muldoon’s own poems resides in modal verbs and associated speech acts, which together somehow clear a space between what is certain or not (“I must have been dozing in the tub / when the telephone / rang …”). These formulations – the longer one occupies them as a reader – appear to open up political possibilities; or rather, the possibilities of new politics. Muldoon’s forms, his metaphors, even his famous half-rhymes, now seem proleptic, throwing themselves forward to the realities of the peace process that would begin to emerge materially in Northern Ireland in the early 90s, like the forked twig “astounding itself as a catapult” in another poem in the book." Giles Foden • Guardian

New poems

Colette Bryce Guardian

Rachael Allen Poetry Review (pdf)

David Baker At Length

Oliver Reynolds The Dark Horse (pdf)

Philip Gross New Statesman

Robyn Sarah Hudson Review

James K Baxter PN Review

Emily Berry New Statesman

James Womack The Wolf

Kathleen Jamie Best Scottish Poems 2013

Vidyan Ravinthiran The White Review

Sam Riviere Poetry International

Oli Hazzard Clinic

Andrew Jamison Eire Ireland (pdf)

Amy Key The Quietus

Josh Bell the Awl

Nathaniel Mackey The Nation

Karen Solie Paris Review

Tom Duddy Smiths Knoll


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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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