The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"The poems combine pronouncements, often phrased almost as adages, with a strangeness of juxtapositions verging on nonsense, to create dream-like faux fables. “The turtle, with her poison/geography and hard shell/can alone breast-feed the star.” Animals and people meet disparate objects, conflicts and the vast universe, creating stories like those we tell ourselves to make sense of the world (the appearance of Aesop in ‘Swallow The Marbles Then!’ makes the already implied connection), but without the final step of sense-making." Joey Frances on Tomaž Šalamun • Manchester Review
"But although Goldsmith champions the repurposing of texts that browsers make plentiful—like autopsy reports—he is in fact a relentless author of original content: his own image." Jason Guriel • The New Republic
"Literary happenings were on another plane, a heady place where people floated around loving books and each other and there were no awful mistakes where you might be accused of irradiating patients unnecessarily." Martina Evans Irish Times
"The Paris Review published a poem by white poet Frederick Seidel, "The Ballad of Ferguson, Missouri," which was roundly panned as maudlin embarrassment. Goldsmith ended on the crotch but Seidel begins there: "A man unzipping his fly is vulnerable to attack." He identifies the black penis as a threat and a liability. It gets worse." Brian Droitcour • Art in America
"This kind of poet is the kind that has ‘something to say’ rather than a way of saying things. ‘Something to say’, unless it is really a method or a style, is likely to be prosaic at bottom, and turning it into poetry can often make it aesthetically worse—and less poetic—than it would have been if written in decent prose." Alex Wong • The Fortnightly Review
"In ‘1916 Not To Be Commemorated’, he sees the poets silenced by the outlawing of expression in any form other than “celebrity cliché, media jargon, smart-speak. I was just thinking, the other day, what could we do on this Easter Monday, 2016, and I’m trying to be somehow reasonable and I wouldn’t like to get into a public polemic about it. But I was thinking, maybe just five minutes’ silence, where everything stops, apart from utterly essential services. Just complete silence." Paul Durcan • Irish Examiner
"Oddly enough, although Bishop has attracted passionate readers, she has not always had accurate critics. David Kalstone’s early studies, Becoming a Poet and Five Temperaments, remain important. And there have been other careful readers. There is, for instance, a fine oral history. But too often the critique has seemed to portray her as a miniaturist, an artist on ivory. Too often the great poet of Geography III has been diminished by the conversation. Sometimes it has seemed that a radical poet would have to wait for a radical critic." Eavan Boland • Irish Times
"If I’m honest, the question of why I write is one I tend to avoid thinking about, probably because I’m worried that the answer is just vanity or self-indulgence." Rebecca Perry • Faber
"Rather like [Geoffrey] Hill, Muldoon has developed a late style rich in opaque allusion and incomprehensible reference. Even an educated reader cannot hope fully to understand either poet without Google at her right hand." James Marriott Literateur
"I trained as a librarian and also as a snowboarding instructor, so either one of those would do." Frances Leviston • FT
"It seems most of his output has gone into creative work, poetry and novels, but I can’t help imagine what his prose on poetry would be like – the “clattering”, “splattering”, and “shuddering” of the typewriter and what it might say: a corrective to something he once said when we discussed a memoir of common interest: Lies, lies, lies!" Paul Perry DRB
"Over the course of her career Jamie has been bracketed as ‘a woman writer,’ then ‘a Scottish writer’, and now–in a time when nature writing has found a new popularity–‘a nature writer’. Jamie grew up in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, but was deeply influenced by the surrounding countryside. She was a poet for years, but made her biggest mark with essays, which she describes as “exploded diagrams of a poem.”" Cassie Werber • Quartz
"MOMA recently opened a survey show called “The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World,” which posits that “A-temporality, or timelessness, manifests itself in painting as an ahistorical free-for-all, where contemporaneity as an indicator of new form is nowhere to be found, and all eras coexist.” Swap the word “painting” for “poetry” and you get a pretty good idea of the direction that these younger poets are headed in. For them, historical styles are the literary equivalent of Instagram filters, a grab bag of scrims with which they can create astonishingly new works—works that could only have been produced in the digital age." Kenneth Goldsmith • New Yorker
"But the poetry I admire a lot of the time is a poetry of ourselves, a poetry that seeks to unite and make communion with others. Something Pierre Bonnard once said about becoming a painter seems related. “I had been attracted to painting,” he wrote, “but it was not an irresistible passion. What I wanted…was to escape the monotony of life.”" David Biespiel • The Rumpus
"Germany must be destroyed as Cato said about Carthage… Cartago delenda est…" Nanos Valaoritis • Book Bar
"We asked these writers—all publishing in or alongside various contemporary experimental traditions—whether there is now space for and openness to the exploration of aesthetics and race; we asked about tokenism and our allegedly “post-race” era; we asked them to compare public engagement with these ideas in so-called mainstream and avant-garde poetry circles." Stefania Heim • Boston Review
"The poem When All The Others Were Away at Mass [from Clearances III - In Memoriam M.K.H., 1911-1984] by Seamus Heaney has been named Ireland’s favourite poem of the last 100 years." Irish Times "“We suffered a chasmic blow” when Heaney died, said Peter Fallon, the founder of Gallery Press, the foremost Irish poetry publishing house, “but people are writing extraordinary poems, and I have faith in the art form.” Like all arts organizations that depend on government grants, Gallery Press rarely knows what funding it can expect from year to year and has suffered since economic austerity took hold in 2008. Support for the arts, culture and film fell to 75.9 million euros in 2014, from 92.3 million euros (about $97.6 million) in 2011, a disproportionate drop compared with other areas of public funding." Douglas Dalby NYT
"Among Graham’s generational peers, poets now in their 60s, are such aesthetically diverse luminaries as Mark Doty, Charles Bernstein, Brenda Hillman, Yusef Komunyakaa and C. D. Wright. But only Graham has synthesized all of the available strains — the ageless tradition of poetic contemplation; the half-century trend toward self-revelation; the mischievous, self-conscious cynicism about the very proposition of meaningful language — into a style that reflects the real world back, gives powerful moral commentary and makes our hair stand a bit on end because something real glows in each of her poems. Graham is to post-1980 poetry what Bob Dylan is to post-1960 rock." Craig Morgan Teicher • NYT

“People are frightened of the verse. After ‘Laureate’s block’” – his 1999 broadside against the poet laureateship – “the cultural establishment didn’t care for me.” Certainly the critics turned against him, panning the collection called Laureate’s block in 2000. He looks mildly surprised when I tell him the notices were bad. “I don’t give a fuck about that,” he says. “If I was worried about reviews I wouldn’t do what I’m doing.” Critics argued he had become too direct; that his poems gave up their meanings too easily. “What’s wrong with directness?” he counters. “It is always better to write for the whole of society than for the poetry-reading public. But I can do the other thing as well. I can do dense as well as anyone.” Tony Harrison • Guardian
"Here’s something unusual: poetry that’s fun to read." Daisy Fried on Erin Belieu and others • NYT
"The contemporary enthusiasm for ekphrasis is remarkable, given that we have a wider range of art forms to respond to, including film and photography, not to mention how the digital arts play with image or how innovative gadgets play with sound." Rachel Boast • PN Review
"(The preceding paragraph was written some weeks ago. I note that Sailing the Forest has today, January 9, received a gushing and content-free review in The New York Times from some balloon-head who claims that ‘Robertson hasn’t yet crossed over into the realm of mainstream adoration that Ireland’s Seamus Heaney enjoyed among American readers, but that’s probably only a matter of time’.)." Paul Batchelor • Tower Poetry
"Like his friend and fellow Scotsman Don Paterson, Robertson hasn’t yet crossed over into the realm of mainstream adoration that Ireland’s Seamus Heaney enjoyed among American readers, but that’s probably only a matter of time." Jeff Gordinier • New York Times
"Nothing local—save the monitor lizards—was allowed to spoil the vision. Everything was imported—even the trees." Alexander Suebsaeng • New Criterion
"the volume is brought to a close with ‘An Audience with BB’, a twenty four page collage that incorporates versions of Brecht’s own poems and Sirr’s responses to them. It’s a form that Sirr has used elsewhere to present the Roman poet Catullus and the world of medieval Irish poetry. On this occasion, there is clear parallel between Brecht’s aspiration towards peace and security in the ‘dark times’ of his Danish exile and Sirr’s brooding peregrinations. A richly imagined and resonant volume, The Rooms, is Peter Sirr’s best book to date." David Cooke • Manchester Review
"The text of The Albertine Workout is bracing and ironic; whereas Loom, I believe, is an example of what it might mean to step self-consciously into the world of another poet such that one’s own is startlingly rearranged." Martha Ronk • The Constant Critic
"At the nadir of the crisis in 2012, the then prime minister Antonis Samaras and Tsipras testily exchanged Cavafy quotations during parliamentary debates. “And now what will become of us, without barbarians?”, Tsipras alluded at one point; Samaras later quipped “Bid farewell to the Alexandria you are losing”." A.E. Stallings • TLS
"If patriarchy never changes, the stasis of [Eavan] Boland’s poems might be interpreted as a desperate irony, designed to underline the helplessness that is the female poet’s lot. Yet this side of her work coexists with an unfailing belief in her mandate to speak for, or over, the heads of others, including other women." David Wheatley • Guardian

New poems

Jenny Bornholdt Dublin Poetry Review

Peter Riley Intercapillary Space

Philip Levine Threepenny Review

Denise Riley Intercapillary Space

Liz Berry Poetry Review

Thomas McCarthy Numero Cinq

Leanne O'Sullivan Irish Times

Robert Wrigley Memorious

Annie Elizabeth Wiles Poetry Ireland Review

Evan Costigan Irish Times

Adam Crothers Blackbox Manifold


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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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