The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"But recognition, no matter how prestigious, for one black writer is not enough." Angela Chen • Guardian
"Is the long-form poem making a comeback?" Roger Cox • Scotsman
"Bate’s account, then, gives the impression he has had access to two bits of communications which are not in the archive (an initial one from Olwyn Hughes elaborating on the “certain episode”, followed by a letter from Alvarez asking about the journals). His biography attributes to them evidence the archive does not hold. Olwyn Hughes’s letter of 9 June 1988 may indeed imply that she suspected Plath and Alvarez’s relationship to be different from that hitherto portrayed, but her letter details no grounds for the suspicion or for credence in Bate’s salacious vignette, and neither does Alvarez’s reply." William Wootten • Guardian "He also makes significant allegations about the centrality of Al Alvarez, the critic who helped to establish Hughes and Plath as harbingers of a new poetics and who may have been, Bate alleges, Plath’s final confidant and Wevill’s spurned lover." John McAuliffe • Irish Times " I am always happy for interested parties to consult me privately about my sources, especially if they do so before making assertions in the press." Jonathan Bate • Guardian
"This doesn’t for a moment mean that we’ve steered away from work that deals with women’s bodies and details of the female experience. Rather, we’ve tended to want to represent work that I might describe as quite brutal. Work that shows women as fearless satirists, politicians, rigorous intellectuals and brilliant comics, with a perspective that is, in my view, all the more valuable for its present novelty in the public realm, albeit no less universal than a man’s." Sophie Collins • Cordite
"The “New American” can be a clear, lapidary style, but often in the pursuit of sprezzatura one is merely left with spontaneity (see aforementioned anthology). Garrulousness is the biggest pitfall. Stray thoughts, dumb thoughts, blowharding, and attitudinizing have nowhere to hide." Ange Mlinko • Poetry
"James [Fenton]’s “For Andrew Wood” is now much read at funerals, and will replace, at my guess, that poem of Auden’s made famous by that film. So his private poems, have, in a way, become as public as his public ones." Julian Barnes • Guardian
"In its resourcefulness and diverse forms, Due North stands out because it isn’t like other British poetry being written. It is a book of voices, historical, self-conscious, critical, unrelenting." Evan Jones • Guardian
"Lit mags are idealistic gestures that speak to niche audiences: they are quiet conversations in a very noisy room." Emmett Stinson • Sydney Review of Books
"Hewitt might have allowed himself to be forgotten were it not for the enthusiasm of the younger, and more famous, John Montague. Montague negotiated a Collected Poems with MacGibbon and Kee in the late ’60s and organised a crucial tour of Northern Ireland that may have re-attached Hewitt to the Belfast that had rejected him." Thomas McCarthy • Irish Examiner
"Rankine’s suggestion that commodity culture is killing us is nothing new—modernism, as always, got their first." Lisa Siraganian • Nonsite
"It’s notable that the poets quoted by party political leaders have almost always not only written in English, but been of English origin: never Scottish, never Welsh. (Gordon Brown misquoted Goethe, without naming him, in 2009: ‘And so I urge you, as the poet said, “dream not small dreams because they cannot change the world.”’)" MG Zimeta • LRB
"So long as it remains a gated community of white privilege, disdainful of more “popular” forms like spoken word, the avant-garde cannot claim to be radical." Andrea Brady • The Conversation
"I’m in New York. And now that I’ve made you jealous I can strike that off of my bucket list. Wish you were here." Rowan Ricardo Phillips • Little Star
"Allen Curnow was wanting to be rid of weak nationalist self-assertions, the ‘Kowhai Gold’ kind of thing, that offered the picturesque – tuis and bellbirds, ‘scenic’ bush, mountains and seas, and romantic ‘pioneering’– rather than the tormented inner conscience of the nation." CK Stead • NZ Poet Laureate
"In fact, even before the performance, Goldsmith’s “brand” was in trouble. His PoMo for Dummies “no history because of the internet” declarations became absurdly irrelevant when black men were dying at the hands of cops." Cathy Park Hong • New Republic

"Finally, the poet may wish to use, as epigraph, lines from poets in his or her own poetry cohort. The seeming impulse, here, is to forward the work of friends, to start a conversation between equals, or to begin a school. All of which is bad enough. But the true impulse behind such epigraph is, of course, colonial: to be the poet who first quotes another poet, to plant a flag in uncharted territory. This is the Epigraph of Incest, and it is the worst example of epigraph, since it is exploitative, since its violence is friend on friend, and since it opens up the quoted poem to the epigraph hunters of the future, and therefore brings about—and is—the quoted poem's first death." Josh Bell • Diagram
"Williams’s next book, With Ignorance (1977), would introduce the innovation with which he was most associated. Though critics would see the influence of Walt Whitman in the long line that became Williams’s trademark, it was a formal strategy that he put to very different ends, “making room”, as he said, “for consciousness”, as well as continually renovating the poetic space that it opened up." Ahren Warner • Guardian "“I wasn’t a particularly intellectual kid,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “What I was, was a really bored kid. I read everything I could get my hands on.” He also grew to be 6-foot-5 and was recruited to Bucknell University in Pennsylvania to play basketball." Martin Weil • Washington Post
"In my view, accusing Place of racism is intellectually irresponsible. The idea behind this accusation seems to be that any writing that uses racist language or imagery is itself racist, and, if the writer is white, white supremacist. By that logic, any representation of racism would be racist. The study of racism would become impossible. At best, the study of racism could proceed only by further inflicting or exploiting the pain of what it studies." Aaron Kunin • Nonsite
"This is a book of many wonders and profound pleasures to which the reader will return and will savour again and again. Perhaps the British, too, have a ‘poets’ poets’ poet’." Ian Pople • Manchester Review
"But the sons and daughters of farmers continue to ward against Yeats's prophecy of ruin." Dan Barry • NYT
"[Stevie] Smith well understood the dangers a collected poems might present for poets who dared to gamble with tone, rhyme and metre. While Smith would blanch at a reviewer comparing her to Thomas Hood, her 1940s radio programme on his collected poetry sounds a telling posthumous caution; ‘certainly not a heavy volume in the intellectual sense, but be careful how you skip, you may miss something good, suddenly, unexpectedly’." Will May • Irish Times
"Analogies between the literary and the social are therefore justified in the hope of broadening form’s “ordinary usage.” Moreover, [Caroline] Levine needs to retain analogical connections between the way textual and political forms “shape what it is possible to think” in accordance with her central notion of affordances. Borrowed from design theory, “affordance” is invoked to “describe the potential uses or actions latent in materials and designs.” Interpretively speaking, the concept facilitates suggestive, if convenient, lateral slides that not only link (seemingly) unrelated phenomena—“What is a walled enclosure or a rhyming couplet capable of doing?” wonders Levine—but also highlight form’s “portability across time and space.” That is, if forms “organize” private, social, and institutional dimensions of experience, then the ways they “afford” those arrangements remain “stable over time,” allowing us to “agree” on how forms politically act “across materials and contexts.” David James • Public Books
"Seidel’s anti-lyricism (he provides gorgeous poetic interludes) is aesthetically and ideologically congruous, ultimately a way of saving poetry from itself. Poetry which doesn’t seem like poetry." Julian Stannard • Poetry Review "Being rich is not a crime, of course, but it’s noteworthy how often references to Seidel’s luxurious lifestyle come up both in his work and in discussions of it. The adoration of wealth seeps into critics’ minds, and then bubbles up as admiration for the poetry." Brooke Clarke • Partisan
"I first met Li Po in a Chinese literature in translation class at Cal State Dominguez Hills." Joe Linker • Berfrois
"Matthew Arnold’s God was a power, not ourselves, which makes for righteousness; that was bad enough; William James’s God was a power, one of ourselves (a regular guy and the Captain of the Team) working with us for our own ends, though neither He nor we know quite what these ends are—anyway, we pull all together. Whitehead’s God is slightly more respectable, as He ought to be; He is the Principle of Order. But like James’s God, he is wholly incapable of starting a Religion. TS Eliot • NYRB
"The brink of extinction, in Friel, is a surprisingly stable place." Fintan O'Toole • Irish Times
"Prosody’s about how objects and voices vibrate, and how they’re packaged, made compact, but not compact, at the same time—how they spread and become small and then dense. My second husband, Douglas Oliver, did these experiments where he put electrodes on people’s throats and got them to read poems, and then he compared graphs he got of what it was like for them to read a certain poem—say, by Alexander Pope. The graphs showed the shape of the poem, because they would always be similar. I was never very interested in the comparisons, but in the idea of the raw shape of the voice." Alice Notley • BOMB
"But all this activity, which created such a magnificent late harvest of literary innovation, was ultimately to no avail. The Humpty Dumpty of chequerboard Europe had fallen and all the modernist king’s horses and all the postmodernist king’s men were never to put it back together again. Modernism, in this account, is Europe’s bonfire of literary vanities; its luminosities the distress flares of a sinking Atlantis." Joe Cleary • DRB

New poems

Blunt Research Group Chicago Review

Rodney Jones Smartish Pace / Poetry Daily

Lawrence Joseph Commonweal

Ada Limon Compose

Ben Okri Guardian

Ross Gay Waxwing

William Logan New Criterion

CK Williams Manchester Review

Maurice Scully Golden Handcuffs Review

Rachel Milligan Iowa Review

Mark Waldron Poems in Which

Michael Longley Poetry Review

Kathryn Maris New Statesman

Jana Prikryl The Baffler

Sarah Blake Berfrois

Daisy Fried Partisan

CK Williams Threepenny Review


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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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