The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"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
"I wanted to argue the case for what it was like to be a young woman in a country where the images of women in the poetry were often fixed and inert: They were queens and sibyls or signifiers of Irish nationhood rather than real women with real lives. " Eavan Boland • Stanford Report
"As a return to the sixties — the lettering is Bloodaxe’s standard, but its orange-and-lemon-on-drab echoes the variants of Rubber Soul, and the Jane Bown cover photograph of the poet (“in the 1960s”) looking ruddy-cheeked, back-combed and even a touch horsey, sporting maybe the ruins of some white lipstick, and otherwise bedizened in zip-up ankle boots, checkered wool (Jaeger?!) pants, and a deeply comfortable, even much-loved-looking baby blue sweater, with a period glass of milky Nescafe, a purse, and a tatty stack of books on the table in front of her, holding a Bic Biro: somewhere between Julie Christie and the younger Camilla Parker-Bowles." Michael Hofmann on Rosemary Tonks • Poetry
"Today’s storm – the globalizing force and dizzying technologies of late capitalism – can give an ordinary individual astonishing experiences of power, yet it also utterly overwhelms him or her." Ailbhe Darcy on Justin Quinn • Poetry International
"He asked our names. I told him mine and he said, “That sounds familiar. I have a son who goes by that.” Then he said, “Imagine how I must feel among friends with names like Donald Justice and Galway Kinnell and W.S. Merwin” — he drew out the syllables, as though he were saying “Rockefeller” and “Vanderbilt” and “DuPont.” “Lucky sons-of-bitches, put on earth with poets’ names. And here I am, Phil Levine from Detroit.”." Mark Levine on Philip Levine • Poetry Foundation
"‘Is the Bible sexist?’ pondered a poster in the sixth-form centre, hoping to entice at least a couple of people along to that week’s lunchtime discussion group." Flora de Falbe • The Missing Slate
"But before we begin to categorize his poetry, it is helpful to perceive that Russian conceptualism, at least as [Lev] Rubinstein and others practice it, is not focused on a shell into which content is purposefully or accidentally “poured,” but is best conceived as a literary form into which very specific, even if quite disjunctive content is shaped by the poet into a more abstract expression of ideas." Douglas Messerli • Hyperallergic
"For Venuti, a translation practice like Pinsky’s or Padgett’s — indeed, the translation practice of most translators in most places at most times — is philosophically and morally compromised." V Joshua Adams Nonsite
"Although writing and storytelling are an end in themselves, any book that has as its backdrop a national setting packs a bigger punch. Fiacha Fola: Blood Debts is a personal story set against a national scandal. With A lesson in Can’t, not only is there a national backdrop, there is an international dimension also." Celia de Freine Irish Times
"This passing on of unique biographical vignettes of past poets is part of the glue that makes up poetry friendships, especially from one generation to the next. It is how we understand poetic genealogy, for we make up our own class in a sense, our own tribe, a tribe based on the art. In that regard it is utterly egalitarian. Who your parents were or what your skin colour happens to be or how much money you have doesn’t really count for much." Spencer Reece Granta
"For what is easier today, in English specifically, than to bring up a negative association with anything Arabic or Muslim and then juxtapose it to the grand, diverse American or Western “we”?" Fady Joudah Kenyon Review
"The explosions of New York’s youthful little magazines around 1964 are, as Kane argues, often countercultural, but clusters of poets turned to modernists and modernisms as related and as various as Hart Crane, Gertrude Stein, Dada, surrealism, and others to reflect their versions of contemporaneity." Stephanie Anderson Nonsite
"As you might expect, Paper Bullets contains plenty of gleeful bawdiness. [Julie] Kane is a poet who will blithely rhyme “watch” with “crotch.”." A.E. Stallings • Light Poetry Magazine
"It was Poe, for example, who suggested, in a Marginalia note in 1848, that some “ambitious man” should undertake the writing of a book to be called “My Heart Laid Bare”, which, “if true to its title”, would be so daring that “The paper would shrivel and blaze at every touch of the fiery pen”." Marjorie Perloff • TLS
"Without realizing it, I had been talking in "poet voice" — that affected, lofty, even robotic voice many poets use when reading their work out loud." Matt Petronzio • Mashable
"This feeling of waiting to be called forward must be felt acutely by four or five excellent poets of [Harry] Clifton’s generation. That call doesn’t come too often." Tom McCarthy Dublin Review of Books
"In my opinion, we do an enormous “let them eat cake” disservice to our community when we obfuscate the circumstances that help us write, publish and in some way succeed." Ann Bauer • Salon
"So expected now, indeed, may be his virtuoso handling of the unexpected, that the moments which genuinely shock can be those slightly jarring lines where the poet chooses to expose himself at ground level, without the tricks of the trade. If arcane language puts some barriers between the self and a truth he doesn’t want to face, at other times the straight-talking, tonally less familiar Muldoon also intrudes – almost involuntarily it seems – on his own complex poetic structure." Fran Brearton • Guardian "If Cuthbert and the Otters does not seem to have “naturalized” its wild connections (although, as always with Muldoon, this reader may be missing something obvious and revealing about the poem’s set-up), the same cannot be said about Dirty Data, the book’s closing tour de force." John McAuliffe • Irish Times
"It’s hard to be a straight male poet." Joey Connolly • Faber Academy
"The poetry critic is a different creature, evolved within a different ecosystem, whose resemblance to most critics of fiction is not much closer than honeyeaters to chickens." Ben Etherington • Sydney Review of Books
"Baraka knew he was wound tight. “I am a mean hungry sorehead,” he writes. “Do I have the capacity for grace??”" Dwight Garner • New York Times
"What’s so noteworthy about Frost’s recitation at Kennedy’s inauguration is not, I would argue, his ability to recall “The Gift Outright,” but the fact that he gave up the printed poem he had available and recited from memory instead — inclining, on a national stage, away from the values of print and toward the values of orality." Mike Chasar Poetry
"The spectre of illness hangs over The Exiles’ Gallery, the Vancouver writer Elise Partridge’s third collection of poetry, which will be published in April." Mark Medley • The Globe & Mail
"Every other poet was starting one forty years ago, so we thought, Why not us? Ours was to be called Gastronomic Poetry. Both Mark and I had noticed at poetry readings that whenever food was mentioned in a poem—and that didn’t happen very often—blissful smiles would break out on the faces of people in the audience. Thus, we reasoned, in a country where most people hate poetry and everyone is eating and snacking constantly, poems ought to mention food more frequently." Charles Simic • NYRB
"Poets had to do more than that. Raised in a country that pompously declared five-year plans could be achieved in four, Tomaž [Šalamun] insisted on highly individual poems that irreverently bared all our cruelty, hypocrisy and callowness for all to see." André Naffis-Sahely • Paris Review
"Nobody but an adolescent bore wants to be famous for his person." David Mason on Derek Walcott • Hudson Review
"At 142 pages Nine Bright Shiners asks a lot of its readers, one feels that a more ruthless editorial eye could have fit the book into a comfortable 80. But, Theo Dorgan is a man with quite a bit to say." Cal Doyle • Southword
"This sumptuous presentation of manuscript material alongside all of Herrick’s ridiculously wonderful poems leaves little doubt that future critics and readers will further tackle reading Herrick against the backdrop of his environment and peer-audience. Of course, this should be done while also keeping in mind the proper atmospherics suggested by the poet himself in “When he would have his verses be read”: 'In sober mornings, doe not thou rehearse / The holy incantation of a verse; / But when that men have both well drunke, and fed, / Let my Enchantments then be sung, or read.'" Patrick James Dunagan • The Rumpus
"Since sound and rhythm, 'the noise made' as Peter Levi puts it, is intrinsic to poetry, then the most fundamental claim that could be made for the discontinuity of British and American verse would be that the language used either side of the Atlantic has diverged so much that when the respective rhythms appear in poetry they are too foreign to touch the other side." Jeffrey Wainwright • PN Review (1981)
"Even when we attempt to turn away from history and current events to look for remaining instances of the pastoral, we are faced with reminders that there never has been a simpler time." Brian Simoneau The Rumpus
"We were just a couple of short-order cooks who kept trying to pass themselves off as poets." Mark Strand • NYRB
"Then I ask the cheesiest question in the interview book, multiplied by three: what are your three favourite poems? He has the name of one poem prepared." Rosita Boland • Irish Times
"But on the night of the competition, the poets took center stage, closing the door on the drudgery of their daily lives." Dipika Mukherjee World Literature Today
"Isn’t this the sort of thing a journalist, even an arts journalist, ought to find curious? – that a judge of a poetry competition could read over 100 books and find that the best of them turns out to be the work of a colleague of hers. (Even Roehampton’s own website, in announcing Harsent’s coup, seems to avoid noting the involvement of another member of the faculty, while linking to Sampson’s review of Fire Songs.)" Michael Caines • TLS " There are no mavericks, and yet, if poetry’s duty is to avoid the cliché, surely it is mavericks we need? The winner was David Harsent." Anthony Howell • Fortnightly Review
"[Ken] Babstock has not only been writing against his gifts, but writing against the expectations those gifts saddled him with. To borrow a phrase from William Logan, Babstock’s new work “criticizes the pleasures taken” in the old. He has undone what his hands have made. Carmine Starnino • Maisonneuve
"Translated poetry seems like just another marketing niche, easy enough to avoid if one is intent on maintaining ignorance and preserving one’s assumptions." David Rivard • Numero Cinq
"The Spanish novelist Javier Marias came by regularly seeking the more elusive titles of the poet John Gawsworth. Gawsworth had been a close friend of the writer M.P. Shiel, known for his ornate prose and visionary fiction (notably such stories as “The House of Sounds” — much admired by H.P. Lovecraft — and the last-man-on-earth novel “The Purple Cloud”). Shiel was also the duly recognized king of Redonda, a small island discovered by his father. At his death he passed his crown to Gawsworth, and today Redonda’s sovereign is Marias (though there are pretenders to the throne). In a subsequent essay, we are told that Kociejowski is now the kingdom’s official “Poet Laureate in the English Tongue.”" Michael Dirda on Marious Kociejowski • The Washington Post
"Ancient squabbles at a now-defunct literary magazine, involving a good deal of now dated Marxist cant, are not inherently very interesting. But the Partisan Review, both in its high editorial standards and in its struggles to resolve inherent tensions between the domains of politics and art, continues to be a point of reference in our literary culture." Jonathan Clarke• The Millions
"Until I read The Scarborough, I hadn’t heard of Paul Bernardo or Karla Homolka (I’m approximately Lista’s age, and from New York, and my parents were probably too busy scaring me about Central Park to mention horrors just over the border)." Abigail Deutsch on Michael Lista • Maisonneuve
"He is less dependent on praise than most writers, while as much as ever, in the new book, deserving it." Karl Miller on Hugo Williams • Spectator
"But there’s an awful lot in this book of the reader’s buying into a rhetoric and address which actually side-lines much of the response the reader could make." Ian Pople on two new books • Manchester Review
"I had been studying poetry with different people at Harvard, like Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Creeley, so I was struck by the connection between Jonathan’s deep poetic roots and the idea of talking about everyday things. So the poetry was there—instantly I could hear the visionary poetry." Ernie Brooks • Vice
"The site has triggered debate about the health of poetry in Africa. Kgosidintsi, who has taken part in an African poetry festival in Beijing, China, said: “People definitely want to perform poetry but I worry that the fact that we don’t publish it, and when we do publish, we don’t sell.”" David Smith • Guardian
"One of the most extreme forms of high–low exchange takes the form of engagement with Virgil’s Aeneid. Published three generations before the destruction of Pompeii and already consecrated as Rome’s national epic, this would seem to be the perfect example of a unified textual corpus. But, as Milnor shows, Virgil was almost instantly atomized into bite-sized snippets which permeated the popular consciousness and embarked on their own creative afterlife – just as “To be or not to be” did, or “The boy stood on the burning deck”. It would be nice to find something significant in the Pompeians’ choice of Virgilian lines (a few of them contain anti-Greek sentiment, for example)." Emily Gowers • TLS
"And besides, why should I ask you questions, or make remarks that do not interest you?" Yves Bonnefoy, tr Hoyr Rogers • Fortnightly Review
"The big, ‘standard’ works are all here; his ‘Antebiography’ detailing his family’s lineage and life in pre-war Handsworth; ‘Fisher on Fisher’, a spoof self-review first published in the Rialto, and the wonderful ‘Licence my Roving Hands’, which describes his ‘other life’ as a jazz pianist working small clubs and dives and ‘an accompanist for sudden strippers in tough spots’! But other, just as interesting pieces are brought together here for the first time; his necessary essay on Pound in which he comments, ‘In language my specialism is in the pathology of soft tissues, transient and perishable substances; when it comes to bone I’m out of my element. I’ll still turn to Pound for a reminder of what hardness is.’" Ian Pople on new books by and about Roy Fisher • Manchester Review
"I began this book feeling the resentment that only the deeply envious, the truly middle-aged and those who never go anywhere can feel." Colm Toibin • Irish Times
"The number and variety of poems grew, but the public appetite for them shrunk. And the poets that did force their way into the limelight had developed a reputation for being difficult (like T.S. Eliot) or reckless (like Dylan Thomas). The poet and the poem became inextricable; a simpler idea of what makes a poem emerged: it was the authentic, personal expression of the poet." 13 Pages
"For Duncan, myth and poetry are the snakes entwined around Hermes’ caduceus, whose flowering rod bursting forth into wings H.D. waved like a sorcerer’s virga in the third volume of her epic serial poem Trilogy." Peter O'Leary • The Cultural Society
"The poem has the texture of sense without making it; the connective parts of the sentence appear to function properly, but the elements being connected do not. David Herd has written that the language of John Ashbery’s poem ‘The Tennis Court Oath’ doesn’t work because democratic language at the time of its composition wasn’t working; even more troubling, Donnelly’s poem appears to work but does not work, operates in a disorderly fashion under a semblance of order. The rhetorical fluency of the poem itself becomes suspect, semantic and grammatical ‘offenses’ occur unstoppably and unremarked upon, the poem races down the ‘wild highway’ of itself oblivious." Oli Hazzard on Timothy Donnelly • Prac Crit
"One part of the monastery complex houses a music school. Another outbuilding will soon be home to a new Joseph Conrad Museum, courtesy of a Polish foundation. Due to open earlier this year, this was deemed politically tricky and has been delayed." Horatio Morpurgo in the Ukraine PN Review
"Brecht’s living influence ought to amount to more than – what, the estimable Billy Bragg. There has been a string of false dawns (but also false dusks) – publications, productions, adaptations, translations. Brecht’s standing in English seems a lot to pin on any one work or endeavour. But Stephen Parker’s Bertolt Brecht: A literary life is that rare thing, not only the biography of a genius, but itself a biography of genius. Parker, a Professor of German at Manchester, has written a foot perfect, detailed, fascinating and really inward book on a man who was plausibly described as “one of the most complicated human beings of the past fifty years”. It may well be the best literary biography I have read, the intricate demands of the subject met and unfussily answered by the insightful calm and nuanced decisiveness of the biographer." Michael Hofmann TLS
"The young players were accompanied by poets as they visited cemeteries and memorials, and the work they came up with was sent to McMillan, who used it to create the new work." Ian McMillan • Irish Examiner
"No mere adherer to form for form’s sake, Heaney proved himself capable throughout his career of ringing notes in a variety of forms from the sonnet to the villanelle and within these forms, employing a complex series of different stanza types, from his famous quatrains that featured in much of his 1970s poetry, to his variation of Dantean terza rima." Richard Rankin Russell • Irish Times "Guidebook, handbook, tribute album: the essays in this issue are even more than I hoped for." Vona Groarke • Irish Times / Poetry Ireland Review
"TS Eliot could be severe, but he was not nasty in those years, as later he sometimes became. In a letter to Desmond MacCarthy of October 8th, 1930, he adjudicated between DH Lawrence and Aldous Huxley: “Lawrence was a man who could say the same thing over and over without once becoming boring, whereas a feeling of tedium began to creep over me after one or two Huxley books.”" Denis Donoghue • Irish Times
"All of which means that, although of an earlier generation, the poet who most comes to mind when encountering Tonks is David Gascoyne. The comparison appears at first sight instructive: their best work written by their late thirties, a powerful sense of their own destinies as poets and of dissatisfaction with the flawed world which greeted them, descent into mental instability and then silence. But the contrast is equally illuminating; whereas Gascoyne’s voice matured from the Surrealist excesses of his youth into the most serious examination of man’s relationship to God and mortality – as in the sequence “Miserere” and the metaphysical poems – Tonks remains frozen at an early stage where the work has not yet settled. As with other poets, though not all, who stop writing young, she does not often get beyond an anger and an attitudinizing which are essentially adolescent." Hilary Davies • TLS
"Longley is fond of recalling a description, apparently Tennyson’s, of the lyric as an S-shaped structure, and this poem exemplifies such a balance of swerve and symmetry." Tiffany Atkinson on Gluck and Longley • Poetry Review
"This book, too, has received high praise. From its title, with its clear genuflection to Elizabeth Bishop, we might assume that Mehigan’s poetic temperament was a kind of opposite to Glück’s. And that is, mostly, true. Mehigan is a master of the small, closely formed lyric, although this book contains two longer narratives, ‘The Orange Bottle’ and the title poem. Mehigan is also a skilled formalist, but not, perhaps, the costive post-Hechtian classicism of the recent New-Formalism of Timothy Steele and Dana Gioia." Ian Pople on Mehigan and Gluck • Manchester Review
"The image of early Heaney as a pastoral ingenu is woefully in need of updating." David Wheatley • Guardian "Many feel that poetry is nothing more than an effete gesture of right-mindedness, or a mere entertainment, like some intellectual puzzle or game of literary trivia. Heaney’s work showed that they could not be more mistaken." John Burnside • New Statesman "Effortlessly, Seamus Heaney gives us ‘The song of the tubular steel gate in the dark/As he pulls it to.’ As Bloom says in Ulysses, ‘Everything speaks in its own way. Sllt.’ Sllt is the noise made by a paper-slitting machine. Heaney’s genius is an amalgam of moral complexity and the simple make-over of reality to his readers. He can describe things. He can describe things in a phrase, spray them with fixative." Craig Raine • Spectator
"Most of us in the profession were content to have our say on Pound and move on. I offered my pennyworth to say that the enabling motive of Pound’s Cantos is a line in Canto LIV, “History is a school book for princes”. Each of the Cantos displays an example, a parable, a moral lesson, an anecdote, the kind of thing a good governor should think about." Denis Donoghue • Irish Times
"Memo to James: The best poems generally manage to be about two or more things at once." Daisy Fried • NYT
"Poetry is much more about remaking or realigning the past than it is about charting the contemporary scene. It’s a long game." Michael Hofmann • The Paris Review
"The sustained quality of the poems across them, and the formidably compact Collected that emerges, directly echoes the achievement of the ur-canonical poet of our time, Elizabeth Bishop. The Bishop comparison holds in other ways too, notably in how formalism co-exists quite comfortably with the customarily relaxed idiom of the poems. [Michael] Donaghy can work in whatever form he likes: seemingly, none of them come amiss; at the same time, he does not appear to have had one that he particularly favours." Michael Hinds • DRB
" O’Callaghan should be more readily regarded as a champion of this critical mission: an example for the Trinity/Dublin-based writers promoted through Metre. Wheatley and Quinn, in particular, acknowledge O'Callaghan's role, and it is fair to say that without his intelligent questioning of Irish poetic practice, the road would not have been so well-prepared for the likes of Alan Gillis, Leontia Flynn, Miriam Gamble, Eoghan Walls, Matt Kirkham and the rest, who are finding their own ways to reinvigorate the art." Paul Maddern • Poetry International
"What is missing in Enniss’s book is an emphasis on Mahon’s artfulness and inventiveness, the clarity of tone which has been so influential on subsequent generations of Irish and British poets, and how he has created new places where, as his most famous poem puts it, “a thought might grow”." John McAuliffe • Irish Times
"Jeremy Noel-Tod, the editor of the new book, is polite about Ian Hamilton, but it is soon apparent that Noel-Tod is hospitable to almost anything one might call ‘alternative’: what he calls in his introduction ‘avant-garde poetics’. New entries sometimes read as if some gleeful parodist had got to work on Noel-Tod’s proofs, inventing unlikely poets and their works." Anthony Thwaite The Dark Horse
"Mehigan has a quiet command of form and an intelligence never quite tapped by his designs—it’s like watching a Chevy V8 dragging a horse cart." William Logan • The New Criterion
"The poems seem considered and less self-expressive and possibly even unintentionally aiming for an actual reader-other-than-friends." Pam Brown • ka mate ka ora
"Oddly enough, though, reviews can alert you to practices in your work that you weren’t aware of." Anne Compton • Malahat Review
"I turn to poetry to help me to think, to feel, to perceive." Jim Ferris • Poetry
""I find them evenly lit," he once said in reference to his poems' apparent darkness." Mark Strand • BBC
"Ap Gwilym, who called himself a second Taliesin, may well have had the earlier poet’s ode, which I’m translating now, in mind as he wrote his own hymn to the havoc that art can work in the world. This poem shows ap Gwilym’s muse tumbling, at the pace of his words, through the world." Gwyneth Lewis • Poetry
"As a poetic theory, Frost’s ‘sound of sense’, the idea of breaking irregular speech cadence over a regular line of verse, is original, as Frost was well aware. Only the sentimental chauvinist would try to give [Edward] Thomas priority. We aren’t dealing with Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. But Thomas’s champions routinely overstate their case." Craig Raine • Areté
"I remember one of the first, if not the first poem, I wrote. I was in school and it was an assignment– we had to write a Thanksgiving poem. Third or fourth grade. Mine got put on a bulletin board with large yellow and orange leaves cut out of construction paper, I remember those leaves as well as I remember the poem." Mary Ruefle • Wave Composition
"It was nearly half a century after his death before the authoritative Collecteds of Yeats began to appear. For Heaney, pending a Collected, these books are an eminently satisfying interim measure." Bernard O' Donoghue • Irish Times
"The world’s laws—of temporality, of gravity, of identity—are not so steadfast or “hard” as we may assume; in Seamus Heaney’s words, whatever is given can always be reimagined. Conor O’Callaghan takes this dictum to heart. We catch ourselves wondering if his reality is simply more interesting than ours and feel eager to experience this superabundance of sounds, sights, events, emotions, among which the poet lives." Magdalena Kay • World Literature Today
"And when I think about poems, a hole appears in the winter lake’s ice." Dorothea Grünzweig, tr Derk Wynand • Malahat Review
"The distance between the young Irish poet composing ‘Liffeytown’ and ‘The Liffey beyond Islandbridge’ and the poet of A Woman Without a Country is instructive. Her stable yet evolving example is useful to poets and readers; stage by stage she writes her way into a resistant tradition she values." Michael Schmidt on Eavan Boland • PN Review
"One of its finest qualities is Djwa’s evident awareness that her Life of P.K. Page is partly a fiction — or, to put it differently, one of many possible narratives that could be told from the facts of Page’s life. Rather than disguising this, Djwa embraces her role as storyteller — as her allegorical analogies make plain." Tina Northrup • Antigonish Review
"Newer generations of Irish writers, those reared in a private, ironic world (so private that they are outraged by the free gift of a U2 album) could never understand the massive optimism contained within [Theo] Dorgan’s unbroken sense of community. Such a belief in political community is, in a very real sense, an affront to the modern." Thomas McCarthy • Irish Examiner
"Poems of witness and protest are being written, and they are being published, and they can be extraordinarily powerful. If they seem more difficult to find than they might have been at a moment in the past, it isn’t because they don’t exist. It’s because they’re part of a much larger cultural machine in this country founded on freedoms of speech. In such context, it doesn’t seem to me that poetry has suddenly stopped mattering. It’s that a whole lot of other modes of expression matter too." Jaswinder Bolina • Poetry
"Against the horrors and brutalities of the world are set the virtues of family and friendship. [Peter] Fallon’s friend Seamus Heaney was fond of quoting from a Shakespeare sonnet: “How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea / Whose action is no stronger than a flower?”; it is a plea that is raised throughout this book." Bernard O'Donoghue • Irish Times
"But there is another kind of poetry: the poetry of that which is at hand—the immediate present. In the immediate present there is no perfection, no consummation, nothing finished. The strands are all flying, quivering, intermingling into the web, the waters are shaking the moon. There is no round, consummate moon on the face of running water, nor on the face of the unfinished tide. There are no gems of the living plasm. The living plasm vibrates unspeakably, it inhales the future, it exhales the past, it is the quick of both, and yet it is neither." DH Lawrence • Lapham's Quarterly
"‘Night Shift’ is a direct (and sceptical) allusion to a famous verse by Gu Cheng (roughly: ‘The dark nights gave me my dark eyes; I nonetheless use them to look for light’). Gu Cheng had all the time in the world, and frittered it away. He killed his wife with an axe, then hanged himself. Xu had very little time and few choices." Sheng Yun • LRB
"Shakespeare was a powerful writer who in his lifetime was poised at exactly the right moment to take advantage of the medium that the English language had only recently become. He could reach for effects that had been unavailable to the poets of both “The Seafarer” and The Canterbury Tales, and because of the particular power with which he did so, poems we think of as great, poems that harness the full capacity of the medium, tend to sound to us Shakespearean. But what we are really hearing in such poems is the medium at work; what we are hearing is the effort of a particular writer to reach for the effects that Modern English most vigorously enables. The polyglot diction of a phrase like John Ashbery’s “traditional surprise banquet of braised goat” feels idiosyncratic because it is also conventional, empowered by its author’s intimacy with his medium." James Longenbach • Poetry
“Here was a poet who made your hair stand on end,” she said. “Such independence; he caters to no school, he caters to no literary fashion. He writes about the quotidian but lifts it into the metaphysical all the time; yet he is also completely grounded.” Moya Cannon on Francis Harvey • Irish Times
"Seidel's hyperbole and excess are amplifications of the literal. Or, more precisely, they are a way of saying, with Theodor Adorno, "The barbaric is the literal." For Seidel, then, hyperbole is a means of confronting the world on its own terms, of constructing an affective vocabulary adequate to the world's barbarism. It is also therefore a means of producing personality in a specific relationship to shame." Michael Robbins • Post Road Magazine
"These are anthems to a wild, sensual “disobedience”, in which ruler and ruled, colonizer and colonized, oppressor and oppressed are both called upon to participate in a conscious unmaking, so that a new freedom can be born." Arundhathi Subramaniam on new Indian poetry • Poetry International
"Although critics acknowledge the English and European influences on Ó Ríordáin, he is all too often placed neatly in the “Gaelic” box as one of “triúr mór” (along with Máirtín Ó Direáin and Mhac an tSaoi), who paved the way, mar dhea, for later, cooler poets." Róisín Ní Ghairbhí • Irish Times
"He may have come in for flak for inhabiting a poetic persona – street-smart, self-deprecating, no-nonsense – so fully and at times lazily that he has come to parody himself, but this selected poems proves that he has written some of the very best, most memorable poems of recent decades." Ben Wilkinson • Guardian
"[M]ost modern poets would love to be noticed if they disappeared." Thea Lenarduzzi • New Republic
"Though he has eloquent advocates, not everyone will see the appeal of Gurney’s poems, as distinct from the terrible and compelling story of his life and descent into madness." Sean O'Brien • TLS
"A Jew in the Soviet Union, a Catholic among atheists, a Ukrainian among Kazakhs, and writing poetry in Russian: such was [Regina] Derieva’s situation." Cynthia Haven • TLS
"When Art’s army arrives, it immediately enacts a regime of Anachronism. With and/or logic, it insists both on a dream interval and a fatal interval: this is not going to stop until you wake up so give up. Art performs both massive and trivial transformations—the dead are reanimated (a massive change), while a series of lyric, decorative images are daisy chained to each other with a twist of Art’s, or syntax’s, hand: pájaros become nenas como flores." Joyelle McSweeney • Lana Turner
"Seaton argues that we can best understand the history of literary criticism in terms of three traditions: the platonic, the neoplatonic, and the humanist. Seaton’s platonists—who are often not platonist in a philosophical sense—regard literature, as Plato did, as dangerous and deceitful. Poetry, fiction, and drama reinforce the prejudices of the unenlightened masses or, as we would say today, of the bourgeoisie." Gary Saul Morson • New Criterion
"The displacement caused by a change of social class, from the child of a shipyard worker to a leader of the Irish intellectual elite, as well as the great disruption caused by broken adult relationships, combine powerfully in the best work of Derek Mahon to create a poetry as magnificent as a sheet of Belfast steel and as painful as the Blues." Thomas McCarthy • Irish Examiner

New poems

Evan Costigan Irish Times

Adam Crothers Blackbox Manifold

Jeffrey Harrison Yale Review

Christian Wiman 32poems

Gregory O'Brien Manchester Review

Will Harris Manchester Review

Chris McCabe The Wolf

Jane Clarke Irish Times

Dorothea Lasky Poetry London

Jonathan Edwards Poetry Wales

David Ferry Threepenny Review

Edmund Keeley Hudson Review

Annie Freud Poetry London

Ange Mlinko Poetry

Mercedes Lawry The Lake

Marie Naughton Southword

John North Southword

Ciaran Berry Plume

Yusef Komunyakaa PN Review

Heather Altfeld Okey-Panky

Michael Prior Winnipeg Review

Elizabeth Willis The New Yorker

David Yezzi The Atlantic

Tyler Mills Poetry

Robert Wrigley B O D Y

Josh Bell New Yorker

Richard Parker Poetry Wales

Heather Christle Floating Wolf Quarterly

Steve Sawyer Blackbox Manifold

Cathy Park Hong Paris Review

Helen Tookey Blackbox Manifold

Ciarán Parkes Threepenny Review

Bill Manhire Poetry

Daisy Behagg Poetry Review

Lamorna Elder Manchester Review

Michael Longley Irish Times

Neil Rollinson Manchester Review

Paul Muldoon Plume

Joey Connolly Poems in Which

Joshua Weiner Manchester Review

Ada Limon APR

Conor O'Callaghan Poetry International

Simon Haworth Manchester Review

Dora Malech Iowa Review

Nathan Curnow Arc/Cordite

Mark Strand Poetry

Amanda Jernigan The Walrus

Jane Clarke Irish Times

Eavan Boland PN Review

Dan Disney Meanjin

Paul Muldoon Irish Times

Justin Quinn B O D Y

Lucie Brock-Broido High Chair

Anne Carson Granta

Jeramy Dodds Hazlitt

Patricia Smith Gulf Coast

Vivienne Plumb 4th Floor Journal

Crispin Best B O D Y

Kathleen Jamie New Statesman

Eva Bourke Irish Times

Maureen N McLane Paris Review

Patricia Lockwood A Public Space

Dan Beachy-Quick Salamander

The Page aims to gather links to some of the Web's most interesting writing.

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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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