The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"To learn to enjoy a poet, and to think we understand what a poet is doing, is to learn to understand that poet's conventions: to see what's new, and what's changed, in poets who seem (at first) to repeat themselves, and to recognize patterns, repetitions, inheritance in work that seems alien, chaotic, or all too new." Stephen Burt • Yale Review

"In sum, anyone can be a poet, and poetry appears indeed to be popular. But what is meant here, or should be meant, by poetry? What is its value?" Catharine Savage Bronson • Chronicles

"It’s time to write the obituary for New Formalism." Quincy R. Lehr • Raintown Review

"Apologies for making this personal, but this in miniature is the precise problem that has always bedevilled literary critics: the problem of how to balance feeling and fact, and how to translate subjective response (I love this poem) into informed judgment (this is a great poem)." Daniel Swift • The Spectator

"Encountering Wilson’s latest poems is akin to coming upon an orchid in the wild. Just as the carnal beauty of the plant stuns, a sonic richness, exotic (because precise) word-choice, and sculptural beauty in The Great Medieval Yellows encourage me to remain on the surface of the work." Karla Kelsey Constant Critic
"Because I am best acquainted with Armantrout’s relatively recent work, I was eager, for this series pairing a second book of poetry written over 20 years ago with a recently published second poetry collection, to locate Armantrout’s first two books, and to take a special look into the second to see something of the roots of this remarkable writer, who is associated with the L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E poets, but who also, like any original artist allied with any school or group, is very much her own stylist." Lisa Russ Spaar LARB
"When first published, The Shoshoneans offered concise and relevant insights into Dorn’s poetic ambitions. Nonetheless, these insights have had to wait for the retrospective and analytic framing of the current republication in order to come fully to view." Gerónimo Sarmiento Cruz Chicago Review
"Truth be told, even in the best of times, I’ve never been especially sweet on slice-of-life poems, particularly ones with a smarty pants edge." Wendy Willis LARB
"As a first collection Beauty/Beauty reveals an emerging voice with a distinctive feel about it." Mike Barlow on Rebecca Perry and others The Compass
"The point is not that the poem is cooked or raw, made or found, but that when we look at it we believe we see its wings move and its bright body shifting." David Orr NYT
"Here was major style. As if the world had been made as guilty pleasure. And what a relief from the more autobiographically-sourced, formally constricted, and directly ethical poets that I had admired and was trying to be and love still." Rodney Jones Partisan
"At a certain point, I realised that researching the historical record was inhibiting me. The poem went cold and progress slowed. In the end it took five years to complete, and only when I knew I was nearly finished did I begin a second wave of research, in which I tried to check that the things I’d invented weren’t too far off the mark. In the mean time, what helped me to bring my characters back to life (to me anyway) was thinking of three less obviously relevant figures: Tony Blair, Nick Leeson, and Myra Hindley." Paul Batchelor Poetry
"Who’s afraid of Frederick Seidel?" Eric Powell • Chicago Review
"I go to poetry for engagement with language and for revelations that are momentary rather than longer-term." Paul Muldoon • PN Review
"Read as a kind of kin or precursor to the movement’s evolution of protest and artistic testimony, Rich’s choices as she navigated her own American times help illuminate how the broader Black Lives Matter moment relates to the arts of past liberation efforts." Joshua Jacobs • The Critical Flame
"Having found modern philosophy to be a “logomachy,” as he called it some years later in a letter to his mother, he decided to reject the fellowship Harvard offered him; instead he put English roots down by marrying Vivien Haigh-Wood in June of 1915. He did some teaching at London’s Highgate School where, among the usual academic subjects, he also “taught” baseball." William H Pritchard on TS Eliot • Hudson Review
"I used to ignore where Rich’s poem was going. I was young enough that I just loved meeting the fox in the night and thinking of myself as all that female potential, "a vixen’s courage in vixen terms"." Ailbhe Darcy • The Critical Flame
"One poem I miss was about Mr. Drummond’s identification with Charlie Chaplin. Another was a morosely comic depth charge titled “Motionless Faces.” It read in part: “Acquaintances dead, teacher dead. Enemy dead. Fiancée dead, girl friends dead. Engineer dead, passenger dead. Unrecognizable body dead: a man’s? an animal’s? Dog dead, bird dead. Rosebush dead, orange trees dead. Air dead, bay dead. Hope, patience, eyes, sleep, movement of hands: dead.” Its absence is a bit of petit larceny." Dwight Garner • NYT
"Frost’s inaugural words weren’t the last ones, though. “The Gift Outright” endures in the version reproduced here. And other poets have capitalized on its problems, on what it says not only about American politics but also about political poeticizing. They use the uncertain occasion Frost keeps offering; they pay tribute in further questions." Siobhan Phillips • Poetry
"Many things about fairies, indeed, are most uncertain. We do not even know whether they die." WB Yeats • Irish Times (1890)
"Not eating replaced poetry, for Glück. But it also prevented it. Glück sought treatment when she worried that her disease would impede the work she needed to do." Siobhan Phillips • Massachusetts Review
"There are poets who’ve been responsible for helping open up the readership of American poetry in Britain, including Elaine Feinstein, who allied herself with America’s Black Mountain poets during the ’60s and ’70s (Charles Olson sent her his famous letter defining breath “prosody”), and more recently, Roddy Lumsden (who has apparently clocked up the most appearances by any British poet in Poetry) and Ahren Warner (current poetry editor of Poetry London). Lumsden is also series editor and instigator of the Best British Poetry annual anthology series modeled on Best American Poetry, published since 2011 by Salt (regrettably that former poetry press’s only surviving excursion into poetry), which along with the annual Forward Prize anthologies, and the journals Poetry Ireland, Poetry London, PN Review, and Poetry Review, showcase the latest work by the best-known figures in British and Irish poetry, with American poets also featured regularly in Poetry London, PN Review, Poetry Review, and The Dark Horse." Neil Astley Ploughshares
"The book is packed with terrific close readings, which often feel as if Hofmann is humming along with the poems he discovers for us, dwelling on each word until its particular resonances for the poem under discussion become apparent to all. (Is Hofmann’s workshop the place where New Criticism went?)." John McAuliffe • Poetry Review
"[Jon] Silkin’s poems have a didactic, even rabbinical, quality at times. His sermons can be knotty and difficult to follow, and sometimes sound a little portentous. But this poem, written when he was around thirty, and first published in The Re-Ordering of the Stones, has the manner of a restrained cri de coeur. Its argument is incontrovertible, like a newly delivered prophecy." Carol Rumens • Guardian
"Yet sometimes truly fresh ideas are promulgated through poems too; they may seem weird, unpoetic, ghastly, even illiterate." Bruce Whiteman • Hudson Review
"Atlantic, Harper's, they're all diminished. All magazines lose from the Internet. Eventually, they'll all be on the wire. Donald Hall • Union Leader

"This encounter is not the sole focus of the section. He includes poems by other authors and discusses how they make daring statements. But [Carl] Phillips's account of this sexual encounter dominates the section. In fact, it dominates the book. Has a book dedicated to the craft of writing ever included such explicit, autobiographical material from an esteemed educator and writer? Clearly, Phillips is not only interested in describing daring, he wants to wholeheartedly participate in it." Mike Puican • The Collagist
" I like doing close readings with my students, taking a hard, close look inside poems, hearing them notice things I might not. I like how, between us, we help each other pay sustained attention to the ways in which poems work. I think I’m able to give my students help and insight when it comes to improving individual poems and thinking about poetry as a discipline and as an art, and maybe some of that’s acquired from my practice as a poet, though maybe more from what I read. You always learn from good poems, though, whether by students of the craft or by poets of a lifetime’s experience. But I also know that if I had to teach every day of the calendar year, I’d never write poetry. For that, I need privacy, silence and time to let my thought process unravel so words can, if I’m lucky, occur to me in some kind of unforeseen, unaccountable way." Vona Groarke • Irish Times
"I have never made money from selling rare poetry volumes." Richie McCaffery • The Dark Horse
"Poetry has saved my life, made my life. Reading and writing it have taught me bravery and discipline." Victoria Kennefick • Irish Times
"The poem, which is called 'Gatwick', is a fantasy about a young official at passport control." Guardian Books Blog " If I worried about bad readers, I’d have given up writing poetry long ago." Craig Raine • New Statesman
"[John] Lucas confirmed that impression, saying of [BS] Johnson’s stint as poetry editor of the Transatlantic Review that “he behaved with great generosity as well as I think scrupulousness towards a lot of younger persons including myself who were sending him poems”. Lucas met Johnson in 1966, when, as a young lecturer at Nottingham University, he went to hear him give a talk there. On this occasion another aspect of Johnson’s personality was in evidence: “Johnson spent more or less the entire hour attacking the world of academe, and pointing out that people who were in the world of academe could be expected to understand nothing about literature at all”." Catharine Morris • TLS
"Yet no Jew walking through the door of American literary life at this time would have dreamed of writing in any terms other than the ones that the Allen Tates had established. The literature of the period that engages the issue of anti-Semitism—from Laura Hobson’s Gentleman’s Agreement to Arthur Miller’s Focus to Saul Bellow’s The Victim—says it all. The boldness of these books lay in writing about Jews; it did not lie in sounding like Jews." Vivian Gornick The Nation
"But the more closely we examine [Claudia] Rankine’s second-person subject, the more complex these questions become. “To everyone who generously shared their stories, thank you,” Rankine writes in the book’s acknowledgments. We discover, only at the end of this grievous testament, that we may have been reading the story of a composite you from the beginning. Perhaps the most brilliant innovation of Citizen lies in Rankine’s construction of this composite “you” which—as the dark double of Whitman’s first-person polity—allows us to register a plurality of unanswerable injustices through the felt urgency of an individual subject." Srikanth Reddy • Lana Turner
"Much of the poem is closed off to the reader — the situation is rendered in only the broadest of strokes, filtered through a speaker who isn’t forthcoming on the details. It makes for a strange sort of intimacy — on the one hand, the poem makes us privy to a private moment between two people. On the other hand, why that moment is particularly important is a mystery." Rebecca Hazelton • Poetry
"Yeats is 150." Eavan Boland, Denis Donoghue, Roy Foster, Terry Wogan et al Irish Times
"Even now I routinely misquote the second sentence, but who could forget the first? I, too, dislike it has been on repeat in my head since 1993; when I open a laptop to write or a book to read: I, too, dislike it echoes in my inner ear. When a poet (including me) is being introduced at a reading, whatever else I hear, I hear: I, too, dislike it. When I teach I basically hum it." Ben Lerner • LRB
"Delmore Schwartz was born in Brooklyn in 1913 into a household where more Yiddish than English was spoken, and the family relation to the world was characterized by a mix of crude and shrewd that is common to those profoundly not at home in the culture they inhabit." Vivian Gornick • The Nation
"Betrayal, murder, madness, maiming—Lear’s hard to beat. Just run through some of its mounting negatives in your head: “Nothing will come of Nothing”; “Never. Never. Never. Never. Never”; “They could not, would not do ’t”; “No, no, no, no! Come, let’s away to prison”; and “No, no; no life?” The articulation of “what is not” is breathtaking. " David Yezzi • Partisan
"Former winner Ciaran Carson makes the cut for the £10,000 prize for From Elsewhere, in which the Irish poet sets translations from the French poet Jean Follain against “original” poems inspired by those translations. Another award-winning Irish poet, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, is picked by judges for The Boys of Bluehill, a look at memory and time." Alison Flood Guardian
"Over the phone in the fall of 1990, Miłosz described where to catch the bus to his house and cautioned me about the many “lacunae” in the bus schedule. I knew then I’d caught the golden ring of part-time jobs." Molly Wesling • Brick
"Readers uncertain whether they will enjoy 500 pages of [Craig] Raine’s inventive, frequently charming, but unapologetically opinionated company should turn to the piece inspired by the time Mary Whitehouse threatened to prosecute him for a sonnet titled “Arsehole”." Jeremy Noel-Tod • The Telegraph
"For admirers of [Ciaran] Carson’s poetry, From Elsewhere is a vital new part of his remarkable oeuvre. " Farisa Khalid • Asymptote
"It has been apparent for some time that Cole is the most important American poet under sixty. His late work has made the bland, generic poems of so many in his generation an embarrassment." William Logan • New Criterion
"Poetry: it’s more entertaining than anything Simon Cowell ever produced, and far more vicious." Sophie Heawood • Guardian
"“My family has been here forever. We’ve been in town for over 130 years,” said Williams-Fox, 52, an attorney who is the granddaughter of William Carlos Williams, a famed poet who posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize and was a family doctor in his native Rutherford for decades." Mark Bonamo • PolitickerNJ
"If we were to make a mosaic of images of white sadness, we would naturally choose obvious, archetypal ones: the kitchen where Sylvia Plath commits suicide; Ally Sheedy, in Goth pancake makeup, crawling across the floor of the school library in The Breakfast Club (1985); Ian Curtis intoning “Love Will Tear Us Apart”; Neddy Merrill, in John Cheever’s “The Swimmer,” surfacing from his last swimming pool and finding his entire life swept away.” Jess Row • Boston Review
"On a recent trip to Florida, I decided to go in search of a city that exists only in my mind: Donald Justice's Miami.” Kyle Churney • Chicago Tribune
"On October 25, 1914, just over one hundred years ago, the remarkable poet John Berryman was born in McAlester, Oklahoma.” Helen Vendler • NYRB
"The Sydney Morning Herald headlined Andrew Riemer’s review of Waiting for the Past, ‘The Poet as Champion of the Rural Past’ – yet another review of Murray’s work without a single mention of his influences. But for Murray prose is ‘narrowspeak’ and poetry is ‘widespeak’; in his poetry, he shows a wide engagement with poetic traditions. The setting of a poem is never simply a place, because the style of a poem is its imaginative setting." Lisa Gorton Sydney Review of Books
"We do need to understand the poems and we do need help such as we get in this book, but we cannot allow the poem to remain as an explained thing. It must stay open not only to responses deriving from individual experience, but to enigmas which may be explained but not explained away." Peter Riley Fortnightly Review
"Books about Irish poetry are rarer than you might think." John McAuliffe • PN Review
"Poetry is my passion. It has become my way of life." Simon Armitage Arete
"At times [Muldoon] brings to mind the concrete specificity of Elizabeth Bishop or Heaney himself (as when, in one of his slow-release time-lapse metaphors, he describes a “slow handclap of grouse”); at others, the immersive cartoonish weightlessness of John Ashbery. His long poems in particular seem, through the intricacy of their “complex joints”, perennially on the verge of collapse, and yet somehow they remain intact, implausibly secure." Oli Hazzard • TLS
"Russians generally like their poets stainless, and her memoir is as candid as it is affectionate. Her Brodsky is brilliant, reckless, and deeply human." Cynthia Haven • The Book Haven
"I feel I'm spending roughly half my time hiding in plain sight because I used to be something. And the other half of the time I feel still so hard pressed to the national bosom that I'm suffocating. So I'd quite like to go and live in America.” Andrew Motion • BBC
"Derek Walcott is a Nobel Prize winner. That sort of thing always makes me nervous.” Toby Barlow • Work in Progress
"She is one of the last representatives of that mid-century haut-bourgeois Catholic Irish world. Her literary mentors are in Catholic Europe; in Mauriac’s fiction and Kate O’Brien’s Presentation Parlour, in Máire Mhac an tSaoí’s diplomatic briefcase and Eilís Dillon’s childhood summers. This world, especially as it is mediated here through a postdoctoral education and a Trinity workplace of Huguenot reticence, has flowed easily and fluently for her whenever she’s put pen to paper." Thomas McCarthy • DRB
"It must be disconcerting for those who find poetry difficult, to discover that the simplest poems are often the most enigmatic." Ivor Indyk • Sydney Review of Books
"Occasionally some poets employ cloying New Age idioms, or even imitate a kind of computerese gobbledygook, as if overly impressed by the possibilities of randomly generated phrasing, smearing dollops of language like a piquant sauce across the page. But most in this by-and-large shrewdly chosen and apposite anthology reward rereading. Puna Wai Kōrero is another New Zealand literary turning-point." David Eggleton • Landfall
"One of the most puzzling, if compelling, aspects of recent poetry in English in South Africa has been the way in which it has engaged with, reflected upon, and tried to influence ongoing processes in the country’s wider sociocultural and political life. Since liberation, it is apparent that private spaces have become more porous: and the traditional dividing line in South African poetry between private and public expression has been brought increasingly into question." Kelwyn Sole • Mediations
"Housewife or serious poet? What was [Gwen] Harwood?" Simon West • Sydney Review of Books
"Received wisdom has it, for example, that [Edward] Thomas died at Arras when a shell passed so close to him that the blast of air stopped his heart (Matthew Hollis, another recent biographer, remarks that 'He fell without a mark on his body'). Wilson's research leads to a different conclusion: he was 'shot clean through the chest by a pip-squeak (a 77mm shell) the very moment the battle began'. Her account of Thomas's early years is no less visceral." Matthew Bevis Literary Review
"The kickings remind us that the operating temperature of the critical writing is high. [Michael] Hofmann does advocacy as warmly as he does displeasure, and in both modes he writes the kind of prose that relishes its own performance, that leaves the print of its own style securely embedded in the reader’s brain. In its way, it’s poetry by other means, written with elaborate attentiveness, each occasion meticulously prepared for and answered to." Peter Sirr DRB
"Even long-established poets can be nagged by the feeling that the aesthetic communities from which they gain recognition only reflect back the effort they put in; miss a few readings, take a break from publishing, leave an editorial post and you and your work might disappear." Ben Etherington • Sydney Review of Books
"And later, in what seems to be a poetry launch setting, she notes how ‘the generic wine flood[ed] the loss of words / like a late transfusion’. One senses that the poetry world is not always a good source of reinvigoration for the poet." Jessica Wilkinson • Sydney Review of Books
"Erotic poems are hard to write." Vidyan Ravinthiran • Prac Crit
"Displeasure, I believe, is the word I'd choose, as to how I feel. And disapproval, as to what I think about uncited appropriation of my work or that of other writers, or of artists of any sort. College students are routinely expelled for such behaviour” August Kleinzahler • Write Out Loud
"A bit of a statesman himself, Yeats would argue the toss repeatedly, with himself and others, in his poems and in his prose, about what the poet should or should not do “in times like these” – in other words, war times." Gerald Dawe • Irish Times
"JH Prynne is the ultimate poet of anti-pathos. Everything about him spells distance and difficulty." David Wheatley • Guardian
"One of my greatest guides in this pursuit has been the poet Lorine Niedecker (1903-1970), a woman who spent most of her life living in a tiny cabin on rustic Blackhawk Island, a small, marshy peninsula which juts into Lake Koshkonong on the Rock River just outside of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin." Steel Wagstaff • Edge Effects
"Are there really two different Dunstan Thompsons?" Dana Gioia • Hudson Review
"And yet it does surprise me how often people I respect, people who take gender discrimination and racial justice very seriously in other contexts, will explain that gauges like the annual VIDA count are irrelevant to poetry, which must be (which can be) measured purely in terms of quality." Jonathan Farmer • Partisan
"Trying to read him amounted to the pursuit of an elusive fugitive." Brooke Clark • Partisan
"For Rilke nothing was trivial, and order was to be found, and had to be found, in all things." Idris Parry • PN Review
"It’s this “campy note” that sets Donaghy aside from those contemporaries whom one can still occasionally find earnestly aerobicising their iambs in macho displays of supposed subtlety and control. Donaghy’s poems show off openly – ta-dah!" Jack Underwood Poetry Review
"After forty years of railing at the communist GDR, Braun has lost none of his desire to kick at the pricks of contemporary capitalism. And one wonders who might have put it better, or had it better translated." Ian Pople • Manchester Review
"Twenty five years ago, when I was still just learning how to write a poem, and trying to locate the deeper sources for the poetry I wanted to write, Thomas McGrath’s example stood as a sign post." Joshua Weiner • B O D Y
"That poetry greatly enriches our experience is not a hard case to make: the Iliad, the Aeneid, Beowulf, The Divine Comedy, Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays, and Paradise Lost. It’s impossible to imagine our lives—our language—without them." David Yezzi • The New Criterion
"Borges – quoted on the subject of books in ‘The Library of Adventure’, ‘I shall die before I come to the end of them’ – said that good readers are much rarer and blacker swans than good writers. O’Driscoll is that rare black swan and every essay in The Outnumbered Poet is a master class on how to read poetry." Martina Evans Wales Arts Review
"After the hoop-la of launch night, and the readings and the interviews, and the sheer pleasure of holding your own book in your hand (the cover a wonderful picture by Gary Coyle) what next?" John O'Donnell • Irish Times
"Although Marjorie Perloff praises Citizen by saying that “Rankine is never didactic: she merely presents…allowing you to draw your own conclusions,” the opposite is actually the case. Rankine’s series of anecdotes are geared to a purpose and theme: they are ethical formulations that are too honest and angry to be merely presentations; they’re intended as proofs." Nick Laird • NYRB
"Like most recent collections, the new book just has too many poems that don’t live up to the standard it sometimes sets. But the disparity here seems especially pronounced, in part because Hayes, at his best, is one of the most exciting and imaginative poets in America today." Jonathan Farmer • Slate
"[Michael Hofmann] regards his style and mission in these essays as an extension of his poetry and translations. “For me the service comes in writing as interestingly and as well as possible.” He succeeds, I would say, superbly." Nicholas Shakespeare • Telegraph
"The minor vogue and rapid extinction of Imagism, a movement whose influence we still feel, has been hashed over by literary critics for a century." William Logan • The New Criterion
"The text you write must prove to me that it desires me." Gnaomi Siemens • The The
"There is something both Ashberian and non-Ashberian about [Karen] Solie. Like him, she writes sentences in motley registers that accrete into poems with unpredictable logopoieic shapes." Ange Mlinko • Partisan
"This is neither criticism nor biography. Tóibín starts with her impulse: “She began with the idea that little is known and that much is puzzling.” This directs us to her poem “Sandpiper”: “The world is a mist. And then the world is / minute and vast and clear …” Bishop’s gift is that she can show not only the clarity and the mist, the small and the large, but one becoming the other." Lavinia Greenlaw Telegraph
"Critics often focus on Muldoon’s talent for weirdness and his technical games; the first, like the weirdness of Flann O’Brien’s version of Mad Sweeney, seems to me to correspond to the weird predicament of humanity. It is hardly the main business of poetry to be normal, though this poetry turns out to be fit to take on the weight of normal life when called on." Eilean Ni Chuilleanain DRB
"In many of the statements Gunn and Bishop made in their poems, there is a great reticence. Nonetheless, half-way through his career Gunn wrote explicitly about his homosexuality. When she died, Bishop left poems, and sometimes fragments of poems, which dramatised or dealt directly with her lesbianism. She did not publish these in her lifetime. Bishop said that she believed “in closets, closets and more closets”. While Bishop wrote only obliquely about her alcoholism in a poem such as “The Prodigal”, Gunn was more open about his interest in LSD and other drugs (he died of an overdose of heroin and speed). Both had great reservations about what was called “confessional poetry”, which became fashionable in the 1960s. The tendency is to overdo the morbidity. “You just wished they kept some of these things to themselves,” Bishop said. Gunn told James Campbell: “I don’t like dramatizing myself. I don’t want to be Sylvia Plath. The last person I want to be!”" Colm Toibin Guardian
"Whatever form Leviston chooses, from the abbreviated sonnets of “Athenaeum” to a clipped short-lined quatrain or the rangy rhymed octets of “Woodland Burial”, she achieves a sense of decisive cleanliness, the momentum of the verse matching the steady completeness of her attention and then shifting gear at need. Unusually among younger poets, she can sustain the kind of “middle” voice practised by the later Auden." Sean O'Brien Guardian
"By chance this moment in her life coincided with a writers’ residency she had won, organized before the revolution, in Latvia. While she was there, a whole novel about her friend and about the Maidan events just poured out. Then she trained to use a gun and fight but discovered that only women with the right connections were being allowed to go into combat on the Ukrainian side." Tim Judah NYRB
"First, we discover that we read a poem in order to “retrieve” exact and correct information from it, and we are supposed to “infer” exact and correct meanings from it." Michael Rosen Guardian
"I have no nostalgia for that time, although in The Stoic Man, the new collection of essays and memoirs I have just published with Lagan Press, the recalling of life in the west of Ireland in the 70s sounds again like a “sheltering place” from the travails and troubles of the Belfast I had in part left behind. So The Stoic Man is accompanied by a collection of Early Poems written during those years in Galway’s old city, around the streets and canal-ways, the bridges, Lough shore and harbour where we used to live." Gerald Dawe Irish Times
"Langdon Hammer’s extraordinary biography of the poet, “James Merrill: Life and Art” (Knopf), suggests that “life” and “art” were for Merrill a feedback loop, not at all Yeats’s zero-sum choice between “perfection of the life, or of the work.”" Dan Chiasson New Yorker
"Jon Silkin’s arrival on the literary scene coincided with that of the group broadly known as “the Movement”, whose members included Philip Larkin, Donald Davie and Kingsley Amis (when he was better known as a poet). He can be included among them, but the voice he developed was his own." Nicholas Lezard • Guardian
"So at the heart of Red Sails there is a lot of truth-telling going on about the artist’s life (or lives). A far cry it is too from the showy, silly lifestyle version we are offered daily from media-hungry “celebs” of one kind or another, asking the reader to feel their pain and oversharing what passes for real understanding." Gerald Dawe on Derek Mahon • DRB
"Motion suggested there could be a “breaking wave” of new interest in the Romantics – though he also argues that adoration of them has never really gone away. “The poems [in the original Lyrical Ballads] are full of evidence of a very divided society. They tend to concentrate on people at the poor end, the vagabonds and vagrants, the ex-army people who can’t find employment. They are full of ideas about dislocation and impoverishment. That has resonance today.”" Andrew Motion • Guardian
"All anthologists have blind spots, and a few quibbles aside, Astley’s anthology is a ground-breaking record of the poetry of war, well-balanced and, by virtue of its amplitude, heterogeneous; it includes great and mediocre poetry, major and minor voices, and charts the course of poetic responses to the brutal facts of war and the neverending folly of those who “took their orders and are dead”, as AD Hope wrote in his “Inscriptions for a War”. Gerard Smyth • DRB
"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


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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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