The Page
poetry, essays, ideas
"It was also soon established how everybody in the room felt about Philip Larkin." Michael Caines • TLS
"‘National Poet’: it’s the kind of designation that can seal up the pleasure to be had from the poems, like a mausoleum." Vona Groarke • Poetry Ireland Review
"As writers’ primary access to artworks throughout the twentieth century, museums and galleries, and their coffee table style publications, have operated as regulators for twentieth century ekphrasis – the verbal representation of visual representation – by limiting the available source materials and directing the ways in which they are processed. The result has been largely homogenising, with ekphrastic poetry dealing predominantly in the fine art of white, Western males, and exhibiting a poetic approach that mimics an art critical-historical one, asking readers to view the pieces in question as ‘timeless repositories of human wisdom’." Sophie Collins • Prac Crit
"Voyage demonstrates the elements that formulate an identity, inform a life. There is the personal—the “I” as an agent, a witness, a mind and body present. There is also the historical—all the shit that precedes one’s birth that has an impact, now, even when it traces back to antiquity. [Robin Coste] Lewis asks, “What can History possibly say?” Everything and nothing, it seems." Diana Arterian • The Rumpus
"Bringing this new selection of Tanikawa’s vast output together from his sixty plus published collections was surely no easy ask, but the representative offering presented here offers a compact, easily navigable, albeit at times unbalanced resource to those readers already familiar with the poet and perhaps looking for an abbreviated hit. It also provides a sprawling, exciting gateway for those brand new and looking to get into Tanikawa’s poetry." Simon Haworth • Manchester Review
"Few books evoke place as much as this one evokes the entirety of the natural world." John Findura • Tarpaulin Sky
"My Blake, the radical visionary poet of the 1960s, seems almost old-fashioned now. I realize how many other Blakes there have been, both before and since." Richard Holmes • NYRB

"Attention to the moral character of the art at its most public is long over-due. Quite apart from the always-rumoured fixing of awards, there is an ugly history of substance abuse that needs to be acknowledged and put behind us." Michael Schmidt • PN Review
"Wallace Stevens warned that it is in the nature of the modern imagination to always feel oneself at “the end of something” but there are too many factors converging at the moment not to feel that some kind of crossroads has been reached." John Fanning • DRB "For Bernstein, the consumer has replaced the reader in today’s privileged interpretive communities." Cassandra Seltman • LARB
"When I taught for five years it was murder. To be part of something that absorbed you, took care of you, and named you. It made me feel like I was dying. People make their peace with these things, but I’m much better at being in a profession like poetry where it would just be with me as I fell or as I rose. Whatever happened I could keep writing poems." Eileen Myles • New Republic
"The animus against ‘1940s poetry’ remains automatic and unquestionable." Peter Riley responds to Roger Caldwell • PN Review
“The Irish-speaking world was where you could talk about things like bringing the stallion to the mare, but of course you couldn’t do that in middle-class convent English. If you didn’t know Irish you wouldn’t really ever, I think, get the feel of my poetry. It’s just part of me.” Maire Mhac an tSaoi • Irish Times
"Benjamin Péret, one of the chief mediums, would throw himself on the floor, which he took for the surface of the sea, and make swimming movements. When asked what he saw, he would answer: water. Water the colour of water." Agnieszka Taborska • Asymptote

"In an essay titled “The Present State of Poetry” in American Poetry at Midcentury, Delmore Schwartz recalled: “In 1936 Stevens read his poems for the first time at Harvard—it was probably the first time he had ever read his poetry in public—and the occasion was at once an indescribable ordeal and a precious event. Before and after reading each poem, Stevens spoke of the nature of poetry…the least sound counts, he said, the least sound and the least syllable. His illustration of this observation was wholly characteristic: he told of how he had wakened that week after midnight and heard the sounds made by a cat walking delicately and carefully on the crusted snow outside his house.”" Susan Howe • The Nation
"Hofmann’s line has been called prosaic. But while the rhythms are certainly depressur­ized, every word feels artfully chosen and placed, and the vocabulary is phenomenally rich. " Mick Imlah • Wild Court
"In many ways, Carl Phillips reminds me of John Ashbery, a poet I admire, but mostly, these days, from afar. For many, Ashbery’s elusive presence in poetry has been life- and mind-altering. For me, feeling lost so much of the time, it heightens a loneliness that’s already there. So I wonder about the thrill I feel reading Phillips, who is also elusive, also playing with different registers of language, also willing to go much further into unreality than I ever would or could." Jonathan Farmer • Slate
"Citizen is a poem precisely because modernism happened and continues. First and foremost that means the TS Eliot of The Waste Land. And like many seminal, iconoclastic works since (Ginsberg’s Howl, Ashbery’s Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror) – the very first readers and critics judged what Eliot produced not to be poetry, exactly, but rather “a puzzle”, a “documentary”, “as near to poetry as our generation is at present capable of reaching”." Adam Fitzgerald Guardian
"[Jorie] Graham is, along with John Ashbery and Frederick Seidel, one of the very few living American poets to have advanced a worldly, Modernist model of the poem into the 21st century. She has seized for her own uses a patrimony rich with philosophical and linguistic experimentation, bypassing the sort of small-scale, homegrown free verse that has come to dominate the journals and university programs and public-radio stations of our time." Ange Mlinko • The Nation
"I wanted to bring together a selection of such poems in their depiction and response to ‘war’ in the process of identifying inclusiveness as a principle: of soldiering and reactions to war from both participants and civilians alike; from ‘professional’ poets, to those who have made poetic responses: an anthological statement that embraces the reality of the Irish experience, rather than one that reads such experience from an exclusively ideological position of either nationalism or unionism, the counterparts of Irish chauvinism or anglophone insularity." Gerald Dawe • Irish Times
"An amalgam of Tony Blair and Jimmy Saville (which I take it to be) is meaningless unless all harm, sexual, political, commercial or anything, is one harm. That it is, is a fundamental belief in this whole dynamic and virtuosic line in recent British poetry, deriving ultimately from Cambridge poetry and sometimes almost explicitly proclaiming its belief in the corruption of the entire globe or the Fall of Man." Peter Riley • Fortnightly Review
"Insofar as there is a grand theme to [Nathaniel] Mackey’s poetry, it is the lamentation of sublimity’s evanescence. If it were objected that this “theme” is no theme but a necessary condition for most lyric poetry, I could only answer that Mackey’s project is vast." John Tamplin • The Volta

"So too for hoyoot: for all their investment in labor history and folk history, Pickard’s poems possess a political urgency that gives them a startlingly contemporary feel. Their lasting value is their live rebuke to the forces of political reaction wherever and whenever they appear." Andrew Peart • Chicago Review
"The ambitious young intellectual buys himself a laptop, rents himself some friends, and settles down in Brooklyn to write poetry, poetry, and more poetry. He blogs, and tweets, and puts his new poems on Facebook. Everyone loves him. Everyone whispers in his ear how brilliant he is." William Logan • Battersea Review

"As a monologue, it’s ridiculous: evil might be banal, but it doesn’t sound like that. As poetry, though, it’s astonishing: the line-break flagging the additional meaning latent in ‘home’ (‘home in on’), the swing of ambiguity in ‘hold steady on’, the ‘huge debt’ and the oozing eye invoking the terrifying vision of justice in Exodus 21:24 (‘eye for eye, tooth for tooth’)." John Clegg on JH Prynne • Poetry London
"Poetry is becoming progressively fluid, merging protest and performance into its practice. The era of Conceptual Poetry’s ahistorical nihilism is over and we have entered a new era, the poetry of social engagement." Cathy Park Hong • New Republic
"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
"Citizen includes extracts from documentary film scripts, screengrabs of Zinedine Zidane headbutting Marco Materazzi at the 2006 World Cup, JMW Turner’s painting The Slave Ship and an essay on Venus Williams. Rankine, who was born in Jamaica and now lives in California, teaching at the University of Southern California, wins £10,000." Mark Brown • Guardian
"Someone could write a Ph.D. thesis on the role that inherited wealth has played in the history of American poetry. James Russell Lowell, Amy Lowell, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, James Laughlin, Isabella Gardner, Frederick Seidel, and Harry Matthews all, with varying artistic results, benefited from it. As did James Merrill. Not only does money talk, it also sometimes writes poetry." Alfred Corn • The Smart Set
"Une des plus grandes voix de la poésie américaine, C.K. Williams, s'est éteint dimanche 20 septembre à son domicile, dans le New Jersey. Il avait 78 ans." Le Figaro
"I was going for something like Frost’s voice. Frost strikes me as Hesiodic in some ways, with the pastoral surface, the home-spun wisdom, but also the sophisticated erudition." A.E. Stallings • Partisan

"Capitalism has nothing to fear from an identity-driven struggle of any kind. As long as resentful white male poets feel entitled to assume the identities of the marginalised in a quixotic battle against political correctness, and as long as the marginalised wage their own equally quixotic battles in defence of cultural authenticity and identity fetishism, nothing will change." Ali Alizadeh • Sydney Review of Books

"Two orders of magnitude, you might say: Enzensberger, born in 1929, who has bestrode German poetry since the late 1950s, who was associated with Boll and Grass in Group 47, who grew up in the west, but were fiercely critical of it. And Jan Wagner , born in Hamburg in 1971, who has won more prizes in Germany than you can shake a stick at, though not the same ones as HME, apparently." Ian Pople • Manchester Review
"Experimental work always forces us to imagine analogous genres around it: Citizen: An American Lyric , Rankine’s new book, has the same subtitle as her previous book, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (2004)." Lauren Berlant • BOMB
""It was on those long solo flights," [Scott Griffin] tells his audience at the TEDx Talk, "that I rediscovered the joy of reciting poetry." Around the same time, he discovered the money to be made in manufacturing arms components." Michael Lista • Canadaland

"I have not found a definition of the lyric essay which compels me, though I have spent much time contemplating the matter of the “essay,” and just as much the “lyric.”" Carissa Pobre • High Chair
"No poet has more closely woven poetry into her daily life, a poetry that is personal but never confessional; she guarded her privacy and that of her three children and husband of nearly 70 years with the clear knowledge that though there was nothing to hide, there was plenty to protect. What her art, as affectionate as it was astringent, required—first and last—was form: for her, formal prosody was essential; it was enabling." Eleanor Wilner on Maxine Kumin
"Wieners’s poetic legacy since his death has remained somewhat marginal. His work has been positioned in social proximity to the beats, despite considerable aesthetic differences; and it remains adjunct in the legacy of The New American Poetry, perhaps due to his deviances and lack of work in print." Nat Raha • Critical Flame
"There’s no one like a poet for pure jealousy of another’s advantage." David Mason • Hudson Review
"Compulsory reverence, on the one hand, open contempt on the other: these two extremes combined to leave Mayakovsky’s legacy, as poet and man, radically underexplored." Clare Cavanagh • TLS
"Poetry provides a place to dwell. It is not a literary "selfie." It formalizes, and actually creates a certain kind of experience." J Todd Billings • Huffington Post
"The possibilities of space, whether in Gloucestershire or Somerset, in Tuscany or New Mexico, the perceiving eye’s (as against the “I”’s) relation to it, and that relationship as recorded by other arts and artists, continued to preoccupy Tomlinson in a way that placed him outside the Anglo-American mainstream, whether that was embodied by Lowell or Larkin. He became a standing (or moving) reproach to the insularity of the Movement, and Larkin in particular." Alan Jenkins • TLS
"Elsewhere, though, and often, Tóibín nails it. He demonstrates the possibility of coming to life in someone else’s poem, in the long labor of sorting through and returning to it like any important event in one’s life. (Here, too, he reminds me of Bishop.)" Jonathan Farmer • Slate
"Likewise the power of so many literary evocations of night which rely upon our understanding that after dark the familiar daytime landscape and objects are still there, ready to use in stories, paintings, songs, and poems; still there, ready to be seen in the mind’s eye; still there, yet transformed by moonlight, shadow, chill air, diminished sense of depth; still there, “arranging, deepening, enchanting night.”" Daniel Bosch • Fortnightly Review
"We drank and talked and read poems – this was new to me - and I read a translation of an old anonymous Irish one that was wild and like a prayer, and I read it well. ‘Anonymous, he’s the best,’ said Dermot. ‘Because he doesn’t give a fuck.’" Philip O Ceallaigh remembers Dermot Healy • Stinging Fly
"I still wonder what my father might have written had he more time to contemplate his fate." Mick Heaney • Irish Times
"The best gift that a poet can give his or her I is to allow it to be its own cool animal. An I that is a wild thing, a mercurial trickster that resists all definition." Dorothea Lasky • Wave Composition
"Hence [PJ] Kavanagh’s admiration for the different yet complementary work of fellow poets such as that of his American friend Peter Kane Dufault, who wrote what he called “nature poems for grownups,” and, despite their occasional, fierce disagreements, that of Peter Redgrove (with whom he once undertook a drunken road trip together in a borrowed car around the west of Ireland)." Michael Caines Guardian "In a sad coincidence recently, an email announcing this year’s Patrick Kavanagh weekend arrived at around the same time I learned about the death of the other Patrick Kavanagh, the English one better known as “P.J.”" Frank McNally Irish Times
"[A]s I began to consider the women whose poems I have most admired in the last half-century it seemed to me that concern with the intimate rather than the social made for a peculiar integrity; that if poetry these days was less windblown by the excitements of the public world it was possibly no bad thing. In lyric poetry, certainly – which has been the great strength of poetry in the last half-century – an exploration of the personal has the authority of lived experience." Elaine Feinstein • PN Review
"No, he could not and would not “cut down” his manuscript. As he says in “With the Approach of the Oak the Axeman Quakes,” “You know there is no other poet on earth like me.” He may have been bragging, but he was speaking an undeniable truth." John Bradley on Frank Stanford • Rain Taxi
"Gregerson’s syntax acts as a strong forward current, carving a jagged path through the stony resistance of her lines and stanzas. Her best-known poems are written in the form of “Salt”: a three-line helix-like stanza with a corseted middle line, a shape that she invented and which Gregerson, not given to hyperbole, says “saved my life.”" Dan Chiasson • New Yorker

"Connecting with nature, Wordsworth suggested in Lyrical Ballads, sometimes means being prepared to up and “quit your books”, romping through forest foliage rather than the “barren leaves” of the academy." Sam Solnick TLS
"It’s occurred to me that since William Carlos Williams was a doctor, he, of all people, would have known about any negative molecular consequences of plum refrigeration." Sadie Stein • Paris Review

"The dynamic noise of a poetry workshop, its communal imperative, does compel young poets to be clear rather than complex, to be social rather than desolate. But the best education in the poetic art must oscillate between the two — between the need to dream fiercely and the need to communicate." Thomas McCarthy Poetry
"The party slogan, “Great Humanity,” comes from a poem by Nâzım Hikmet, whom many consider the greatest twentieth-century Turkish poet, though he spent most of his career in prison or in exile because of his Marxist views." Elif Batuman • New Yorker

"John Betjeman said: “I hold Charles Tomlinson’s poetry in high regard. His is closely wrought work, not a word wasted … ” For the American objectivist poet George Oppen, “it is [Tomlinson] and Basil Bunting who have spoken most vividly to American poets”. Tomlinson bridged the vast gulf between old and new world poetry, and was an heir equally of Dryden and Williams, Coleridge and Pound." Michael Schmidt • Guardian

"Gerry Adams (pictured), as Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast, led a delegation of language activists to the Arts Council on April 22nd, 1986. They met the council’s director, Ken Jamison, and the then traditional arts officer, Ciaran Carson. Mr Carson is now professor of poetry at Queen’s University Belfast." Irish Times
"I quickly began to recognise that Octavio [Paz] was a master with a vision of and for humanity and poetry that was as passionate as it was intelligent." Richard Berengarten Fortnightly Review
"A difficulty of poetic translation in our time has been the tendency to translate the poem, but to make little comparable effort to translate the poet." Eavan Boland Irish Times

"At the time, few women in Japan wrote poetry, and those who did typically used traditional forms to address domestic concerns. Sagawa sounded different: she wrote in free verse, not tanka or haiku, and her images were shockingly new." Adrienne Raphael • New Yorker

"'It’s a bit of a shock to find, all of a sudden, that I am driving Yeats!’" Avies Platt LRB
"One trouble with that old dispute in Australian poetry between the country and the city is that it misses this conscious largeness in [Philip] Hodgins’ work. As Roy Fisher put it in his poem ‘Six Texts for a Film 1. Talking to Cameras’: 'There’s no shame / in letting the world pivot / on your own patch. That’s all a centre’s for. / Anything else is politics …'" Lisa Gorton Sydney Review of Books
"[O]ne of the most demoralizing aspects of these changes is how [Ken] Babstock’s poetry has crossed into that area of initiates, best understood by those who claim to understand it. And as astonishing as it is to willingly transform oneself, in the span of five books, from an addictive substance into an acquired taste, On Malice may present even Babstock’s most ardent decoders with the chore of acquiring that taste anew." Carmine Starnino Maisonneuve "Rather than having liberated his work from its early rootedness in persona, Babstock has simply shifted the frieght of persona to the paratext. Whereas the most striking line in the Acknowledgments section of Mean offers “Deep thanks to everyone at The Banff Centre for the Arts—not least of all, the bartender with the Uncle Tupelo and Wilco albums,” its relative equivalent in On Malice tells us that “Fredric Jameson’s Valences of the Dialectic broke a silence, or opened on to one.” In the conceptual and rhetorical space between these two sentences of acknowledgement can be charted Babstock’s aesthetic journey thus far in all its dazzling ambition. In less than two decades he has not only irrevocably altered our poetic climate but briskly evolved multiple new ecosystems in which his fellow songsters can work and flourish. In the wake of On Malice, I think we should prepare ourselves for a raft of source-text experiments and procedural treatises. Because as Canadian poets, it’s Babstock’s planet we’re walking on." Stewart Cole Partisan "The effect of reading the book is akin to perusing mined data and trying to assemble sense from it." Jason Wiens Quill & Quire
"“The Third Hour of the Night” remains the apex of the series and indeed possibly of Bidart’s career." Christopher Adamson Boston Review
"The technical accomplishment is almost the least significant point of the collection. When it is done so well, it, like the ghosts that haunt many of the poems, is literally invisible." Stuart Kelly The Scotsman
"The acronyms make it clear that the AWP lives in a world of categories and abstractions. No mention of talent or imagination, development and growth. The political objective is – not to give offence." Michael Schmidt PN Review
"Part of the tradition of patriotism that I respect is one that I find in all the American writers that I admire." Robert Pinsky Irish Times

"With a confessional poet, it is the honesty that counts. With Cole, it seems, the confession is a seed that can and must be buried before it can bear fruit." Sean Hewitt on Henri Cole Prac Crit
"Where the poem isn’t a statement, it’s a questioning. The thing with the Beats was that it was a confessional thing. And the same with Lowell. But the thing about Ashbery was that he was completely outside of it, creating this world which the reader is invited to enter, and play with, and think about. So the emphasis isn’t on the personality of the writer – even though, no matter what John says, it is personal. There is personal stuff there, but it’s well wrapped-up. With a poem like ‘How Much Longer Will I Be Able to Inhabit the Divine Sepulchre…’, what he’s talking about is how much you dare expose yourself, your real feelings, to other people." Lee Harwood PN Review
"The institutions meant to uphold NZ literature are drooping on their piles. In some cases they have collapsed altogether. In a brave recent commentary piece called ‘Abandon Normal Instruments: A Call for Change in New Zealand Literary Arts’, Kirsten McDougall calls our ‘stagnating’ literary culture ‘a worn discarded toy that many people have forgotten how to play with.’ Here are some of the casualties: the New Zealand Book Awards and the BNZ Literary Awards have both recently lost their sponsorship. The Book Awards scheduled for 2015 did not take place at all. The prestigious Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship is fighting to secure funding, and its stipend has been cut. The future of the Berlin Writers’ Residency is under review. The National Schools Writing Festival, for promising high-school age writers, is on hiatus. Creative New Zealand writing grants have declined from what they were ten years ago by almost half." Joan Fleming Cordite
"Where on one’s naked body is there room for art, for artifice? And hadn’t poets been taking their clothes off, in some sense, for centuries before confessionalism? Like the Whitmans and the Wheatleys, and others so radical in their nakedness, we don’t remember their names? Not to mention religious poets like Herbert, Donne, Bradstreet—who were literally using the space of their poems to “confess” in the full glory of the word." Jake Orbison • Paris Review

"‘S’il vous plait,’ I said meekly, ‘parlez-vous anglais?’" August Kleinzahler • LRB

"While being an example of it, Underwood is a valuable observer of this phenomenon. It often manifests itself as a performance of selfhood; for example, in its fearful, guilty anticipation." Sean O'Brien Guardian
"Claudine Toutoungi’s ‘Cats Breakfasting’ is a beautifully lucid and subtle response to this inner structure of Craxton’s work, a poem that both sends the reader to the painting with opened eyes, and is totally of itself, needing no supporting illustration – ‘held with an internal and external pressure’." Judith Willson • New Poetries

"We at Enitharmon are all deeply saddened to hear of the death of Lee Harwood on Sunday 26th July. Not only a highly gifted and skilled poet, but a man of immense kindness and thoughtfulness." Enitharmon

"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

New poems

Vahni Capildeo Prac Crit

Jennifer Moore Memorious

Sam Buchan-Watts Likestarlings

Crispin Best Queen Mob's Teahouse

Martyn Crucefix Blackbox Manifold

James Schuyler Paris Review

Dylan Thomas PN Review

Crispin Best Robot Melon

Tom Pickard The Nation

Adam Fitzgerald New Republic

Jaswinder Bolina At Length

Olga Pek B O D Y

Paul Muldoon The Nation

Esther Lin Cortland Review

Lawrence Joseph The Nation

Daisy Lafarge Poetry London

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

Paul Muldoon New Yorker

Natalie Eilbert New Yorker

Ted Hughes Spectator

Don Paterson Guardian

Monica Youn Paris Review

April Pierce Wave Composition

John Ashbery PN Review

David Wheatley Tower Poetry

Charles Tomlinson Hudson Review

Ellen Cranitch Poetry Wales

Kim Addonizio Threepenny Review

Vincenz Serrano High Chair

Medbh McGuckian Gallery

Alan Shapiro At Length

Margaret Atwood Poetry Ireland Review / Irish Times

Kay Ryan Threepenny Review

Melissa Lee-Houghton No Falling Ribbons

Alan Gillis Poetry

Kay Ryan VQR

Paul Farley Guardian

Les Murray Guardian

Ken Babstock Coach House

Jacqueline Waters Chicago Review

Edward Doegar Poetry Ireland Review

Henri Cole PracCrit

Luke Kennard Stride

Nausheen Eusuf PN 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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