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Between the Islands | Bloodaxe Books
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Philip Gross

Between the Islands

Philip Gross

Publication Date : 10 Mar 2020

ISBN: 9781780375069

Pages: 65
Size :216 x 138mm
Rights: World

The two searching sequences that bookend this collection are not so much elegies as unfinished conversations with friends no longer living – friendships lost or neglected, with their closeness and distances sensitively mapped. This is Philip Gross’s writing at its most hospitable, lit up by a sense of personal address, both tactful and deeply engaged. The sea that is always in sight, between us and beyond us, is more than a metaphor. It is another conversation – with the real sea of this planet, used and abused and in need of our care.

Between the Islands is Philip Gross’s 26th book of poetry, and his 11th from Bloodaxe.

'In this, his 26th poetry collection, Philip Gross insists that water, his much-favoured topic, is not merely the stuff ‘Between the Islands’ but is the thing on which survival depends…. This is an important collection; heed its plea.’ – Dawn Gorman, Caduceus

'Moving from island to island, continent to continent, Between the Islands is concerned with memories, with resonances throughout time, but also with emergent dangers; ecological fears and the rising islands of refuse accumulating in our oceans.' - Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Spring 2020

'The two sites of metaphysics - the edge of the self, and the edge of the sensory world - converge in the final sequence of the book, which is also the title poem.' - Seán Hewitt, Poetry Ireland Review [on Between the Islands]

'Gross is fascinated by the lack of clear boundaries between the individual being and the forces of nature and society that surround and constitute it. There are glimpses of an almost mystical communion with nature, reminiscent of Wordsworth and Coleridge, though in Gross such moments are hard won, precarious and tentative... Gross’s many-layered poems create complex internal circuits for meditation.' - Edmund Prestwich, Acumen [on Between the Islands]

'The interplay and tension of the tactile and spiritual makes this such an enlightening and rewarding collection, drawing you in with something familiar only to heighten the experience with unacquainted thoughts.' - Glen Wilson, The High Window  [on Between the Islands]

'...this is at root a meditative collection, haunted and haunting. It often sounds edgily relevant and contemporary - the Somerset Levels, “chafed by long drainage”, waiting “for the sea to return, to be healed”. - Sheenagh Pugh [on Between the Islands]

'This collection finds the poet at his most socially astute and, coupled with his startlingly good portrayals of the natural world, is both sublime and challenging reading. Highly recommended.' - Keith Hutson, Poetry Salzburg Review [on Between the Islands]

‘At the heart of all of Gross's collections has been his deep enquiry into and fascination with the nature of embodiment and existence – what water is and does in The Water Table, the role of language, and speech especially, in identity and the self in Deep Field and Later. Now in Love Songs of Carbon Gross tests and feels his amazed way through the mysteries of the multiple manifestations of love and ageing... Such exactitude of feeling and image is typical of all Gross's work, and no less inventively in this new collection. Characteristic too is his focused, sustained approach across the whole book: Love Songs of Carbon asks to be read as a song-book, to use the terms of its presentation, curated for the reader to turn and return to. From poem to poem, pace and metrics quicken and still and quicken again as the book progresses.’ – John Burnside & Jane Draycott, PBS Bulletin

 

Philip Gross reads from The Water Table

Philip Gross reads two poems from his T.S. Eliot Prize-winning collection The Water Table, 'Sluice Angel' and 'Atlantis World'. This is an extract from a longer film by Pamela Robertson-Pearce of Philip Gross reading his work included in the DVD-anthology, In Person: World Poets (Bloodaxe Books, 2017). He was filmed at home in Penarth, South Wales, in July 2009.

 

Philip Gross reads from The Wasting Game

Philip Gross reads his sequence The Wasting Game, his fatherly response to his daughter’s anorexia. Another poem from the same book, ‘Imago’, is included at the end, acting as a kind of postscript. Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed him reading his poems in July 2009 at his home in Penarth. This part of that film session is included in the DVD-anthology, In Person: World Poets (Bloodaxe Books, 2017). First published in 1998, The Wasting Game is included in Philip Gross’s Changes of Address: Poems 1980-1998 (Bloodaxe Books, 2001).

 

USA: Click here to order from Indiebound or Bookshop.org

  

BOOKS BY Philip Gross

A Bright Acoustic

Philip Gross

A Bright Acoustic

Publication Date : 22 Jun 2017

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Changes of Address

Philip Gross

Changes of Address

Poems 1980-1998

Publication Date : 27 Jan 2001

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Deep Field

Philip Gross

Deep Field

Publication Date : 24 Nov 2011

Read More   amazon.co.uk
Later

Philip Gross

Later

Publication Date : 26 Sep 2013

Read More   amazon.co.uk

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Philip Gross Readings

Philip Gross Readings

Philip Gross reading with Heidi Williamson & Jane Clarke at the Stay at Home Festival on 7 May 2021 is now on YouTube; seven poems from Between the Islands on film at ...

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News & Publicity


Heather Phillipson & Philip Gross on Radio 3

Heather Phillipson & Philip Gross on Radio 3

Heather Phillipson & Philip Gross were guests on Radio 3's The Verb, 5 July 2019. Philip Gross's Between the Islands published March 2020.

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