Challenging and tender, these poems are a rite of passage. Philip Gross's much praised previous collection, Deep Field, explored the loosening connections between the self and language in his refugee father's old age.
This new book goes further, through the failing of the body, through the mind's weakening hold on the borderline between the present and the traumas of the past. It follows the journey to the end… then beyond, to the tentative byways through which mourning moves. With an instinct for form that both controls and releases depths of feeling, Philip Gross writes poetry that proves it can be trusted with the most raw yet essential things of life.
'Later is a magnificent extended elegy, formally adventurous, poised between narrative and metaphysics, themes and variation' – Carol Rumens, Poetry Review.
'This is a collection which consistently grips, involves and challenges; it confirms Philip Gross as one of our most consistently interesting and skilful poets' – Tony Brown, New Welsh Review on Later.
'Now in his sixties...he is working at quite a throttle and with a full-throated clarity that sounds, suddenly, like no one else around' – Conor O'Callaghan, Poetry London.
'A powerful and tender successor to the T.S. Eliot prize-winning The Water Table… The writing is sinewy, urgent and resourceful. This poet is a master of form, deploying his visual and aural patterns for emphasis, as if the page were a musical score… The collection evokes an essence of what it is to be human, the sense of both wonder and estrangement, our place within science, the sheer oddness of who we are. Deep Field is as strong in celebration as in lamentation. With language as its theme, it soars linguistically.' - Michael Symmons Roberts & Moniza Alvi, PBS Bulletin, on Deep Field
‘This book speaks directly to the heart of Lapidus concerns with how language can convey, transcend and re-enchant human experience. Philip Gross has not only honoured his father but created something of great beauty and wonder out from those final wordless years' – Victoria Field, Lapidus Journal on Deep Field.
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).