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OUR

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PHILIP GROSS


Born in Cornwall, Philip Gross, the son of an Estonian wartime refugee, has lived in South Wales since 2004. The Water Table won the T.S.Eliot Prize 2009, and Love Songs of Carbon the Roland Mathias Award (Wales Book of The Year) 2016, and he received a Cholmondeley Award in 2017. He is a keen collaborator – e.g. with artist Valerie Coffin Price on A Fold In The River (Seren, 2015), with poet Lesley Saunders on A Part of the Main (Mulfran, 2018) and with scientists on Dark Sky Park (Otter-Barry, 2018). He has published some twenty collections of poetry, most recently, Between The Islands (Bloodaxe, 2022) and Troeon/Turnings (Seren, 2021) a 'translaboration' – mutual translations/responses – with Welsh language poet Cyril Jones. A new Bloodaxe collection, The Thirteenth Angel, is due in 2022.    www.philipgross.co.uk

"We humans are a social species... and that's politics, there from the start. If ecopoetry is poetry alert to our relationships with the non-human world around us, then political poetry has one eye on the human environment. And yes, that distinction too can get blurred. The 50-year-old slogan that 'the personal is political' has never echoed louder than in this time. What goes on in the privacy of one's own house, or one's own head, might be a pointer to deep currents flowing through society around us. Don't think for a moment that your poem has to be to do with party politics, or with taking a partisan stance. We need opinions in this world, but they’re rarely the deepest and most human part of us. What poetry can do is to widen our experience, open up unfamiliar perspectives, so we can think afresh. And you may disagree with everything I've just said, and make a fine poem from that argument. I would welcome that too. Let the conversation start."

Philip Gross