Biography of Philip Gross
Philip Gross (born 1952) is a poet, novelist, playwright and academic, based in Britain.
Philip Gross was born in 1952 in Britain, at Delabole, in north Cornwall, near the sea. He was the only child of Juhan Gross, an Estonian wartime refugee, and the daughter of the local village school-master. He grew up and was educated in Plymouth. In junior school he began writing stories, and when in his teens he began writing poetry. He went on to study at Sussex University, where he took his B.A. in English. He worked for a correspondence college and in several libraries (he has a diploma in librarianship).
In the 1980s he married his first wife, Helen. He and she had a son and a daughter. While they were living in Bristol he had his first books published. He began travelling around schools in Britain as a workshop leader. Later he joined Bath Spa University to teach Creative Studies. In 2000 he married his second wife, Zélie. In 2004 he was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan, a position he still holds. In 2007 he received his D. Litt. from the university. He lives at Penarth, near the sea. He is a Quaker (member of the Society of Friends).
He won the T.S. Eliot Prize for his collection of poems, The Water Table (2009), a Gregory Award (1981) and the National Poetry Competition (1982).
He is a judge for the 2014 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine.
Philip Gross Poems
The Key to the Kingdom
It's not exile, homes and families behind us, where we meet. It happens anywhere, now: a stateless state of no name, quietly seceding
One flash and no looking back, that moment, soundless, through the plate-glass frontage
Flat earth: how could they have thought it? Where did they imagine that the sail
Sunup in the financial quarter, sheer mirrorglass empires lit each by each other's light
Home, after too long in hospital, your each step hesitant
No Peace in Your Deafness
just clangorous muting. Then, by degrees: ‘an expressive aphasia,' say the doctor's notes. Too true.
The Boat Made of Poems
sings and hums and talks and whispers to itself. It never sleeps. It groans, it shudders to the rhythm of the waves.
The count of cappuccino, the marquise of meringue, all the little cantuccini...
The count of cappuccino,
the marquise of meringue,
all the little cantuccini...
and what was the song they sang?
Oh, the best of us is nothing
but a sweetening of the air,
a tryst between the teeth and tongue:
we meet and no one's there