In his nineties Philip Gross’s father, a wartime refugee, began to lose his several languages, first to deafness, then profound aphasia. These poems reach into that gulf to find him – through the recovery of histories both spoken and unspoken, as well as an excavation of the spoken word itself.
“A book of great clarity and concentration... this is a mature and determined book, dream-like in places, but dealing ultimately with real questions of human existence.”
– Simon Armitage, T.S. Eliot Prize judges’ comment on The Water Table
“Haunting, vividly imagined poems, whose fierce intelligence is gentled by the sonorous grace of the language… A considerable poetic talent offers us an elegant and subtle re-evaluation of the modern world.”
– Sarah Crown, The Guardian
"Great poetry is like walking on water. In this paradoxical, humane collection, Philip Gross achieves that miracle."
Polly Clark, The Guardian
"Philip Gross knows how to make silence and suggestion resonate… he touches an alien, intractable dimension… Gross’s poems are about lost bearings and blurred frontiers."
Terry Eagleton, The Independent on Sunday
"Some of the poems are marvellous, not because they are brave about their subject, not even because of the technique on display, but because they are electrifyingly well observed and beautifully written."
David Morley, Poetry Review
"This marvellous collection… The poems are destabilising but revelatory visions of the world… The tensions between his close attention to qualities and the wit and bravura with which he interprets them is held by the scope of his linguistic resources and technique… I repeat: buy and view the world anew! – astonished!"
Judy Gahagan, Ambit
Philip Gross is Professor of Creative Writing at Glamorgan University. He has published seven books with Bloodaxe, including The Water Table (2009), The Egg of Zero (2006), Mappa Mundi (2003) and Changes of Address: Poems 1980-1998 (2001). He is also the author of ten highly-praised novels for young people. His book I Spy Pinhole Eye (Cinnamon Press, 2009), a collaborative work with photographer Simon Denison, won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2010. Born in Cornwall, he lived in Bristol and Bath for many years, and now lives in Penarth in South Wales.