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poet ● novelist ● arts collaborator ● teacher


Three Bloodaxe poets on the language of grief

Friday 7th May at 6 pm

The Stay At Home Literary Festival brings together Philip Gross, Jane Clarke and Heidi Williamson, whose recent poetry collections span Scotland, Ireland, England and Estonia. Each shares a powerful sense of their formative landscapes; whether farmland, forest, mountains, estuaries, rivers or beyond. In poems that consider the impact of loss – of friends and friendships, parents, or a communal event of the most traumatic kind – these collections foster sympathy and strength. The poets will read from their own work, and also from each other’s, creating a unique conversation about memory and resonance in the landscape. 

Join them on Zoom -

Troeon:Turnings launch event @ Cardiff Poetry Festival

Saturday April 17        12:30-1:30

TROEON : TURNINGS: Philip Gross, Valerie Coffin Price, Cyril Jones

Film poems and live poetry readings in Welsh and English, artwork on screen.

Based on the new book: Troeon : Turnings is a creative conversation, in Welsh and English, between two renowned poets, Philip Gross and Cyril Jones interwoven with cover and text designs by fine artist Valerie Coffin Price. Various rivers run through this work: amongst them, in Gross’s case, the Taff and the Severn in south Wales, and in Jones’s the Arth and the Glasffrwd in west Wales. Authors and artist in discussion and we present both live reading, images and short films based on the work.

Free but ticketed.

Book now :

BRAND NEW: ‘Troeon : Turnings’ – a conversation between Welsh and English


Philip Gross,
Cyril Jones,
Valerie Coffin Price

Publication Date:  Thursday, March 18, 2021


To turn, to dig, to plough, to upset, to translate… Bend, lap, journey, time... The Welsh word troeon unfolds meaning after meaning.

In TROEON : TURNINGS, two poets confident in their own traditions meet in the hinterland between translation and collaboration - Cyril Jones from the disciplines of Welsh cynghanedd, Philip Gross from the restless variety of English verse.

In the same spirit, Valerie Coffin Price plays an equal part with striking letterpress designs that surprise the language of both writers into new awareness of its possibilities.

ISBN:  9781781726068

A Monument in Vaikus

My thanks to the quiet thoughtful online space of One Hand Clapping journal for a chance to share this encounter with the history of Estonia, and of part of my family – from a collection-to-be of poems and prose poems dealing with the spirit of Estonia and, in particular, of vaikus, one of several Estonian words for silence.

Philip Gross and Heidi Williamson at Café Writers (Norwich) 14.09.20


Twitter posting for Heidi Williamson / Philip Gross event

Twitter review of 'tender, clear poems of landscape, rivers, sea and the connections and gaps between us


Voices of the Earth 2020 online

Voices of the Earth has been an annual art and poetry course, encouraging serious creative play and cross-fertilisation of art forms underpinned by an awareness of the complexity of life on Earth.

Like other centres and facilities, the Woodbrooke Quaker study centre in Birmingham can't be open for onsite events. But we are keeping the culture of the course, and of the place, alive by taking Voices of the Earth online.

Instead of a week-long residential, 2020's Voices of the Earth was an interactive course spread flexibly over six weeks, using  Moodle site as the equivalent of Woodbrooke's lovely art room, with forums and “creative exchange rooms”. 42 participants joined us this time - far more than possible on-site, did some extraordinary work and helped us learn a lot about online ways of working.

Watch out for the 2021 manifestation of the course, online – coming soon.

Tutors: Philip Gross is a poet, prose writer, and until 2017, Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Wales. Zélie Gross is a Quaker writer and editor, with a background in making and teaching of visual arts. For both, collaboration is a source of fresh work and delight.

Between The Islands

Great plans were afoot for readings from the new collection in Cardiff, Bristol, Brecon, Malvern, London, Chichester, the Wirral and the West of Cornwall.  ... but the coronavirus crisis intervened. When the crisis has passed, I'll be keen to bring readings to somewhere near you, and in the meantime, to explore the ways of sharing work online.

In the meantime, do consider buying the book, preferably from your nearest independent bookshop or the publisher, to read in the weeks of social distancing and isolations. The poems think a good deal about closeness and distance.

Poets reading for the planet – Sat. 8th Feb.

Congratulations to the gently assiduous organisers of the all-day Poets for the Planet event in London on Saturday 8th February - raising money, in my case, for Earthwatch, a charity that 'works with people worldwide through scientific research, to inspire, educate and engage them in conservation and creating a global community of informed, impassioned people to take action to protect the environment’ -

My part in it was a 10-minute slot among many other voices as well as two drop-in micro-workshops - writing together in the spirit of Japanese renga. My thanks to everyone who dobbed in a bit to the JustGiving fundraising page.


Goodbye to 2019…

... for the year’s end in unsettled and unsettling times.


A Part of the Main , 2019

It’s hard to know how poetry can play a part in times of anger and loud discord, when anything less than shouting seems too quiet to be heard. In readings from our collaboration, A Part of the Main. Lesley Saunders and I have tried to offer deep perspective for questions about individual and national identity, themes of migration, loss of love or home or language, and a kind of listening that goes beyond the either/or.    Our thanks to our publisher, Mulfran Press, and to kind hosts and thoughtful audiences in Cardiff, London, Oxford, Reading, Shrewsbury, Tunbridge Wells, Bath, Bradford on Avon and others to come.     Ellen Bell writes in Poetry Wales: With its plea for unity… for emotional ad linguistic empathy… for the recognition of a ‘motherline’ that speaks of us all originating from the same source, A Part of the Main, resolutely alive with flint-sparking metaphor, and not least by its claim ‘that our birthright was not to be great but be kind’, is a clarion voice in a din of obfuscation.

A Part of the Main, by Philip Gross and Lesley Saunders, cover art & book design by Valerie Coffin Price (Cardiff: Mulfran Press 2018)   978-1-907327-31-5       £14 from    For readings, mail us through the Contact page on this site: