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poet ● novelist ● arts collaborator ● teacher


Part of the Main – Cardiff launch – SUNDAY 2nd DECEMBER

First chance to hear this timely thinking-in-poetry by Philip Gross and Lesley Saunders.

The event is held in association with Space4U, a volunteer led charity in Cardiff, supporting people who are seeking asylum or are refugees, providing clothing, recreational activities, English classes, a simple hot meal, food for the destitute, help and information.

Click on the image for a clearer view

A Part of the Main – a collaboration between Philip Gross and Lesley Saunders – coming soon

FORTHCOMING -  1st November 2018

Poetry responding to a crisis…

Extracts from emails, during the political upheavals of 2016–17:

..... ‘The events of recent months have left me stunned, shocked and bewildered; underneath the rage and disappointment I think I’m heartbroken. I feel the need to remake, reconceive, re-vision, the idea of who ‘we’ are. And to do that with a sense of some kind of community, needing imagination and a commitment to thinking-feeling more generously than presently seems possible, perhaps.’ (Lesley to Philip)
..... ‘I’ve watched my friends, and myself, going through all the classic stages of mourning – anger, denial, bargaining, depression, relative acceptance – in overlapping waves. The thing is to notice what we feel is being taken from us and set about rebuilding it. My instinct is for a conversation where the utterances are quick and open-ended, with quiet spaces for reflection in between. Nothing must aim to be the final word.’ (Philip to Lesley)

Poetry in conversation
A Part of the Main grew from that exchange. Over three or four months in vivid, exploratory verses shuttled back and forth. Trusting to the improvisatory flow, the sequence moves in swerves and echoes, far beyond the immediate occasion into themes of migration, exile, loss of love or home or language. In a time of soundbites and binary rhetoric, it gives the pressing questions about individual and national identity more breathing-space, more heart- and head-room. In the words of a reviewer, ‘this poetic voyage feels irresistible, urgent and unrelenting in the best sense.’

A three-way collaboration
The book is designed by artist Valerie Coffin Price, whose own work explores all kinds of connection between people, landscape and ideas. In addition to the standard book, a limited edition of 50 is being made available by pre-publication subscription – this will contain additional material by the artist and the poets in loose-leaf form.

For more information, interviews and possible performances, contact Lesley or Philip.
Lesley Saunders                              Philip Gross  

For more details about the book, the subscription edition, or to request a review copy, please contact Leona Medlin, Mulfran Press.
Leona Medlin  

Dark Sky Park – just published, and reviewed


Brand new collection of poems for children and adults alike, with one foot in real science, one in wild imagination – my words doing a dance with Jesse Hodgson's deft and vivid illustrations

- published by Otter-Barry Books, 2018:

And here's Jill Bennett's wholehearted adventurous plunge into all its heights and depths

... and Alison Kelly's generous thoughtful review from the Schoolzone section of

... and Kate Wakeling, in the Winter 2018 issue of Carousel. "The poems in this dazzling new collection from Philip Gross are rare, distinct and mesmerising as the the creatures and landscapes he explores here. By turns witty and elegiac, his poems gaze in fierce wonder at the worlds of snow leopards, tardigrades and glacial worms, while also starkly challenging humankind’s cruelty and greed. … This is an imaginative, urgent and beautifully crafted collection." 



The Power of Reading

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education's Power of Reading training programme has supported thousands of schools in raising engagement and attainment in reading and writing for all pupils. This website has teaching sequences for over 200 children's books for all year groups in the primary phase as well as more than 1000 practice examples.

I'm delighted that Dark Sky Park will be one of the scheme's recommended texts for 2018-19, and that I'll be speaking at reading at the introductory session at CLPE on Wednesday 10th October.



Introducing Shadowplay, a collaboration with Australian poet and artist Jenny Pollak, published in the handsome (and subtly varied) livery of Flarestack Poets.

Mark Tredinnick writes: 'Philip Gross is one of our poetic elders, and so he writes here - his stanzas taut and gentle, inventive and provocative koans, Jenny Pollak, a brilliant sculptor, is a lyric and plainspoken contemplative...'

And Jeremy Hooker: 'The exploratory work they create... makes a hospitable 'place' into which the reader enters, not as an eavesdropper, but almost as a third collaborator, sharing the surprise and delight of the conversation.'

£6 from Flarestack - contact

For more about collaboration, go to and


Aldeburgh: National Poetry Competition winners across 40 years

No, prizes aren't the be-all-and-end-all of poetry life – for some they might even be a distraction. But there's no denying that this one has been a significant skyline in the landscape all my writing life, so there's a pleasure in standing on that distant skyline, waving to three fine much more recent winners, Dom Bury, Yvonne Reddick, and Liz Berry as we share a stage at Aldeburgh.

Saturday 3 November 2018, 1:00 pm2:00 pm


Translating Silence


In ‘silencesilencesilencesilencesilence' – a digital pamphlet on Estonian poetry, produced with support from @LitBritish.  

Read online for free, including a short essay on the different languages of silence, with poems by great Estonian writers Juhan Viiding, Jaan Kaplinski and Doris Kareva and one of my own - ... with a very warm memory of conversations with Doris, Kätlin Kaldmaa and many others at EstLitFest, the Estonian Literature Festival, in London this Spring.


Conversations between Words and Silence (Milton Keynes)

Thanks to my hosts in Milton Keynes and the whole audience who brought their reflections, questions and recollections to make a richly-textured evening of words – with, yes, some thoughful silence in it too.

Ten Poems About Rivers

A handsome and gift-able multi-angled tribute to the shape-shifting of rivers, poems by Eavan Boland, Kayo Chingonyi, Ian Duhig, Philip Gross, Kathleen Jamie, Zaffar Kunial, Beth McDonough, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Pascale Petit and Julian Turner - edited by Ian Duhig, published by the Candlestick Press. Cover illustration by Ian Phillips. £4.95... which sends a donation to The Rivers Trust.


Poetry School with Philip Gross in Hereford

Poetry School seminars are intimate workshops led by some of our best working poets. These groups have helped many writers around the UK become part of their local poetry communities and to develop their work through long-term guidance. In these seminars, a small group of participants meet on a monthly basis to workshop poems-in-progress, discuss contemporary poetry and develop new skills and confidence in their writing, all under the direction and guidance of a published tutor.

This  group will meet at The Courtyard in Hereford on (generally) the first Tuesday of the month, from October 2018 to May 2019. This will be a small and supportive group, with a maximum of 8 students, and will be led by the award-winning poet Philip Gross. Places for the year cost £240 full price, with concessions available for those over 60 or in receipt of state benefits.

This seminar is full and has now started, but keep in touch with the Poetry School to catch new groups, in various parts of the coutry, as they begin.