Philip Gross

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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 (now the University of South Wales), 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),[1] a Gregory Award (1981) and the National Poetry Competition (1982).

He is a judge for the 2014 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine.


In 2009 Cinnamon Press published poetry by Philip Gross with photographs by Simon Denison, I Spy Pinhole Eye.[2] The collection was awarded the Wales Book of the Year prize on 30 June 2010.[3] On 18 January 2010, Philip was announced as the 2009 winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize for his collection of poems, The Water Table.[1]

His other poetry collections include The Ice Factory, Cat's Whisker, The Son of the Duke of Nowhere, I.D., The Wasting Game - all collected in Changes of Address: Poems 1980-98, published by Bloodaxe Books, as are Mappa Mundi and The Egg of Zero.

He has published ten novels for young people, including Going For Stone, The Lastling and The Storm Garden (Oxford University Press). He has also written plays, work for radio, a children's opera and collaborated with musicians, painters, dancers and other writers. He also wrote "Plex", a children's horror short story as part of the Point Horror series.



Poetry collections[edit]

  • 2013: Later
  • 2011: Deep Field
  • 2010: Off Road to Everywhere (Salt)
  • 2009: The Water Table (Bloodaxe)[7]
  • 2009: I Spy Pinhole Eye (with photographs by Simon Denison) (Cinnamon Press)
  • 2006: The Abstract Garden. Poetry collaboration with engraver Peter Reddick (The Old Stile Press)
  • 2006: The Egg of Zero(Bloodaxe)
  • 2003: Mappa Mundi (Bloodaxe)
  • 2001: Changes of Address: Poems 1980–1998 (Bloodaxe)
  • 1998: The Wasting Game (Bloodaxe)

Novels for young people[edit]

  • 2006: The Storm Garden (Oxford University Press)
  • 2003: The Lastling (Oxford University Press)
  • 2002: Going For Stone (Oxford University Press)
  • 1998: Psylicon Beach (Scholastic)
  • 1991: The Song of Gail and Fludd (Faber)


  1. ^ a b Brown, Mark (18 January 2010). "Colossus of odes: Philip Gross wins TS Eliot poetry prize for The Water Table". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  2. ^ I Spy Pinhole Eye
  3. ^ BBC
  4. ^ News Glamorgan
  5. ^ NPC Poetry Society
  6. ^ Society of Authors
  7. ^ The Water Table