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Philip Gross Biography

(1952– ), Familiars, The Ice Factory, Cat's Whisker, The Son of the Duke of Nowhere

poetry air ice

British poet, born in Cornwall, educated at the University of Sussex, subsequently training as a librarian. Gross's work first attracted wide notice when his poem ‘The Ice Factory’ won the Poetry Society's National Poetry Competition in 1982. His first collection, Familiars (1983), was followed by other volumes including The Ice Factory (1984), Cat's Whisker (1987), The Son of the Duke of Nowhere (1991), and I.D. (1994). Gross's poetry has an air of accessibility produced by its wealth of precise detail; the social and domestic incidents supporting many of his narratives provide events and images embodying the unsettling intuitions often developed in the course of his poems. His unobtrusive use of intricate schemes of rhyme and metre and a firm technical control is evident in all his writing. He collaborated with Sylvia Kantaris to produce The Air Mines of Mistila (1988, illustrated by Kim Lewis), a poetic fantasy which may be read as a parable of Western civilization's destructive greed for valuable natural resources.

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