The Thirteenth Angel


Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
Bloodaxe Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.4 X 0.4 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author

Born in Cornwall, son of an Estonian wartime refugee, Philip Gross has lived in Plymouth, Bristol and South Wales, where he was Professor of Creative Writing at Glamorgan University (USW). His 27th collection, The Thirteenth Angel (2022), is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and is shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2022. It follows eleven previous books with Bloodaxe, including Between the Islands (2020), A Bright Acoustic (2017), Love Songs of Carbon (2015), winner of the Roland Mathias Poetry Award and a Poetry Book Society Recommendation; Deep Field (2011), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation; The Water Table (2009), winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009; and Changes of Address: Poems 1980-1998 (2001), his selection from earlier books including The Ice Factory, Cat's Whisker, The Son of the Duke of Nowhere, I.D. and The Wasting Game. Since The Air Mines of Mistila (with Sylvia Kantaris, Bloodaxe Books, 1988), he has been a keen collaborator, most recently with artist Valerie Coffin Price on A Fold in the River (2015), with poet Lesley Saunders on A Part of the Main (2018), and with Welsh-language bardd Cyril Jones on Troeon/Turnings (2021). I Spy Pinhole Eye (Cinnamon Press, 2009), with photographer Simon Denison, won the Wales Book of the Year Award 2010. He received a Cholmondeley Award in 2017. Philip Gross's poetry for young people includes Manifold Manor, The All-Nite Café (winner of the Signal Award 1994), Off Road to Everywhere (winner of the CLPE Award 2011) and the poetry-science collection Dark Sky Park (shortlisted for the CLiPPA award 2019).


'Gross presents us hurtling forwards, across the circuit board of the modern city, but making the same old mistakes. What we need is perspective, an opportunity to gain some objectivity, and The Thirteenth Angel offers us this divine intervention [of angels] and the opportunity to step outside of ourselves and to view the world from a fresh angle.' - John Field, T. S. Eliot Prize reviewer

'Mastery is what you would wish for in a 27th collection and it is what you find in Philip Gross's The Thirteenth Angel, shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize...His easy, fluent ways with form contrast with his conflicted subject matter. He has a questing eye and now, more than ever, writes to make sense of the world in its inexplicable multiplicity.' - Kate Kellaway, The Observer (Poetry book of the month)

'Philip Gross's The Thirteenth Angel is a book with its finger firmly on the pulse of the sounds of the contemporary world... Gross uses language which is precise and sharp one moment and then veers into a familiar colloquial style the next, which makes him intensely readable.' - Mona Arshi, PBS Selector, Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Winter 2022

'At the heart of all of Gross's collections has been his deep enquiry into and fascination with the nature of embodiment and existence - what water is and does in The Water Table, the role of language, and speech especially, in identity and the self in Deep Field and Later. Now in Love Songs of Carbon Gross tests and feels his amazed way through the mysteries of the multiple manifestations of love and ageing... Such exactitude of feeling and image is typical of all Gross's work, and no less inventively in this new collection. Characteristic too is his focused, sustained approach across the whole book: Love Songs of Carbon asks to be read as a song-book, to use the terms of its presentation, curated for the reader to turn and return to. From poem to poem, pace and metrics quicken and still and quicken again as the book progresses.' -- John Burnside & Jane Draycott, PBS Bulletin

'What I love about this collection is the language, particularly the motif of glass. There's lots of mirrors, windows, screens, shards of glass - all things that relate to connection and how we view the world. If you were to run your fingers along the words of this collection, it would feel like a broken phone screen in that it's fractured and disjointed, but still whole and smooth and part of a bigger thing'. -- Aliyah Begum, Poetry Society Young Critic