Philip Gross: The Wasting Game



The title-sequence of Philip Gross’s collection The Wasting Game (1998) is his fatherly response to his daughter’s anorexia, as Helen Dunmore observed in a review of the book: ‘At the core of this new collection are the harrowing and beautiful poems in which a father witnesses his daughter’s near-fatal struggle with anorexia. There is terror at watching a child shrink to bone, longing to bring her back to the sunlit world, anger, remorse, and above all an agonised love which resonates throughout the poems. These are elegies for the living, piercing in their clarity and depth of feeling.’ In Pamela Robertson-Pearce’s film he introduces and reads the whole sequence. Another poem from the same book, ‘Imago’, is included at the end, acting as a kind of postscript. Pamela Robertson-Pearce filmed him reading his poems in July 2009 at his home in Penarth. In another video posted on YouTube [ Philip Gross reads from his T.S. Eliot Prize-winning collection THE WATER TABLE. Philip Gross’s work is used on this film with the permission of his publishers, Bloodaxe Books. Pamela Robertson-Pearce has been filming poets reading their work for Bloodaxe’s archive, website and DVD-books including In Person: 30 Poets (2008) and In Person: World Poets (2017), with Philip Gross included in the latter. THE WASTING GAME is now available in Philip Gross’s CHANGES OF ADDRESS: POEMS 1980-1998:

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