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No School Tie by Peter Phillips£8.99 £7.49 inc. UK pp
Release date: July 2011
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Trade: Central Books

No School Tie

In this, his fourth collection, Peter Phillips looks both back, at his schooldays, and forward with the birth of twin grandchildren. He listens in on imaginary conversations and monologues, remembers poet Julia Casterton and ponders on love and its effects in poems that, like life itself, blend sadness and humour.

The book’s title, No School Tie, refers to the time in the 1960s when Peter Phillips was sent to boarding school in Sussex. It was a period when homesickness and sexual awakening fought with anxiety, antisemitism, cricket and new friendships.

Another group of poems celebrates the birth of twin grandchildren.



To my first wife

The clock in my head strikes
back to your death.
Our daughter is having twins.
Will you hear them cry?

To my daughter

They must be having fun
in the bright cave
of your stomach.
You are all lit up.

To my grandchildren

I can see you in that cramped space
looking out for each other,
feeling the certainty
of your mother’s heart.


on No School Tie

Phillips is a poet whose humanity and good sense are consistently deployed without self-aggrandisement or undue flamboyance; a poet well worth reading.

Glyn Pursglove, Acumen 71, September 2011

This is a gentle, sincere, humane collection… easy to read – as easy as flicking through a collection of family photographs … the detail is particular, precise and potent.

Helena Nelson, Ambit 206, October 2011

on Wide Skies, Salt and Best Bitter

…This joyous, enjoyable, unpretentious romp, where art conceals considerable art, is more serious than it looks.

Herbert Lomas, Ambit

…Perhaps we too often sniff suspiciously at the light-hearted and sunny in poetry; perhaps we seldom meet it, unalloyed by sentimentality or jokiness. Here we do.

Michael Standen, Other Poetry

on Looking For You

The book is a triumph of the comic (the word is used in no trivial sense) spirit… A moving collection.

Glyn Pursglove, Acumen

on Frayed At The Edges

Now that poetry is going back looking for the public it left behind, Peter Phillips should pick up support… This is a first collection of undoubted promise.

Sam Gardiner, Seam


Peter Phillips has written, with fellow-poet Ian Purser, two one-act stage plays, set in the world of writing, which can be performed independently or as a double bill, with virtually the same cast.

A rehearsed reading of The Green Room took place in October 2010, as part of the Torbay Poetry Festival.

“To many people it was one of the highlights of the Festival”

Patricia Oxley, Torbay Poetry Festival Organiser

The Green Room (A comedy)

Long-standing animosities come to a dramatic head at a literary festival in honour of a recently deceased novelist…

Stressed Ending: (A drama)

Takes place over two days at a creative writing weekend where the poetry tutor is on the verge of winning an important prize and has to face the consequences of his professional and personal past…


Peter Phillips is a London poet. His three previous collections, all published by Hearing Eye were

Wide Skies, Salt and Best Bitter, 2005
Looking For You, 2001
Frayed At The Edges, (pamphlet), 1997
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