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Oscar and I
In his fifth collection, Oscar and I, Peter Phillips departs from his usual voice and introduces the fictional poet George Meadows. The poems chronicle George’s ups and downs as he blunders through his sometimes amusing, sad and eccentric life, where marriage, romance and friendship collide with poetry, his beloved dog Oscar and, of course, wine.
'A poetry biography of fictional poet, George Meadows. The poems tell his story and the collection is designed to be read through, as one might read a longer biography. The collection works - converting human observation into sketches that accumulate into a broader portrait of the male poet... It's as though Oscar and I were a drama, and I was sucked in by the characters and story lines ... but as you turn the pages, you have to keep reminding yourself that the biography has been rendered in verse... This is definitely a collection for poets and if we're honest, there's a wee bit of all of us all in it.'
Barbara Smith, Elsewhere
Plenty of opportunity for the observant and wry humour for which Phillips has become well-known in his previous three books... this delightful collection is made stronger by elements of light and shade ... I shall not give away ... the plot except to say that we do, in the end, get a sample of George's own poetry. It proves to be rather good.
Michael Bartholomew-Biggs, London Grip
These are beautifully crafted poems, spare, precise and poignant. They are also hilariously funny ... The poems are bitter-sweet: at once tender and pointed, lyrical and bathetic, self-mocking and indulgent ... I found more laughter than tears in these poems but the penultimate poem Last Night - first published in The Frogmore Papers - was all the more moving for being quietly understated.
Peter Stewart, The Frogmore Papers, Issue 82, Autumn 2013
From reviews of last collection No School Tie
He 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
… the experience is pared down… the detail is particular, precise, potent… suddenly the emotion, despite the simplicity of language is palpable.
Helena Nelson, Ambit
An accessible and unpretentious poet whose verse is always concise and musical, Peter Phillips wears his seriousness lightly. He is a breath of fresh air.
David Cooke, Agenda
I loved the humour and sharpness of Peter Phillips’s No School Tie – schoolboy agonies and the messy pleasures of being a hands-on grandfather.
Dinah Livingstone, Morning Star
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