The North End of the Possible

The North End of the Possible

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Description

How do isolation, belonging and the land shape us? What difference does this make to how we live? Andrew Philip's second collection delves deep into these and other questions.
In the opening and closing portions of the book, Philip takes us further into the life of MacAdam - an enigmatic character from his multi-award nominated debut, The Ambulance Box. MacAdam, who seems to have built a version of the Large Hadron Collider in his garden shed, attempts to find "the fundamental particle of night". We follow him into the chaos that results, as his experiments run out of control, culminating in a powerful encounter with a mysterious intruder.
The middle of the collection brings us poems of place, love and politics. A newsreader's BBC English transmogrifies into Scots without her realising. Edinburgh's worst piper is lambasted in a rollicking Burns pastiche that led novelist Rodge Glass to dub Philip his "new favourite poet". And an intricate, tender sequence charts the highs and lows of a decade of marriage.
Rich in humour, imaginative reach and formal invention, The North End of the Possible displays a fresh strength in narrative writing for Philip and pushes his lyric gifts to new heights.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 96 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 6mm | 214g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • No
  • 190777341X
  • 9781907773419
  • 2,143,151

Review quote

Salt cements its reputation for fresh contemporary poetry with this much-anticipated second full collection from acclaimed Scottish poet Andrew Philip. Humour and invention are mainstays of Philip's work, and in both English and Scots, his wit leads us gently into a nuanced exploration of existence, remoteness and belonging. -- Colin Begg * The List * I read this book from beginning to end in one sitting. Why? Because it is not only good, it is compulsive. Andrew Philip uses poetry as a tool to discover new truths about his personal experience and the experience of people and communities around him. He does this with rare economy, resonant imagery, compassion and insight. He loves language, all three of the tongues of Scotland ..., and he uses English and Scots writing to their strengths. He knows when to sign off and he genuinely understands that less means more but avoids obscurity. He writes about what matters to people. He cares. -- John Hudson * Markings * [one] of the collections (let alone debut collections) of the year. -- Matt Merritt There are countless poems or collections that successfully achieve the cathartic effect - for me at least - so I thought I'd do a whistle-stop tour of just some of what I'd term my own `cathartic greatest hits' ... I was swept away by Andrew Philip's recent collection The Ambulance Box as a whole, but also by individual poems. The elegy `Lullaby', just eight lines long, written for a baby who died, culminates in the couplet
this is the man you fathered -
his voided love, his writhen pride and grief
Perhaps it's the word `fathered' recast, and then the Anglo-Saxon `writhen' carrying with it the weight of history, that together generate such charge. -- Jacqueline Saphra * Magma Poetry Newsletter * The Ambulance Box is Andrew Philip's first full collection of verse ... and in it he delights readers with a dance through images and words that express powerful visionary and spiritual experiences. ... Philip adds to the texture of his poems with words that are precisely idiomatic and have a consistency of tone which never falters throughout this collection of wide-ranging, but firmly located, voices, that encourage us to explore the visual and linguistic connections that link art with faith and uncertainty; art with loss and discovery; and art with the artist. -- Rosie Sheppard * Magma Poetry * Andrew Philip [is a poet] not merely of promise but of attainment. -- Donny Rourke * The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Scottish Literature * A poet of genuine promise revelling in the discovery of his natural lyric gift -- Ron Butlin * Sunday Herald books of the year feature *
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About Andrew Philip

Andrew Philip was born in Aberdeen in 1975 and grew up near Falkirk. His first collection of poetry, The Ambulance Box, was shortlisted for the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize, the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry and in the Scottish Book Awards. His work has been published in the UK and US and included in anthologies such as The Forward Book of Poetry 2010, The Best British Poetry 2011 and Adventures in Form. He is a popular online tutor for the Poetry School and blogs at www.andrewphilip.net
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Rating details

5 ratings
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3 40% (2)
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