The medieval Mappa Mundi showed the real world hedged about with wonders. Philip Gross's poems in Mappa Mundi are as vividly observed and sometimes fabulous as the traveller's tales of antiquity. Like those creatures in the margins of old maps they are hybrids of real longings, truth and lies. Each is a journey, open-ended and surprising, giving glimpses of the Middle East, the Pacific North-West, or a Europe of lost spas. There is an encounter with Edward Lear in a Balkan republic of Coromandel, there is snow in the outback, plus some impossible countries that you somehow recognise. These poems explore the spaces that can open between buildings in a city street, in the shifting lights of love and ageing, or in the gaps between words. Heady and sobering, unsettling, celebratory, they come home with findings from the real world of the senses, heart and mind. Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Philip Gross won the T.S. Eliot Prize for his 2009 collection The Water Table.