Then the War and Selected Poems, 2007–2020 is two books in one: a representative selection from seven of Carl Phillips's innovative earlier collections and a complete new book of poems, providing a powerful introduction to European readers. A seemingly gentle but resolute attention to the things of this world evokes the joyful and painful elements in the contemporary human condition, characterised by loneliness and an unquenchable thirst for love. He is a poet who knows the rules and bends or breaks them, a master of syntax and prosody, avoiding convention and pursuing the lines of desire.
In a starred review of this book, Publishers Weekly said, 'These lyrically rich, insightful poems are full of palpable aching [...] and a human urge to understand. This remarkable compendium is a testament to the spirit of Phillips's work.'