The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Costa Book of the Year 2017 winner announced

The late Helen Dunmore has been awarded the Costa Book of the Year posthumously for her poetry collection Inside the Wave (Bloodaxe Books) which was her tenth and final collection before she sadly died last year.

The judges described the poems as “an astonishing set of poems – a final, great achievement.” 

To be alive is to be inside the wave, always travelling until it breaks and is gone. These poems are concerned with the borderline between the living and the dead – the underworld and the human living world – and the exquisitely intense being of both. They possess a spare, eloquent lyricism as they explore the bliss and anguish of the voyage. 

Helen Dunmore was a poet, novelist, short story and children’s writer. Her poetry books have been given the Poetry Book Society Choice and Recommendations and won several prizes including the Cardiff International Poetry Prize, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award and the Signal Poetry Award. Her poem ‘The Malarkey’ won the 2010 National Poetry Competition. She published three books of short stories and fifteen novels - most recently, Birdcage Walk in 2017. She died in June 2017.