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. Inside the Wave was Helen Dunmore's first new poetry book since The Malarkey (2012), whose title-poem won the National Poetry Competition. Her other books include Glad of These Times (2007), and Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 (2001), a comprehensive selection drawing on seven previous collections. Her final poem, 'Hold out your arms', written shortly before her death and not included in the first printing of Inside the Wave, has now been added to the reprint. It won the Costa Poetry Award and was posthumously made Costa Book of the Year.
Helen Dunmore (1952-2017) was a poet, novelist, short story and children's writer. Her poetry books have been given the Poetry Book Society Choice and Recommendations, Cardiff International Poetry Prize, Alice Hunt Bartlett Award and Signal Poetry Award, and Bestiary was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Her poem 'The Malarkey' won the 2010 National Poetry Competition. Her latest Bloodaxe poetry titles are Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 (2001), Glad of These Times (2007), The Malarkey (2012) and Inside the Wave (2017), which won the Costa Poetry Award and was made Costa Book of the Year 2017. She has published twelve novels and three books of short stories with Penguin, including A Spell of Winter (1995), winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction Talking to the Dead (1996), The Siege (2001), Mourning Ruby (2003), House of Orphans (2006) and The Betrayal (2010), as well as The Greatcoat (2012) with Hammer, and The Lie (2014), Exposure (2016) and Bridcage Walk (2017) with Hutchinson. She was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and lived in Bristol.
11 Counting Backwards 12 The Underworld 13 Shutting the Gate 14 In Praise of the Piano 15 Re-opening the old mines 16 Inside the Wave 18 Odysseus to Elpenor 20 Plane tree outside Ward 78 21 The shaft 22 Leave the door open 23 My life's stem was cut 24 The Bare Leg 26 The Place of Ordinary Souls 27 My daughter as Penelope 29 The Lamplighter 30 The Halt 31 Bluebell Hollows 32 A Loose Curl 33 Festival of stone 34 A Bit of Love 35 Winter Balcony with Dunnocks 36 Mimosa 37 Nightfall in the IKEA Kitchen 39 The Duration 41 At the Spit 42 Terra Incognita 43 Four cormorants, one swan 44 Girl in the Blue Pool 45 February 12th 1994 46 What shall I do for my sister in the day she shall be spoken for? 47 In Secret 48 All the breaths of your life 49 Her children look for her 50 Cliffs of Fall 51 Five Versions from Catullus 51 1 Through Babel of Nations 52 2 Undone 53 3 Sirmio 54 4 Dedication 55 5 Sparrow 56 Rim 57 On looking through the handle of a cup 58 Ten Books 60 Subtraction 61 My people 62 September Rain