Helen Dunmore's final collection on Costa shortlist
Novelist and poet Helen Dunmore, who died in June this year, has been included in the Costa poetry award shortlist for her fifth and final poetry collection, Inside the Wave, which was published by Bloodaxe earlier this year. Inside the Wave was her first since The Malarkey (2012), whose title poem won the National Poetry Competition. Her final poem, 'Hold out your arms', written shortly before her death and not included in the first printing of Inside the Wave, was added to the reprint.
Costa poetry award judges, poet Moniza Alvi, author Kiran Millwood Hargrave and writer and editor Nick Wroe said: “We were all stunned by these breathtaking poems.” Kiran Millwood Hargrave added:”It is just a completely standout collection ... so relatable to anyone who has experienced loss on any level – and it’s incredibly moving, even if you didn’t know it was Dunmore’s final collection.”
The other collections on the shortlist are Kumukanda by Kayo Chingonyi (Chatto & Windus); On Balance, by Sinead Morrissey, which has already won the Forward prize; and Useful Verses by Richard Osmond (Picador). Kayo Chingonyi was born in Zambia in 1987, and moved to the UK at the age of six. He is the author of two pamphlets. Sinéad Morrissey was born in 1972 and grew up in Belfast. She has published five collections including Parallax (2013) which won the TS Eliot prize. Richard Osmond was born in 1987. He works as a wild food forager, searching for plants, fruits and fungi among the forests and hedgerows of Hertfordshire and co-owns an award-winning wild food pub, the Verulam Arms, in St Albans. He received an Eric Gregory award from the Society of Authors in 2017.