Helen Dunmore wins posthumous Costa poetry prize
Helen Dunmore, who died of cancer last year, has won the Costa poetry award for her final collection, Inside the Wave. The second edition of the collection includes the poem ‘Hold out your arms’, written 10 days before she died.
The Costa poetry category judge, Moniza Alvi, said: “These are poems that can connect us with each other, at a deeper level. The truths are sharp and they’re not comfortable, yet they are also life-affirming and beautiful.” The winner of the overall Costa book of the year will be announced on 30 January.
Dunmore’s poetry collection Bestiary was shortlisted for the TS Eliot prize, and her poem 'The Malarkey' won the 2010 National Poetry Competition. She also won the first Orange prize for women's fiction in 1996 for her novel A Spell of Winter.
Writing in the Guardian earlier this year she said: “A few months ago I was diagnosed with a cancer that has a very poor prognosis. The ground beneath my feet has never been more uncertain, but what is sure is that … there is no vagueness about my mortality.”