Helen Dunmore has been announced as the posthumous winner of the Costa Book of the Year Award, one of the UK’s most prestigious literary prizes.
The Bristol writer, who died in June 2017, was awarded the prize for her poetry collection Inside the Wave (Bloodaxe), which had already received the category prize for Poetry.
The majority of the poems in the collection were written in the last few months of Dunmore’s life, and deal with approaching death.
The last poem she wrote, Hold out your arms, written shortly before she died, did not appear in the initial print run of the collection but was added to subsequent printings.
Dunmore, who moved to Bristol in the late 1970s and made the city her home, had more than 50 books published – poetry and short story collections, novels, books for children of all ages – and received numerous other prizes.
Inside the Wave triumphed over the other category winners: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (4th Estate) winner of the Novel category, First novel winner Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins), Biography winner, In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott (4th Estate), and Children’s category winner The Explorers by Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Read more: Helen Dunmore: a tribute