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 is Helen Dunmore’s tenth poetry book, her first 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.
‘Henry James, in The Art of Fiction, urged the apprentice novelist to “try to be one of those people on whom nothing is lost”. In a career of great distinction, Dunmore has not only acted on the advice – as both novelist and poet – but has offered the reader a chance to share her remarkable alertness, imaginative range and generosity of spirit.’ – Sean O’Brien, The Guardian [on Inside the Wave]
‘These are uneasy yet companionable poems, watchful and urgent.’ – David Wheatley, Literary Review [on Inside the Wave]
'...elegiac but uplifting... This is a book that deals with mortality, but also surprises with its insights and imaginative drive.’ - Jessica Traynor, on Inside the Wave, which she reviewed on RTE Radio 1’s Arena
Helen Dunmore reads two poems
Helen Dunmore reads two poems, 'Wild strawberries' from Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001 (Bloodaxe Books, 2001) and 'Glad of these times' from Glad of These Times (Bloodaxe Books, 2007). This film is from the DVD-book In Person: 30 Poets, filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce, edited by Neil Astley, which includes six poems read by Helen Dunmore.