Helen Dunmore Celebration in Aldeburgh

Helen Dunmore Celebration in Aldeburgh

' Dunmore can draw on poetry’s power to distil an entire lifetime into a moment.' – Ben Wilkinson, The Guardian, on Counting Backwards

The late Helen Dunmore's retrospective, Counting Backwards: Poems 1975-2017 was published by Bloodaxe in February 2019.

Counting Backwards was Helen Dunmore's original title for Inside the Wave, taken from the first poem in that final collection.  This retrospective works backwards through her ten collections, which were written over 40 years.  It brings together all the poems from her earlier selected, Out of the Blue (2001), with her later collections: Glad of These Times (2007), The Malarkey (2012), and Inside the Wave (2017), as well fifteen additional poems from earlier collections.  Helen Dunmore was posthumously awarded the Costa Poetry Award for her final collection Inside the Wave, which went on to be named Costa Book of the Year 2017 in January 2018.

Special events remembering Helen Dunmore were held in London on publication of Counting Backwards: Poems 1975-2017, and in her home city of Bristol on 6 June 2019 as part of the Bristol Festival of Ideas.  She will also be remembered at the Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival in November 2019.


Poetry in Aldeburgh Festival, Friday 8th- Sunday 10th November 2019

Niall Campbell will be one of the poets taking part in an event remembering the late Helen Dunmore.

SATURDAY     1 - 2pm            

Niall Campbell, Claire Dyer,  Pamela Johnson

A short lyric poem might evoke a longer story. How does this differ from other narrative forms? Close reading poems by consummate storyteller, Helen Dunmore, from the collected, Counting Backwards, Niall Campbell, Claire Dyer, Pamela Johnson, consider lyric as story.


Click here to book.


‘Reading her poems, all those she wished to preserve, has been a revelation. In them her voice is consistently clear, and her intelligence probes delicately and with precision into the universal underpinning the ordinariness of the everyday, of our everyday. She can balance the light and dark of the four and a half decades of her writing life in seemingly effortless lines… having these poems together in one volume is life-enhancing.’ – D A Prince, London Grip [on Counting Backwards: Poems 1975-2017]   Read the full review here.

Bristol 24/7 posted a feature to mark publication day of Counting Backwards: https://www.bristol247.com/culture/books/major-posthumous-helen-dunmore-poetry-collection-published/

Neil Astley paid tribute to Helen Dunmore and wrote about their forty- year editorial relationship in an article on Waterstones' blog.  It is illustrated with a photograph of them together at the launch of Helen's debut collection The Apple Fall in Newcastle in 1983. https://www.waterstones.com/blog/helen-dunmore-a-personal-tribute-by-bloodaxe-books-editor-neil-astley

A beautiful short film about Inside the Wave featuring Helen's son and daughter, and links to media interviews with them after their mother's final poetry collection won Costa Book of the Year, are posted here.

[11 September 2019]

Back to Poetry Events






View Smaller Text