Helen Dunmore's Inside the Wave

Helen Dunmore's Inside the Wave

All of Helen Dunmore’s poetry has been published by Bloodaxe Books, starting with her 1983 debut collection The Apple Fall.  Her poetry is now available in Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001, her two subsequent collections Glad of These Times (2007) and The Malarkey (2012), with her tenth book of poetry, Inside the Wave, forthcoming on 27 April 2017.  Her new novel Birdcage Walk was published by Hutchinson in March 2017.

Writing in The Guardian of 22 April 2017, Sean O'Brien's considers Helen Dunmore's poetry as a whole and looks at Inside the Wave in particular. Click here to read.



Arena, RTE Radio 1, Tuesday 11 April 2017, 7-8pm

Helen Dunmore’s new collection Inside the Wave was given a glowing review on RTE Radio 1’s week-nightly arts programme Arena on 11 April.  Jessica Traynor spoke with Sean Rocks about Helen Dunmore’s poetry in general, and about this new collection in particular.  She read the poems ‘Counting Backwards’, ‘The shaft’ (which she described as ‘a really stunning poem about finding hope in illness’) and the final poem ‘September Rain’.  She also read extracts from ‘Nightfall in the IKEA Kitchen’ and ‘A Place of Ordinary Souls’.

‘She does have something really singular in terms of her voice, which separates her from the pack… With Helen Dunmore, the complexity is in the realm of ideas, and yet it’s delivered in such a gorgeous conversational tone that we’re tricked into engaging with thoughts and ideas that are quite difficult.’ – Jessica Traynor, speaking on RTE Radio 1’s Arena

Click to listen

Jessica Traynor wrote about Helen Dunmore’s ‘elegiac but uplifting’ Inside the Wave on her blog.  The piece was illustrated with a colour cover photo and linked to her Arena review:

‘This is a book that deals with mortality, but also surprises with its insights and imaginative drive.’

Helen Dunmore wrote about her poem 'Counting Backwards' in The Guardian here.  The poem came to her on the operating table as an illusion brought on by anaesthetic.


Poetry Spotlight, 5 October 2016

Helen Dunmore spoke to Poetry Spotlight about the underworld, illness and her forthcoming collection Inside the Wave. She shared a poem from the new book, which will be published by Bloodaxe on 27 April 2017.  She was also asked about her 2012 collection The Malarkey.

Click here to read the interview

The Guardian, Saturday 4 March 2017

Poet and novelist Helen Dunmore on facing mortality and what we leave behind. The photograph that illustrates the piece is of Birdcage Walk in Bristol, after which her new novel (published by Hutchinson) is named.   Helen Dunmore’s thoughts here have a bearing on the poems of her forthcoming collection, Inside the Wave, which 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.
Click here to read the article


Open Book, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 12 March 2017, 4pm, repeated Thursday 16 October, 3.30pm

A special edition of Open Book, recorded at Helen Dunmore’s home in Bristol, aired on 12 March. Helen Dunmore was speaking about her new novel Birdcage Walk.  She also spoke movingly about being diagnosed with a serious illness while writing this novel, and how that affected her work.
Click here to listen

Birdcage Walk was Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime 6-17 March 2017.  Read by Hattie Morahan.  No longer available on BBC iPlayer.

Open Book, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 23 October 2016, 4pm, repeated Thursday 27 October, 3.30pm

Helen Dunmore revealed the book she would never lend (and read a poem from it) in a short interview for Radio 4's Open Book.  Helen, who was introduced by Mariella Frostrup as a ‘literary polymath’, spoke about the influence of Louis MacNeice’s poetry on her own work.

Click here to listen (divided into chapters)


The Verb: Helen Dunmore Special, BBC Radio 3, Friday 17 February 2017, 10pm (no longer available on BBC iPlayer)

Helen Dunmore was interviewed for a special edition of Radio 3’s The Verb, which aired on 17 February.  In this 45-minute interview, recorded at Helen’s home, she talked to Ian McMillan about her fiction and her poetry, about her writing career and the writers and subjects that have inspired her.  She read from her forthcoming novel Birdcage Walk (Penguin) and her new poetry collection Inside the Wave, which will be published by Bloodaxe in April 2017, as well as from her previously published poetry and fiction titles.

Helen read the title poem from The Malarkey, ‘Wild Strawberries’ from Out of the Blue: Poems 1975-2001, and ‘City lilacs’ and the title poem from Glad of These Times.  She also read one of her five versions from Catullus, ‘Sirmio’, as well as ‘Nightfall in the IKEA Kitchen’, ‘Counting Backwards’, ‘The Underworld’ and the title poem from Inside the Wave.

‘Ian McMillan is in conversation with one of our best-loved novelists and poets Helen Dunmore. Helen won the inaugural Orange Prize for fiction for 'A Spell of Winter' and she won the National Poetry Competition for her poem 'The Malarkey'. She has also been acclaimed for her children's books and short stories. Ian explores the themes that animate Helen's work, the way the sea continues to tug at her imagination, and asks her about her writing process, particularly in relation to her new novel 'Birdcage Walk' and her latest collection of poetry 'Inside the Wave'.’

Click here for programme information
No longer available on BBC iPlayer.

[24 April 2017]

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