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Costa Book Awards 2017 Overall Winner Announced

30th January 2018

Cover of Inside the WaveHelen Dunmore has won the Overall Costa Book of the Year Award for her poetry collection, Inside the Wave, making her only the second ever author to be awarded the prize posthumously (the first was Ted Hughes) and only the eighth time the award has been won by a book of poetry.

Her son Patrick Charnley, who collected the award on her behalf, together with Helen's husband Frank Charnley and their daughter Tess, said. “This collection contains some of the most beautiful writing she completed in her life, and it came at the time of her death. It is so personal and so wonderful, we hope it will touch a lot people, who face this thing that we all do.' The collection includes her final poem 'Hold Out Your Arms', written just days before the author's death, in June 2017.

Chair of the judges, Wendy Holden called the book a 'modern classic' and said, 'Even though it was written while she was dying, it was very life affirming,.. It is incredibly moving, and by an author at the top of her game.'

The rest of the judging panel comprised the writers Moniza Alvi, Simon Garfield, Freya North, Sophie Raworth and Piers Torday, as well as British Vogue contributing editor Laura Bailey, author and presenter Fern Britton and actor Art Malik.

At the awards ceremony Two Steak Bakes and Two Chelsea Buns by Luan Goldie was declared the winner of the Costa Short Story Award, which was open to a public vote.

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Inside the Wave
Helen Dunmore
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