Author(s): Alice Oswald
Winner of the Costa Poetry Award - Shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Award and the Forward Prize
"These lyrics...illustrate poetry's unique ability to shock readers into a renewed awareness of the world." --Washington Post
Falling Awake, winner of the Costa Award for Poetry, "give s] us the sensation of living alongside the natural world, of being a spectator to the changes that mark our mortality" (Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker). Falling Awake expands on the imagery of fallen soldiers from Homer's Iliad portrayed in her previous volume, Memorial--defining life as a slowly falling weight, where beings fight against their inevitable end. Oswald reimagines classical figures such as Orpheus and Tithonus alive in an English landscape together with shadows, flies, villagers, dew, crickets--all characterized in tension between the weight of death and their own willpower.
let me shuffle forward
and tell you the two minute life of rain
starting right now
lips open and lidless cold all-seeing gaze
The finest living British poet comes to Cape with her extraordinary new book.
Shortlisted for Forward Poetry Prize: Best Collection 2016.
Winner - 2016 Costa Poetry Award
"An astonishing book of beauty, intensity and poise - a revelation...The collection's title is spot on. I cannot think of any poet who is more watchful or with a greater sense of gravity." -- Kate Kellaway Observer "Stunning. Is she now our greatest living poet[?]... Her work is commanding... She is less twinkly-eyed than Simon Armitage, more committed to experimentation than Duffy and just as playful...as Don Paterson. For sheer, sustained invention and intellectual rigour, her work is perhaps closest to Kei Miller... If there's any justice in the poetry world, the title [Poet Laureate] should be offered to this gardener-classicist who is bringing the British landscape to life in poetry again." -- Charlotte Runcie Daily Telegraph "The pieces included here are held together by Oswald's luminous, almost alien powers of observation." -- Yasmine Seale Literary Review "Magic, the music of nature, the resurrection of the dead: all these feel real when you read Alice Oswald. Her stunning new collection deserves the Forward Prize." Sunday Telegraph "She is a classicist and a gardener, an expert in the epic tradition and a riverside wanderer... Falling Awake provides the notation for an immersive aural experience; its current existence as a printed collection is not the incarnation for which it will be most celebrated, should Oswald choose to record it as a performance... It is certainly a strong contender in this year's Forward Prizes, and a highly compelling meditation upon transience." -- Phil Brown Huffington Post
Alice Oswald lives in Devon and is married with three children. Her collections include Dart, which won the 2002 T.S. Eliot Prize, Woods etc. (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), A Sleepwalk on the Severn (Hawthornden Prize), Weeds and Wildflowers (Ted Hughes Award) and, most recently, Memorial, which won the 2013 Warwick Prize for Writing. 'Dunt', included in this collection, was awarded the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.