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Helen Mort was born in Sheffield in 1985, and grew up in nearby Chesterfield. Five-times-winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award, she received an Eric Gregory Award in 2007 and won the Manchester Young Writer Prize in 2008. She has published two pamphlets with tall-lighthouse press, the shape of every box and a pint for the ghost (a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, 2010), and her poems have appeared in the Spectator, Poetry Review and The Manhattan Review. In 2010, she was Poet in Residence at the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. She lives in Derbyshire.
Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2013. This is shortlisted for the T.S Eliot prize 2013. A stone is lobbed in '84, hangs like a star over Orgreave. Welcome to Sheffield. Border-land, our town of miracles. ('Scab'). From the clash between striking miners and police to the delicate conflicts in personal relationships, Helen Mort's stunning debut is marked by distance and division. Named for a street in Sheffield, this is a collection that cherishes specificity: the particularity of names; the reflections the world throws back at us; the precise moment of a realisation.
The debut novel from the brilliant and award-winning poet Helen Mort Alexa is a police community support officer whose world feels unstable. Caron, Alexa's girlfriend, is pushing her away and pushing herself even harder. A climber, she fixates on a brutal route. Leigh, who works at a local gear shop, watches Caron climb and feels complicit. Meanwhile, an ex-police officer compulsively revisits the April day in 1989 that changed his life forever. Trapped in his memories of the disaster, he tracks the Hillsborough inquests, questioning everything. As the young women negotiate Sheffield's violent inheritance, the rock faces of Stanage and their relationships with each other, Mort stunningly grounds these journeys of trust and trauma, fear and falling, in the texture of the urban and natural terrain underfoot. 'A beautifully accomplished debut...a deeply felt work of loss, time and healing' Guardian 'Helen Mort is unmistakably one of the most brilliant poets of her generation; Black Car Burning shows her to be a remarkable novelist' Robert Macfarlane
How do we trust each other? Alexa is a young police community support officer whose world feels unstable. Her father is estranged and her girlfriend is increasingly distant. Their polyamorous relationship - which for years felt so natural - is starting to seem strained. As she patrols Sheffield she senses the rising tensions in its disparate communities and doubts her ability to keep the peace, to help, to change anything. Caron is pushing Alexa away and pushing herself ever harder. A climber, she fixates on a brutal route known as Black Car Burning and throws herself into a cycle of repetition and risk. Leigh, who works at a local gear shop, watches Caron climb and feels complicit. Meanwhile, an ex-police officer compulsively revisits the April day in 1989 that changed his life forever. Trapped in his memories of the disaster, he tracks the Hillsborough inquests, questioning everything. As the young women negotiate the streets of the city and its violent inheritance, the rock faces of Stanage and their relationships with each other, the urban and natural landscape watches over them, an ever-present witness. Black Car Burning is a brilliant debut novel of trust and trauma, fear and falling, from one of our best young writers.
* A Poetry Book Society Recommendation 2016* 'When we climb alone en cordee feminine, we are magicians of the Alps - we make the routes we follow disappear' The poems of Helen Mort's second collection offer an unforgettable perspective on the heights we scale and the distances we run, the routes we follow and the paths we make for ourselves. Here are odes to the women who dared to break new ground - from Miss Jemima Morrell, a young Victorian woman from Yorkshire who hiked the Swiss Peaks in her skirts and petticoats, to the modern British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves, who died descending from the summit of K2. Distinctive and courageous, these are poems of passion and precipices, of edges and extremes. No Map Could Show Them confirms Helen Mort's position as one of the finest young poets at work today.