Alice Oswald celebrates nature like no other modern poet. Having trained as a gardener, her work at Chelsea Physic Garden and Wisley honed her uncanny ability to imbue the natural world with power and resonance. Her first collection of poetry, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile, won the Forward Prize for Best First Poetry Collection in 1996 but it was her immersive melding of prose and poetry Dart which established her as a poet of the first rank.
Oswald researched the eponymous Devon river for three years before producing her dream-like meditation in 2002. Dart duly won the TS Eliot Prize and received rapturous attention from Jeanette Winterson, who described it as '...a moving, changing poem, as fast flowing as the river and as deep.' Subsequent works include Memorial and Falling Awake, which claimed the Costa Poetry Award in 2016. In June 2019, Alice Oswald was elected the new Oxford professor of poetry. She is the first woman to serve in the position, established more than 300 years ago.
Once again Alice Oswald proves herself the nation’s premier interpreter of the British landscape. Blending oral traditions with her own, very singular, lyrical style, Falling Awake examines a pastoral idyll in constant flux. Framed by classical gods and goddesses, this remarkable verse feels just as organic and natural as the world she describes.