Helen Mort

A Line Above the Sky
  • A Line Above the Sky

  • Climbing gives you the illusion of being in control, just for a while, the tantalising sense of being able to stay one move ahead of death.

    Helen Mort has always been drawn to the thrill and risk of climbing: the tension between human and rockface, and the climber's powerful connection to the elemental world. But when she becomes a mother for the first time, she finds herself re-examining her relationship with both the natural world and herself, as well as the way the world views women who aren't afraid to take risks.

    A Line Above the Sky melds memoir and nature writing to ask why humans are drawn to danger, and how we can find freedom in pushing our limits. It is a visceral love letter to losing oneself in physicality, whether climbing a mountain or bringing a child into the world, and an unforgettable celebration of womanhood in all its forms.

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. Her first collection, Division Street (2013), was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and Costa Poetry Award, and won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. In 2014, she was named as a ‘Next Generation Poet’, the prestigious accolade announced only once every ten years, recognising the 20 most exciting new poets from the UK and Ireland. No Map Could Show Them (2016), her second collection, about women and mountaineering, was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Helen has been the Wordsworth Trust Poet in Residence and the Derbyshire Poet Laureate and was named one of the RSL’s 40 under 40 Fellows in 2018. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and lives in Sheffield. Black Car Burning is her first novel.

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