HELEN Dunmore’s final poetry collection before her death has won a major literary prize.

Inside The Wave, which receives the Costa Poetry Award, explores the borderline between the living and the dead.

The British poet, novelist and children’s writer died of cancer last year, at the age of 64.

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Inside The Wave is one of five books now in the running for the overall 2017 Costa Book Of The Year.

But favourite to win, according to bookies, is debut author Gail Honeyman.

The Scottish writer, 46, wins the Costa First Novel Award for Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, the story of a survivor of a childhood trauma. The story, “depicting the loneliness of life and the simple power of kindness”, is being adapted for the big screen by actress Reese Witherspoon’s production company.

The book, written while the author was working full-time in a career in economic development and university administration, was the subject of an eight-way auction at Frankfurt Book Fair and has since gone on to sell worldwide.

Rebecca Stott wins best biography for In The Days Of Rain, a memoir about life inside the Exclusive Brethren, a Christian separatist cult.

Jon McGregor scoops the Costa Novel Award for Reservoir 13 and Katherine Rundell wins the Children’s Book Award for her fourth book, The Explorer The winner will be announced on January 30.