Alice Oswald

Alice Oswald studied Classics at Oxford and then trained as a gardener. She worked in gardens for seven years before publishing her first collection of poems, The Thing in the Gap-Stone Stile, which won the Forward Prize in 1996. She was writer in residence at Dartington Hall from 1996 until 1998 and there wrote her long poem Dart, which won the T.S. Eliot prize in 2002. Her other collections have won the inaugural Ted Hughes award, the Hawthornden prize and the Warwick prize. In 2009 she won a Cholmondeley award for her contribution to poetry. Her latest collection, Falling Awake, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2016. She is married with three children and lives in Devon.

Photo: Kate Mount


Poetry Centre Stage »

A double bill of poetry for Thursday evening
20:00 reading – Robert Crawford
21:00 reading – Alice Oswald

Thu 2 March | 20:00 - 22:00 | £9.50/£7.50 | The Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, Auditorium

Past & Present »

Alice Oswald on Homer
Neil McLennan on the war poets in Edinburgh

Thu 2 March | 14:15 - 15:15 | £4.00/£3.00 | The Town Hall, Queens Gardens, Council Chamber



I heard a cough
as if a thief was there
outside my sleep
a sharp intake of air

a fox in her fox-fur
stepping across
the grass in her black gloves
barked at my house

just so abrupt and odd
the way she went
hungrily asking
in the heart’s thick accent

in such serious sleepless
trespass she came
a woman with a man’s voice
but no name

as if to say: it’s midnight
and my life
is laid beneath my children
like gold leaf


Alice Oswald

From Falling Awake (Jonathon Cape, 2016). Permission by The Random House Group Ltd