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Helen Mort - Poet & Author - ‘Never Leave The Dog Behind’

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Helen Mort has published two poetry collections with Chatto & Windus, ‘Division Street’ (2013) and ‘No Map Could Show Them’ (2015).

She won the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize for best first collection. Her novel ‘Black Car Burning’ was published in 2019.

She teaches creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and she is also the author of ‘Lake District Trail Running’ (Vertebrate).

Her new book is ‘Never Leave The Dog Behind’. Inspired by the story of Missy, a German Shepherd who was abandoned by two hikers in the Canadian Rockies, the book explores the relationship between people, dogs and the great outdoors, comprising interviews with dog owners and experiences with a variety of dogs as well as Helen's own observations as a runner and pet owner herself. This is a book for anyone who loves dogs or has ever been dogged by loneliness and found solace in animals and landscapes.

Helen in her own words:

“I’m a mum to a toddler, a step parent, a trail runner, climber and all round outdoor enthusiast. I love the Peak District and get out whenever I can. I grew up in Chesterfield. I love dogs, books, dancing and real ale.”

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Listen to Helen Now!

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Show notes

  • Getting into fell running as a teenager

  • Spending a lot of time in her own company

  • Not looking like a runner

  • Having a lot of stamina at a young age

  • Doing the beep test at school

  • Dealing with a foot injury and having a break from running

  • Exploring different types of running

  • Running for the experience of running

  • Getting into climbing in Derbyshire

  • What does adventure mean to Helen and how it’s changed over the years

  • Sharing adventure with someone else

  • Her dreams as a little girl

  • Always been a writer and getting interested in poetry

  • Connecting with other writers and poets

  • Being able to make a living as a writer

  • Becoming a poet in residence

  • Book - Waymaking - An anthology of women’s adventure writing, poetry and art.

  • Heather Dawe - Adventures in Mind

  • Telling stories from a female point of view

  • Book - Never Leave the Dog Behind

  • The personal narrative behind the book and being scared of dogs

  • Getting over her fear of dogs

  • How her relationship with the mountains changed after getting a dog

  • Exploring the relationship between people and dogs in the mountains in a non fiction book

  • #NeverLeaveTheDogBehind

  • What does it mean if you invite the black dog into your home

  • Having a reason to get out everyday

  • Dealing with challenging moments

  • Being present in the moment

  • What a perfect day in the mountains looks like

  • Getting back into the mountains with a toddler

  • Setting more manageable fitness challenges

  • Motherhood and mental health challenges

  • Getting back to fitness after having a baby

  • Knowing that running clubs are not the right choice for her

  • Running as and when

  • Managing during Covid

  • Book - Trail Running Guide

  • Final words of advice to spending more time outdoors


Social Media

Twitter @HelenMort


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