Synopses & Reviews
Staying Alive is an anthology of life-affirming poems fired by belief in the human and the spiritual at a time where much in the world feels unreal and inhuman. These are poems of great personal force connecting our aspirations with our humanity, helping us stay alive to the world and stay true to ourselves.
"[A] marvel of editorial skill and taste, offering 500 modern poems by diverse writers as a demonstration of the efficacy of poetry in the modern world....Every page offers its own reward, and, in the manner of good anthologies, the reader finds the familiar and the new jostling against each other for attention..." John Sears, Pop Matters
"Each section is prefaced by a short, appallingly written summary of its theme. Astley's critical comments rarely rise above the clichéd boosterisms of jacket copy....There are plenty of good poems in this anthology, though it also contains numerous truly terrible ones....The challenge embodied by far too many of the poems included in this volume is not that of staying alive, but of staying awake." Mark Ford, The Guardian (London)
"When I've fallen in love, when somebody close dies, when I feel desperate or lonely, I read poetry. Staying Alive celebrates the point of poetry. It's invigorating and makes me proud of being human." Jane Campion
"Usually if you say a book is 'inspirational' that means it's New Agey and soft at the center. This astonishingly rich anthology, by contrast, shows that what is edgy, authentic, and provocative can also awaken the spirit and make its readers quick with consciousness. In these pages I discovered new writers, and I've decided I'm now in love with our troublesome epoch if it can produce poems of such genius." Edmund White
"I can't think of any other anthology that casts its net so widely, or one that has introduced me to so many vivid and memorable poems." Philip Pullman
"Truly startling and powerful poems." Mia Farrow
"Staying Alive is a blessing of a book. The title says it all. I have long waited for just this kind of setting down of poems. Has there ever been such a passionate anthology? These are poems that hunt you down with the solace of their recognition." Anne Michaels, author of Fugitive Pieces
A phenomenon in Britain, this passionate collection of 500 contemporary poems has tremendous appeal for poetry lovers and novices alike.
About the Author
Edited by Neil Astley, founder of Bloodaxe Books, one of the most acclaimed poetry publishers in the English-speaking world.