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Being Alive : the sequel to Staying Alive Paperback – 28 Oct. 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 ratings

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Frequently bought together

  • Being Alive : the sequel to Staying Alive
  • +
  • Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times
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  • Being Human: The Companion Anthology to Staying Alive and Being Alive
Total price: £29.90
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Product details

  • Paperback : 512 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1852246758
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1852246754
  • Publisher : Bloodaxe Books Ltd (28 Oct. 2004)
  • Product Dimensions : 13.72 x 3.05 x 21.34 cm
  • Language: : English
  • Customer reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 64 ratings

Product description


'I love Staying Alive and keep going back to it. Being Alive is just as vivid, strongly present and equally beautifully organised. But this new book feels even more alive - I think it has a heartbeat, or maybe that's my own thrum humming along with the music of these poets. Sitting alone in a room with these poems is to be assured that you are not alone, you are not crazy (or if you are, you're not the only one who thinks this way!) I run home to this book to argue with it, find solace in it, to locate myself in the world again.' --Meryl Streep

'These poems remind us of what we have felt yet never fully articulated, what we have dreamt yet never believed entirely possible. Perhaps most importantly, the poems in here tell us there is nothing more powerful than language when its agenda is to reveal rather than to conceal or distort.' --Kamila Shamsie.

'Hopefully, books like this will put poetry back into the mainstream.' --Van Morrison


Being Alive is the sequel to Neil Astley's Staying Alive, which became Britain's most popular poetry book because it gave readers hundreds of thoughtful and passionate poems about living in the modern world. Now he has assembled this equally lively companion anthology for all those readers who've wanted more poems that touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit. Being Alive is about being human: about love and loss, fear and longing, hurt and wonder. Staying Alive didn't just reach a broader readership, it introduced thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry, giving them an international gathering of poems of great personal force, poems with emotional power, intellectual edge and playful wit. It also brought many readers back to poetry, people who hadn't read poetry for years because it hadn't held their interest. Now Being Alive gives readers an even wider selection of vivid, brilliantly diverse contemporary poetry from around the world. If readers were surprised by Staying Alive, the publishers were even more staggered by the postbag they received in response.

People from all walks of life wrote to express their thanks and appreciation, saying how much Staying Alive had helped or stimulated them and fired up their interest in poetry. They hadn't just bought one copy, they'd bought many copies to give to friends and family as presents. They also wanted to tell editor Neil Astley about other poems which had been important to them in their own lives, and Being Alive includes many powerful poems suggested by readers. Staying Alive has so far sold 75,000 copies. Being Alive is eagerly awaited by thousands of readers throughout Britain and Ireland.