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Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times Paperback – 1 Jan 2002
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'Staying Alive'is a magnificent anthology. I can't think of any other anthology that has introduced me to so many vivid and memorable poems. -- Philip Pullman, Children's writer
A book for people who know they love poetry, and for people who think they don't. -- Helen Dunmore, novelist and poet
A wonderful book - a powerful weapon of happiness -- Sir Richard Eyre, TV and theatre director
An incredible anthology... for inspiration, solace and perspective .. but mostly just for pure pleasure. -- Shirley Manson, musician (Garbage)
Everyone who cares about poetry should own this book. -- Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate
These poems, just words, distil the human heart as nothing else. -- Jane Campion, film director
This unique collection of 20th century poetry from all over the world cannot fail to enrich your life. -- Denis Healey, politician
Truly startling and powerful poems -- Mia Farrow, actor
When you choose your book for Desert Island Discs this should be it. -- Helena Kennedy, QC, human rights lawyer
[Staying Alive] is a relvelation. Buy it. Leave it around the house. Give it to friends. It could keep them alive. -- Sunday Times, June 23 2002
About the Author
Neil Astley is editor of Bloodaxe Books, which he founded in 1978. His books include two poetry collections and several anthologies, including 'Staying Alive: real poems from unreal times' (2002), 'Pleased to See Me: 69 very sexy poems' (2002), 'Do Not Go Gentle: poems for funerals' (2003), 'Being Alive: the sequel to Staying Alive' (2004), 'Passionfood: 100 Love Poems' (2005), 'Soul Food: nourishing poems for starved minds' [with Pamela Robertson-Pearce] (2007), 'Earth Shattering: ecopoems' (2007) and the DVD-book 'In Person: 30 Poets filmed by Pamela Robertson-Pearce' (2008). 'Being Human', the third anthology of the Staying Alive "trilogy", is due from Bloodaxe in 2011. He has published two novels, 'The End of My Tether' (Flambard, 2002; Scribner, 2003), which was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award, and 'The Sheep Who Changed the World' (Flambard, 2005). He received an Eric Gregory Award for his poetry and was given a D.Litt from Newcastle University for his work with Bloodaxe Books. He lives in Northumberland.
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It is a book that I heard mentioned on Desert Island Discs recently - can't remember who it was who chose it, but was requested as an alternative to the Bible, and that is as good a reason to buy it, whether you are religious or not. This is essence of modern humanity, distilled into beautiful words.
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