PBS Special Commendation Winter 2020
Staying Human is the latest addition to Bloodaxe's Staying Alive series of world poetry anthologies which have introduced many thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry. This fourth volume in the series offers poetry lovers an even broader, international selection of 500 more ‘real poems for unreal times’.
The range of poetry here complements that of the first three anthologies: hundreds of thoughtful and powerful poems about living in the modern world; poems that touch the heart, stir the mind and fire the spirit; poems about what makes us human, about love and loss, fear and longing, hurt and wonder; talismanic poems which have become personal survival testaments for many.
There’s a strong focus on the human side of living in the 21st century in poems from the past two decades relating to migration, oppression, alienation and the individual’s struggle to hold on, stay connected and find meaning in an increasingly polarised world.
Staying Human also draws on poems suggested by readers because they’ve been so important in their own lives, as well as many poems which have gone viral after being shared on social media because they speak to our times with such great immediacy. And there are poems from around the world written just recently in response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Comments on Staying Alive:
‘These poems distil the human heart as nothing else… Staying Alive celebrates the point of poetry. It’s invigorating and makes me proud of being human’ – Jane Campion
‘Truly startling and powerful poems’ – Mia Farrow
‘Staying Alive is a blessing of a book…Has there ever been such a passionate anthology? These are poems that hunt you down with the solace of their recognition’ – Anne Michaels
‘Staying Alive is a book which leaves those who have read or heard a poem from it feeling less alone and more alive’ – John Berger
‘Staying Alive is a magnificent anthology. The last time I was so excited, engaged and enthralled by a collection of poems was when I first encountered The Rattle Bag. 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