Staying Human anthology events

Staying Human anthology events


Neil Astley’s serious and inspiring Staying Human follows the deserved success of Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human - all invigorating, essential collections.'  - Bel Mooney, Daily Mail, Christmas Books 2020
 

The fourth volume in Neil Astley’s Staying Alive series of world poetry anthologies was published on National Poetry Day, 1 October 2020. It was launched online at Berwick Literary Festival on 16 October, and a series of recordings were shared by Birmingham Literature Festival each day during October. All 31 poems are now on Soundcloud here.
 
Staying Human is companion volume to the earlier books in the series, Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004) and Being Human (2011), but it can also stand alone. The series has had many high-profile admirers over the years, including Meryl Streep, Mia Farrow, Helena Bonham Carter, Jane Campion, Beth Orton, Philip Pullman, Kamila Shamsie and Bernardine Evaristo, among others.
 
Staying Human: new poems for Staying Alive was one of 40 recommended poetry books for National Poetry Day, included on their list of ten titles suggested for reading groups.  Notes for book groups are here.
 
Bookanista featured three poems from Staying Human to mark publication day. Read the feature here.
 
An in-depth interview with Editor Neil Astley is featured on Write Out Loud's website here.
 
Reviews for Staying Human can be seen here.
 
 
FORTHCOMING EVENTS IN 2021

Sunday 28th February 2021, 4.00pm-5.00pm, Kendal Poetry Festival
 
Staying Human anthology: Neil Astley in conversation with Clare Shaw
 
The Staying Alive series of Bloodaxe anthologies - Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004), Being Human (2011) and Staying Human (2020) – have been a huge presence in the British poetry scene for almost two decades. Their editor (and founder editor of Bloodaxe) Neil Astley will read from Staying Human, taking questions and requests from an online audience while exploring the fascinating history of the anthologies and their profound relevance to these times. He'll be in conversation with poet and Kendal Poetry Festival Co-Director Clare Shaw,

Tickets: 
£5
 
Click here to book.
 
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READINGS ON SOUNDCLOUD
 
Birmingham Literature Festival, 1-31 October 2020
 
Staying human: a poem for every day of October
 
To celebrate the launch of the Staying Human poetry anthology, Writing West Midlands teamed up with six other regional development agencies and Birmingham Literature Festival to create a playlist of poems from the anthology read aloud in the voices and accents of their regions.
 
Thirty-one poems from Staying Human have been selected - one for each day of October - and readers across England were invited to record a reading.  The recordings were shared through a Soundcloud playlist each day during October.
 
The final playlist celebrates the wide array of wonderful poetry and poets included in the anthology, a daily reminder of the power of connection and humanity in these uncertain times.
 
Click here for details, and to listen to the playlist of 31 poems.
 
 
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PAST READINGS
 
Berwick Literary Festival,  Friday 16 October 2020, 4pm - online launch
 
Neil Astley: Staying Human – New Poems for Staying Alive
 
Bloodaxe Editor Neil Astley presented a launch reading from Staying Human, the latest addition to his Staying Alive series of world poetry anthologies. He was joined by poets David Constantine and Imtiaz Dharker. Between them they read 40 poems from the anthology.
 
'Like so many of our sessions this year, these powerful poems – chosen by Neil to focus on poetry written over the last 20 years – held a whole new resonance and meaning in the light of recent world events.... This is a superbly curated series of ‘real poems for unreal times’ which harnesses the intensity and intimacy of living globally and individually in our world today. I can’t possibly do justice to what we experienced this afternoon in a little blogpost. I feel as if I have been washed in a visceral kaleidoscope of word sensations. A connection of countries, cultures, and creativities.' - Jackie Kaines, in her Berwick Literary Festival blog. 
 
Read the full blog here.
 

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Film of readings by eleven of the Staying Human poets



Eleven poets included in Staying Human read short excerpts from their poems in the book: Tishani Doshi (extract from ‘Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods’), Wayne Holloway-Smith (from ‘The posh mums are boxing in the square’), Ruth Stone, 1915-2011 (from ‘The Excuse’), Jane Clarke (from ‘Who owns the field?’), Marie Howe (from ‘One day’), Jericho Brown (from ‘As a Human Being’), Elizabeth Alexander (from ‘Smile’), Patricia Smith (from ‘That Chile Emmett in That Casket’), Abigail Parry (from ‘The Quilt’), Louis de Paor (from ‘Marmalade’), and Thomas Lux, 1946-2017 (from ‘Refrigerator, 1957’), finishing with Jericho Brown speaking at Ledbury Poetry Festival about being first published in the UK in the previous anthology, Being Human.

 

Martina Evans reads her poem 'I Want to Be like Frank O'Hara' - one of the 500 poems included in Staying Human.

 

Martina Evans is published by Carcanet.  This film features as part of the Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation's Read By series of poetry films. They have recently released films of poems by Bloodaxe poets Hannah Lowe and Wayne Holloway-Smith.


[10 September 2020]


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