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. Staying Human 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. Neil Astley gave a reading from Staying Human at Kendal Poetry Festival on 28 February, where he was in conversation with festival co-director Clare Shaw.
An interview with Neil Astley was broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1’s The Poetry Programme on 21 February 2021. He was talking about his recently-published world poetry anthology Staying Human, and the thinking behind his Staying Alive series. Recordings of six poems from the anthology – all read by the authors – were played. They were: Thomas McCarthy’s ‘Slow Food’, Tishani Doshi’s ‘Girls Are Coming Out of the Woods’, David Constantine’s ‘Dominion’, Ailbhe Darcy’s ‘After My Son was Born’, Wayne Holloway-Smith’s ‘the posh mums are boxing in the square’ and Imtiaz Dharker’s ‘Chaudhri Sher Mobarik looks at the loch’. Imtiaz's poem was played again on RTE Radio 1's Playback on 27 February, along with clips from Neil's interview.
Half-hour radio feature. Listen here.
Dzifa Benson reads 'Self Portrait as a Creature of Numbers' from Staying Human
Dzifa Benson reads her poem 'Self Portrait as a Creature of Numbers' - recorded at Oxford House on the eve of the second lockdown, 1 December 2020. The poem is included in Staying Human, and in her introduction, Dzifa speaks about how this anthology has brought together a community of poets at a time where in person readings and meeting is not possible.
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 released films of poems by Bloodaxe poets Hannah Lowe and Wayne Holloway-Smith.
[10 September 2020]