Staying Human is the latest addition to Neil Astley's Staying Alive series of world poetry anthologies, which have introduced many thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry. This fourth volume 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 in response to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Staying Human (2020), a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation, follows three previous anthologies in the series: Staying Alive (2002), Being Alive (2004) and Being Human (2011).
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