Essential Poems from the Staying Alive Trilogy

ed. Neil Astley

About this book

“Staying Alive”, “Being Alive” and “Being Human” have introduced many thousands of new readers to contemporary poetry, and have helped poetry lovers to discover the little known riches of world poetry. These books have been enormously popular with readers, especially as gift books and bedside companions.

The poems by writers from many parts of the world have emotional power, intellectual edge and playful wit. This pocketbook selection of 100 essential poems from the trilogy is a “Staying Alive” travel companion (also available as an e-book). As well as selecting favourite poems from the trilogy, readers’ and writers’ choices as well as his own favourites, editor Neil Astley provides background notes on the poets and poems. These essential poems are all about being human, being alive and staying alive: about love and loss; fear and longing; hurt and wonder; war and death; grief and suffering; birth, growing up and family; time, ageing and mortality; memory, self and identity; faith, hope and belief…all of human life in a hundred highly individual, universal poems.

Read a sample!

What we think of this book & ideas for gifting

At World Book Night we think that poetry is vital and a pleasure to read and hear. We are thrilled to be able celebrate poetry in all its forms by including this wonderful anthology on our list, which showcases some of our best-loved and most wonderful poems taken from the incredible Staying Alive trilogy, alongside diverse, new and less well-known treats. This pocket format makes it even more suitable as a gift book for all those people you're sure would love modern poetry if only they were familiar with these kinds of poems.