Ugly Duckling Presse

Staying Alive
Staying Alive

Laura Sims

Poetry | $14 $12
Spring 2016
Buy"The restraint is active, and the spaces, the silences, are freighted."
In her fourth poetry collection, Staying Alive, Laura Sims envisions the state of the world and of human existence before, during and after the forever-imminent apocalypse. In channeling and sampling works of apocalyptic fiction and non-fiction—The War of the Worlds, The World Without Us, How to Stay Alive in the Woods, and The Road, to name a few—the poems explore multiple world-endings and their possible outcomes, and pose answers to the questions: will we, how do we, and should we stay alive?
Excerpt ˇ


I became

One of them, leaning over the railing

And no one would help

The humans left

Not even the humans

Close ˆ

About the Author

Laura Sims
Laura Sims is the author of My god is this a man, Stranger, and Practice, Restraint (all from Fence Books), and five chapbooks of poetry. She edited Fare Forward: Letters from David Markson (powerHouse Books), a book of her correspondence with the celebrated experimental novelist. Sims has been a featured writer for the Poetry Foundation’s Harriet blog, and has been a co-editor of Instance Press since 2009. She teaches literature and creative writing at NYU-SPS and lives with her family in Brooklyn. Staying Alive (UDP, 2016) is her fourth book of poetry. 

Advance Praise

Laura Sims is a startlingly original poet whose work goes very deep, like a well made of animal and human bones mortared together with rubber tires, dismembered books, dismembered dolls, and a lot of other unlikely stuff that draws water from thousands of feet under the surface of the earth. —Peter Straub, on MY GOD IS THIS A MAN (F
Brilliantly spare, Laura Sims’s poems take huge leaps–always oblique, and always uncannily precise… These poems don’t speak about things as much as they speak the things themselves: the complex situations of human society become distilled into vivid instants–sometimes alarming, often gorgeous, and always rendered in a language refreshed by her frank intelligence.—Cole Swensen, on PRACTICE, RESTRAINT (Fe
Upon the terrible isolation of words, the poet builds a progression of critical songs for a critical time. The restraint is active, and the spaces, the silences, are freighted. —C. D. Wright, on PRACTICE, RESTRAINT (Fe
Sims reaches a steady hand down into the unknown and comes back with poems that gleam. —Heather Sweeney, Dusie