Ugly Duckling Presse

Staying Alive
Staying Alive

Laura Sims

Poetry | $14 $12
Spring 2016
"The restraint is active, and the spaces, the silences, are freighted." — C.D. WrightIn 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