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Poems That Make Grown Men Cry: Richard Eyre

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Published on May 8, 2014

Grown men aren't supposed to cry. Anthony Holden and Ben Holden introduce a selection of poems that haunt a host of eminent men, from their new anthology in association with Amnesty International; they explain why, in words as moving as the poems themselves. With Melvyn Bragg, Richard Dawkins, Richard Eyre, Mike Leigh, Simon McBurney, Ian McEwan, Ben Okri, Simon Russell Beale and Simon Schama, and Kate Allen (Amnesty International UK).


From Amnesty:
Writing poetry -- and responding to it -- happens because people care. And it's our capacity for caring that underpins our human rights. Individuals who care have real power to make a difference. Amnesty International, now a global movement of some three million people, began in 1961 when the lawyer Peter Benenson read about two Portuguese students imprisoned for toasting freedom, was inspired to take action, and called on others to join him. One of Amnesty's first prisoners of conscience was a poet, Dr Agostinho Neto, who later became president of Angola.
Throughout history poets have been targeted by repressive governments because of their power to stir emotions and liberate ideas. It still happens. The Chinese poet, artist and activist Liu Xia has been under illegal house arrest since October 2010, when her husband, Dr Liu Xiaobo (who is serving an 11-year prison term), was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Security guards surround her Beijing home. She cannot leave and is not allowed visitors. In January 2014, Liu suffered a heart attack, and has also been diagnosed with severe depression.

Please take action for Liu Xia at http://www.amnesty.org.uk/iar

About Poems That Make Grown Men Cry:
Grown men aren't supposed to cry. But the fascinating new anthology Poems That Make Grown Men Cry sees 100 men eminent in their fields -- literature and movies, science and architecture, theatre and human rights -- confess to breaking down at poems that haunt them for a host of reasons. And they all explain why, in words often as moving as the poems themselves.
Father-and-son editors Anthony and Ben Holden have teamed up with Amnesty International to compile a poetry anthology unlike any other. The full list of contributors range from John le Carré to Jeremy Irons, Salman Rushdie to the late Christopher Hitchens and Seamus Heaney, Alan Hollinghurst to Jonathan Franzen, John Carey to Ken Follett, David Edgar to Stephen Fry, Stanley Tucci to Colin Firth, Sebastian Faulks to Richard Curtis, William Sieghart to Anish Kapoor, JJ Abrams to Nick Cave, Julian Fellowes to Daniel Radcliffe.

In this book men whose writing or acting, music or thinking you have enjoyed and admired give you a private insight into their souls. Poetry fans will savour old favourites and discover new gems. Poetry novices will discover new worlds. The Holdens defy you not to be moved and inspired by these poems. This is a book to relish - sharing these private moments through the joys and sorrows of some of the most moving poetry ever written, and learning more about yourself in the process. As Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer says in her Afterword: 'Everyone who reads this collection will be roused: disturbed by the pain, exalted in the zest for joy given by the poets.'

For more information: http://amnestyshop.org.uk/poems-that-...

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