Ben Holden

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Books

Associate: Seren Adams

Books

Ben Holden is the editor, with his father Anthony, of the bestselling and acclaimed anthologies POEMS THAT MAKE GROWN MEN CRY (2014, Simon & Schuster) and POEMS THAT MAKE GROWN WOMEN CRY (2016, Simon & Schuster), both published in partnership with Amnesty International. Ben is also the producer of various feature films, including the record-breaking THE WOMAN IN BLACK series, and his company Lightbulb Pictures has a production deal with the legendary Hammer Films. He read English at Merton College, Oxford.

Ben's latest anthology, BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN UPS, was published in late 2016 by Simon & Schuster. 

Praise for POEMS THAT MAKE GROWN MEN CRY (2014)

'Everyone who reads this collection will be roused: disturbed by the pain, exalted in the zest for joy given by poets' Observer

'That's the great thing about a good anthology of poems: you are reminded of old friends and introduced to new ones... This is a welcome addition to my shelves and I'll look forward to Poems That Make Woman CrySunday Telegraph 

'Though these poems speak to personal loss and reflect human suffering, they redeem pain and restore courage. They bring manly tears to the eyes but heal the hearts of men and woman alike' Saga 

'For once the blurb is believable: it really is a fascinating anthology. Finding out what makes particular men emotional is intriguing' Irish Independent

'The title is pure genius... what I love most is the proud grasp of emotion as mature and manly. Two words that become magnificent in their juxtaposition: "men" and "cry"' Daily Mail

'The best leave you with a renewed sense of how extraordinary it is that poetry can over the course of one sentence flood your circuit board with loss, or anger, or love' Independent

Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes
2017

Simon & Schuster

There are few more precious routines than that of the bedtime story. So why do we discard this invaluable ritual as grown-ups to the detriment of our well-being and good health?
In this groundbreaking anthology, Ben Holden, editor of the bestselling Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, challenges how we think about life, a third of which is spent asleep. He deftly explores not only the science of sleep but also why we endlessly tell stories – even to ourselves, as we dream.
Holden combines his own illuminating storytelling with a treasure trove of timeless classics and contemporary gems. Poems and short stories, fairy tales and fables, reveries and nocturnes – from William Shakespeare to Haruki Murakami, Charles Dickens to Roald Dahl, Rabindranath Tagore to Nora Ephron, Vladimir Nabokov to Neil Gaiman – are all woven together to replicate the journey of a single night’s sleep.
Some of today’s greatest storytellers reveal their choice of the ideal grown-up bedtime story: writers such as Margaret Drabble, Ken Follett, Tessa Hadley, Robert Macfarlane, Patrick Ness, Tony Robinson and Warsan Shire.
Fold away your laptop and shut down your mobile phone. Curl up and crash out with the ultimate bedside book, one you’ll return to again and again. Full of laughter and tears, moonlight and magic, Bedtime Stories for Grown-ups joyfully provides the dream way to end the day – and begin the night . . .

Poetry

Publication DetailsNotes
2016

Simon & Schuster

Following the success of their anthology Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, father-and-son team Anthony and Ben Holden, working with Amnesty International, have asked the same revealing question of 100 remarkable women. What poem has moved you to tears?
The poems chosen range from the eighth century to today, from Rumi and Shakespeare to Sylvia Plath, W. H. Auden to Carol Ann Duffy, Pablo Neruda and Derek Walcott to Imtiaz Dharker and Warsan Shire. Their themes range from love and loss, through mortality and mystery, war and peace, to the beauty and variety of nature. From Yoko Ono to Judi Dench, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Elena Ferrante, Carol Ann Duffy to Meera Syal, and Joan Baez to Olivia Colman, this unique collection delivers private insights into the minds of women whose writing, acting and thinking are admired around the world.

2014

Simon & Schuster

Grown men aren't supposed to cry. But in this fascinating anthology, one hundred men - distinguished in literature and film, science and architecture, theatre and human rights - confess to being moved to tears by poems that haunt them. Representing twenty nationalities and ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 80s, the majority are public figures not prone to crying. Here they admit to breaking down when ambushed by great art, often in words as powerful as the poems themselves. Seventy-five percent of the selected poems were written in the twentieth century, with more than a dozen by women. Their themes range from love in its many guises, through mortality and loss, to the beauty and variety of nature. Three men have suffered the pain of losing a child; others are moved to tears by the exquisite way a poet captures, in Alexander Pope's famous phrase, 'what oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd'. From J.J Abrams to John le Carre, Salman Rushdie to Jonathan Franzen, Daniel Radcliffe to Nick Cave, Ian McEwan to Stephen Fry, Stanley Tucci to Colin Firth, and Seamus Heaney to Christopher Hitchens, this collection delivers private insight into the souls of men whose writing, acting, and thinking are admired around the world.