Only the Fallen Can See, by Jude Neale: A Bowen’s Own Review

Review by Richard Labonté

A grandfather strokes a grandchild’s chest “to find those places that make him
breathe hard.” A man tells a woman she is beautiful, “though I haven’t bathed for
three days…and can only look at the wall.” A young girl has “been planning my
funeral since I was ten.” A poet lies in a bed of balled tissues, where “somewhere
in the tangle are the pills to pull me through this labyrinth.” The labyrinth is bipolar
disorder, and that grandchild, that woman, that young girl, and that poet are

In this evocative, provocative collection, at once tender and terrifying,
reflective and raging, hurt and healed, Neale lays bare a life of emotional highs
and despairing lows and, often enough, of stable, contented middles: “We sing
ourselves back, and become once again whole.” Some poetry is external, drawn
from the world beyond self. Other poetry is internal, drawn from the world within
self. Neale’s collection straddles the divide with riveting style and compelling

Meet Jude at Coming Events

  • Book launch for The Flaw, at the Canadian Music Centre BC on November 6 at 3:30-5pm.

  • Jude read from Naxos Greece on Saturday September 17 @ 1:00 pm-2:00 pm. PDT time. The event included Jude Neale, reading from The River Answers (Ekstasis Editions) | Shani Mootoo, Cane Fire (Book*Hug Press) | Alan Hill, In the Blood (Caitlin Press), all speaking from different places on Earth.
    For information:
  • The Bowen Island launch for Inside the Pearl was on October 1, 2021, 7:30pm, at the Hearth Gallery.
  • Guernica launched on Zoom Sep 12, 2021 - 12:30 Pacific
  • Launch at Joy Kogawa House, Vancouver on September 19, 2021 at 4pm. Jude read several poems from the book with photographs.
  • Jude will facilitated a workshop on Sunday, August 8: "Impromptu, Poetry Writing from 1-2pm on Bowen Island. Register
  • In the afternoon, Jude read from A Blooming, Impromptu, The River Answers and The Flaw, from between 2:30 and 5pm on Bowen Island. She was one of several Bowen writers performing at that time. More Info

Jude Reads Poetry