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

  • In September Jude is having a launch at both Guernica Editions launch and at Joy Kogawa House. She will read several poems from the book with photographs. launch. Dates & times TBA
  • Guernica launch on Zoom Sep 12 - 12:30 Pacific
  • Launch at Joy Kogawa House, Vancouver on September 19 at 4pm. Jude will read several poems from the book with photographs.
  • The Bowen Island launch for Inside the Pearl is on October 1, 2021, 7:30pm, at the Hearth Gallery.

  • Jude will be facilitating a workshop on Sunday, August 8: "Impromptu, Poetry Writing from 1-2pm on Bowen Island. Register
  • In the afternoon, Jude will be reading from A Blooming, Impromptu, The River Answers and The Flaw, from between 2:30 and 5pm on Bowen Island. She will be one of several Bowen writers performing at that time. More Info

Jude Reads Poetry