Abbie Neale

Pamphlet Launch Premiere – The New Poets’ Prize 2019/20

Join us tonight, 1st June 2020 at 7pm for our online première of the New Poets’ Prize pamphlets 2019/20. Ben Ray, Callan-Waldron Hall and Abbie Neale will read from their pamphlets and editor Suzannah Evans will share her favourite poems from Jay G Ying’s prize-winning pamphlet.

These poets were chosen by judge Mary Jean Chan as winners in 2019 and have worked towards publication over the last year and all the pamphlets can be bough on our website here.

Abbie Neale –Threadbare

This is a powerful collection that trains a keen eye on the realities of toxic masculinity, misogyny and sexual violence. Neale approaches her subject through a combination of confessional, documentary and surrealist modes: “When I fell, the trees and houses were geometric shapes / and I didn’t hit the ground, I tore through it.” 

– Mary Jean Chan

Ben Ray – The Kindness of the Eel

This is a wonderfully eclectic collection that draws its inspiration from sources at once historical and contemporary. Dramatic monologues, knee plays and intertextual responses to other poets are juxtaposed with lyric poems that constantly surprise and delight like “a surreal fruit”.

– Mary Jean Chan

Callan Waldron-Hall – Learning to be Very Soft

This is a collection suffused with vivid imagery, with various forms of water (“the pool”, “the floods”, “the river” and “the sea”) occurring throughout the text. I admired Waldron-Hall’s ability to hone in on the complexity of relationships through verse at once startling and tender. – Mary Jean Chan

Jay G Ying – Scheherazade

Taking its cue from the Descent of Inanna, this collection is one to be savoured repeatedly. Apart from its formal experimentation, its lyric epiphanies are also a delight: “where every / near thing seemed one lost island away, as unplaceable / as an accent, as unmoored as the passing season.

– Mary Jean Chan