Published 1st June 2020

Winner of the 2019 New Poets Prize judged by Mary Jean Chan

Threadbare is about witnessing and experiencing sexual violence against women from a young age, and how, despite unravelling, we manage, time and time again, to stitch ourselves back together.   

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What Writers and Critics Think

  • 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
  • A powerful and brilliantly-executed collection of poems. This is strong, focused and genuine writing. It has taken my breath away, in the same way that Stag’s Leap did the first time I read it.

    David Morley
  • The world needs this poetry.

    Jonathan Skinner


Threadbare is a remarkable debut of stark and relentless poems driven to explore some of the truly darker corners of human encounters. Yet from this darkness Neale breathes to life a tenacious story of survival, rebirth, and growth, delivered with a poignancy of imagery and deftness of expression that spills out of the pages and knocks at the heart. Abbie Neale is most certainly a poet to watch closely. – Jack McGowan

Sometimes subtle, mostly piercing and fiercely liberating, Threadbare is an honest account of poetry, encapsulating the problems of misogyny through deceptively simple yet much-needed ways of cutting to the heart of the problems … Threadbare is necessary for those who need an uncomfortable read, to reflect upon your actions and be aware what you can do to help unload the weight of pain that comes with toxic masculinity. More poetry like this needs to hit the pages, and soon.” – Foxtrot Uniform magazine (read full review here)

“Neale’s language is deceptively simple, but there is a clear sense that not one single word is extraneous. This is writer using huge restraint to describe very difficult things. Her use of descriptive language is extraordinary and leaves images that burn into your memory … This is a beautiful selection of poems.” Cathi Rae, Everybody’s Reviewing (read full review here)


Abbie Neale is a writer, actor and painter, with a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Warwick University. Her poetry has appeared in The North, Abridged, Crannóg, Bath Magg, Cobalt, Playground Poems, Strix Magazine and Whirlagust, an anthology by Yaffle Press, and in 2019 she won the international prize in the York Mix Poetry Competition.

Additional information

Weight 0.067 kg
Dimensions 21 × 14.8 × 0.6 cm




Publication Year