The River Answers
Cohen sang “They are leaning out for love and they will lean that way
forever” and here Jude Neale is leaning in her quest for love, leaning
into light, and “into the dark” through memory, through dreams and the
substance of ordinary things. She calls for tenderness to birth love and
kindness as she lets a river of words answer.
Jude Neale here lifts up the whole human heart and shows us how heavy
it is with grief, pain, love, and joy. These poems are like facets of
a gem, showing the contours of girlhood, womanhood, and elder matriarchy,
clear and true.
Jude Neale’s poems are full of questions that make us lean closer in
to answer. They speak of love with a wisdom gathered from childhood through
half-opened eyelids in the dusk. These poems are generous; they toss up
the scenes of a life and offer them like food. And fearless in their selection.
This is her gift: the poet’s eye, the image paired with the sound that
rings for years. She always finds the one small door that will open me
on any particular day. Then, tell me, she asks, what did you see?
Jude Neale is a Canadian poet, mentor, educator, opera singer and spoken word performer. She has published eight collections of poetry, including A Quiet Coming of Light (Leaf Press, 2014), Splendid in its Silence, which won the SPM Publications (London) Poetry Book Competition and was published there in April 2017, Cantata in Two Voices (Ekstasis Editions, 2018, with Bonnie Nish), A Blooming (Ekstasis Editions, 2019), and Impromptu (Ekstasis Editions, 2020). She has been a winner in competitions featuring flash fiction and short stories and was a finalist for The Pat Lowther award. Her poetry was finalist for the Gregory O'Donoghue Poetry Prize in Ireland. Jude has collaborated with many artists, including, violist and composer, Thomas RL Beckman and the Prince George Symphony Orchestra and the visual artist Jane Kenyon at their textile/poetry installation in June and July, 2021, at the Hearth Gallery. Jude believes that her writing should move, elevate, and illuminate.