Friday 1 November 2013 4:45pm
In this follow-up collection to the award-winning The Truth Garden, Emma Neale asks where exactly do the personal and the political drop hands? In poems that are engaged, compelling, witty and moving, she looks at how we navigate a true line through the psychological, environmental, social and economic anxieties of our times.
The book examines love in its many guises, and also energetically responds to the distractions and delights of the digital age.
Writing of Emma Neale’s ‘kitchen-familiar and cosmic-wide attentions’, Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan has said, ‘There is something so celebratory about Emma Neale’s poetry, about its eager, informed, needle-eyed engagement with the contemporary world ... [She runs] the hot thread of linguistic flare and precision through whatever occasion she takes up.’
Tender Machines is a courageous collection. Neale has taken the urgency, the high-tensile wire-walking of Sylvia Plath and gone somewhere else with it; her poems keep somehow believing in a future even though it can feel so utterly undermined in the difficult present.
– Rhian Gallagher
[Emma Neale] knows how to use an array of language skills, sometimes dazzling, sometimes quietly so apt and right for the fit-to-feeling that one takes in the reading a fine hit of heart-stopping moments.
– Michael Harlow
EMMA NEALE works in Dunedin as a freelance editor and runs creative writing workshops. She has published five novels and four volumes of poetry, as well as editing three anthologies of poetry. She has won a number of fellowships and awards, and her manuscript of The Truth Garden won the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award 2011. Emma’s work was selected for Best New Zealand Poems 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2014, and she was runner-up in the inaugural Sarah Broom Poetry Award 2014.
Paperback, 160 x 230 mm, 108 pages, ISBN 978 1 927322 34 5, $25