Naoise Gale is an autistic confessional poet who writes about mental illness, addiction, sexuality, and grief. Her influences include Olivia Tuck, Phoebe Stuckes, Alejandra Pizarnik and Sophie Robinson. She is inspired by confessional, surreal, and experimental genres of poetry, as well as the art of literary translation. Her debut pamphlet After the Flood Comes the Apologies was published with Nine Pens in October 2021, and she has been featured in poetry magazines such as Opia Lit, Versification and Nightingale and Sparrow. She has also been listed in several competitions including the Creative Future Writers’ Award 2021 and the Fish Poetry Prize 2021. In October 2022 she will start an MA in Creative Writing Poetry at the University of East Anglia.

Preview of the Work


I would like to lock the doors to my
lungs and breathe out all my smoke
in one shadowy breath, I would like

white roses and tramadol to numb
the garrotting, I would like to lie
coffin-ready next to your grave with

my eyes on the sun and nothing
passing above me, I would like
lanugo and ivy to overrun this

wretched body, I would like to press
my hips into one thin pill, illegal-
white, I would like to hold your

hand and say it is okay, okay, okay:
we are all broken keys. 

Apology to My Mother

Every time we fight 
you sweep up the glass, rehang
certificates to prove
I am not mould or dust. 

I hate that you love me as much when I blister as 
when I melt to wax and dark and sad as 
when I am a star scorching the night to ash. 
I hate that last week I hit myself 
over the head 
with a torch and afterwards you
held me like a precious, precious stone.

I hate that I am happy, mostly, and 
cruel. I hate that I nearly Cluedo-ed
myself in the bedroom; that when
I punched that sick, seething organ
I was punching something that
once dreamt inside you.

You say I want to be punished
like a Victorian. When things get
loud I cover my ears and think
of death till the sense fuses.
When the concussion-fuzz
fades I kiss my brain at
all its broken corners.

The word odd burns at the
splinter-edge of vision.

Praise for the Author

“IMPLODE EXPLODE is dually a delve into the human psyche and a wider exploration of what we mean to the people around us. Trauma and tenderness are expertly laid bare and Gale’s work is breathless, rooted, transcendent. It carves its own path through the themes we all think we know and shows us the burning issues that lie beneath. Raw seems an understatement when describing a collection that wounds with such excruciating, necessary purpose.”– Laura Jane Round, Black Country-born performance poet and author of ‘The Coveted’ (Cerasus Poetry, 2021). 

“…explores a yearning for peace be it in death, in pills, in order, or in poetry. Gale has a talent for making you feel breathless after every poem. One theme I noticed was knowing, in such an unforgiving world, poetry won’t save you but choosing to write anyway. A brave act reminiscent of Camus’ declaration that there’s an absurd courage in choosing to live and proving that the gifted kid who burned out too quickly can still find joy and self-acceptance. Gale is one poet to keep in mind when you’re looking for your next read.”  –  Meaghan Curley, writer of ‘Vulgar Wisdoms’.

“This first full collection from Naoise Gale is as blisteringly honest, heartbreaking at times, yet life-enhancing as is her debut. Yet here she digs deeper; her poetry fires and fries the synapses, her words lit by the stark fluorescent light of hospital wings and fizzing with the effervescence of pill-popped pharmaceuticals. An astonishingly mature collection from a vital new voice. “ – JP Seabright: Writer, and Assistant Editor, Full House Literary.


Tangerine Dream – Longlisted in the Canterbury Festival’s Poet of the Year 2021

I Like Myself When I’m High – Clandestine Lit Issue 1

One Every Four Days – Longlisted in the Reflex Flash Fiction Competition Summer 2021

Sneak – Re-side Zine Issue 8

Mixed Episode – Honourable Mention in the Magdalena Young Poet’s Prize 2020/2021

Wish – Serotonin

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