A funny and sweet—but not saccharine—jaunt through the back alleys of queer love.
Intimate, nostalgic, and surprising, the poems in I Can Hear You, Can You Hear Me? spark connections that alter trajectory and carry lasting resonance. Encounters across phone lines, over drinks, through walkie-talkies, and unspoken recognitions between queer bodies fill this collection with explorations of what it means to be seen. The micro-narratives in I Can Hear You, Can You Hear Me? both celebrate and grieve the connections they illuminate. Nolan Natasha’s poetry is plainspoken but lyrical, sweet but frank, nostalgic but unromanticized, combining the atmosphere of Eileen Myles with the musical insight of Helen Humphreys. These poems bring an unflinching examination and a keen sense of humour to moments of human connection and self-exploration.
Nolan Natasha is a queer and trans writer living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His poems have appeared in The Puritan, The Stinging Fly, Event, Grain, Prairie Fire, CV2, and Plenitude. He has been a finalist for the CBC poetry prize, the Geist postcard contest, Room Magazine’s poetry contest, the Atlantic Writing Competition, and was the runner-up for the Thomas Morton fiction prize. Nolan grew up in North York and the Faroe Islands. A nostalgia for a childhood split between 90’s suburban Toronto and green mountains in the North Atlantic is present in his work. Childhood expressions of queerness, recognition between queer bodies and the lasting resonance of personal connections emerge as major themes in both Nolan’s poetry and fiction.
“Joy comes through clearly and gives the reader permission to relax into the experience of the poems rather than analyze them, which, for me, is a favourite place to be.”—Conyer Clayton, Canthius
“Nolan Natasha’s writing is so clear-eyed, funny, tender, and absorbing. I love these poems and this sparkling debut.”—Zoe Whittall
“The poems in I can hear you, can you hear me? initiate deep and active listening, positing themselves after the call and before the response. This territory thrums with potential, with vitality. We are told that, “nothing is fixed—only closer, different” which is how these poems leave me feeling, alert for response, for the private and public conversations these poems will instigate. Nolan Natasha’s collection maps the large cultural shift we’re all feeling about identity, about vulnerability, about body, about community with insight and acuity. And in this collection’s blood, in its silences, there is indeed “the howling wonder.” How could there not be?”—Sue Goyette