Cath Nichols was born in Kent, 1970, but spent her childhood in Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. She is the author of two pamphlets, Tales of Boy Nancy (Driftwood, 2005) and Distance (Erbacce Press, 2012) and a collection, My Glamorous Assistant (Headland, 2007). She holds a PhD in Creative Writing. Her latest collection, This is Not a Stunt, was published by Valley Press in September 2017.
In these poems, living with disability or being trans are not tragedies to overcome but ways of being, with their own humour, romance, stories and mundanity.
Embracing the ordinary (‘We’re middle-aged, of course. Life rolls on’) and the remarkable, Nichols revisits her childhood in New Zealand and her teenage years in Kent, before crossing several decades (and haircuts) on the gay scene in Manchester.
At the heart of the collection is a sequence, ‘Bo(d)y-in-waiting’, a forthright and intimately observed narrative about a boy growing up trans in the 1970s, thwarted and misunderstood at every turn by vacuous doctors and oblivious teachers. Readers will discover why ‘each body is an act of becoming’, and be left with a new appreciation of what makes us human.
‘A ground-breaking collection ... accomplished and skilful. Nichols doesn’t subvert our sense of what is normal, she shows us difference is normal’
– Angela Topping, Stride
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