NEW HOPE INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

An independent small press poetry review

NHI independent review
CATH NICHOLS: TALES OF BOY NANCY
Driftwood Publications
5 Timms Lane
Formby
Liverpool
L37 7DW
UK
ISBN 1 904420 13 3
4

email Driftwood Publications

www
NHI review home page
FAQ page
Notes for Publishers

book reviews
anthologies
magazines
other media

Web design by Gerald England
This page last updated: 11th December 2007.
CATH NICHOLS: TALES OF BOY NANCY

Many of these poems focus on or provide some kind of a platform for transgenderism/transexualism in their subject matter. With exceptions I thought that the focus was awry or too allusive or just mildly brought to light in this first collection; and would doubt we need more emphasis on these subjects, which are now out in the open and tend to mask other medical states which have not the benefits of their rather unbalanced publicity.

For instance, described as a

water-drenched tale of marvelous (sic) creatures, transgender sailors, sea-changing fish and doomed seals,
the latter in BREATHING HOLE are concerned with staying alive by biting through the ice. What has this (one of 13 poems under the CONTENTS subhead corresponding with the title) to do with this main subject? Or am I missing something?
	His choice then:
	to die from a failure to feed,
	or from suffocation.
	These seals die young.
Similar irritation is posed by HOW TO TIE KNOTS, VIAREGGIO and other poems under the BOY NANCY subhead. which appear highly irrelevant, although the poetry is straightforward and mildly interesting in its own right:
	The figure of eight is a useful stopper knot.
	The clove hitch, good for hitching A to B.
	A bowline can be tied with one hand and will not slip or jam.
Nearer the mark is COLONEL BARKER'S BLACKPOOL POSTING which, at the end, explains the subject exists
	in coastal places, in mists
	and times when genes collide
Barker was in trouble after a gaol sentence, having to reveal his naked body. He gets imprisoned with women, to his shame. After that, at Blackpool, he is featured as a famous intersexualcharacter. The public come
	to ogle at the Colonel in his red, silk pyjamas.
If I were to vote for poems, notwithstanding irrelevancy or otherwise to book title, they would be VIAREGGIO, MULTIPLICITY and THE TRAIN FROM CHESTER IS ON TIME.

The important copyright page shows lack of editorial attention. Cath's surname is given as Nichol, not Nichols, and we have

stored in a retrievale system
Cover and typesetting is fine, but one does not expect the above inaccuracies which rather detract from the trust of the Arts Council in supporting the project, in expectation of some care with the preliminaries. But I am sure this is a one-off sin.

reviewer: Eric Ratcliffe