A poetic exploration of place and belonging, a quest that takes the speaker across the ocean in search of identity and origin.
The speaker in the poems that form Land of the Rock: Talamh an Carraig travels through Newfoundland and Ireland looking for meaning in words, places, and behaviour. Whether the subject is tourists on Fogo Island, conversations on Inis Oírr, flora and fauna of the Burren, or accents in Waterford, Nolan translates this sensory data into a narrative of someone seeking a sense of belonging in a lost ancestral culture. In Land of the Rock, the lost utopia of Gaelic Ireland, which is interwoven through Irish writing and consciousness, is reimagined and displaced across the Atlantic.
About the author
Heather Nolan’s work has been published in numerous journals and anthologies across Canada, the US, and the UK, including ARC Poetry Magazine, EVENT Magazine, Riddle Fence, and Solliloquies Anthology. They are the author of the critically acclaimed novella This Is Agatha Falling and the poetry collection Land of the Rock: Talamh an Carriag. They’ve also worked as a musician (they are the former guitarist for the band, Lady Brett Ashley), photographer, and knitwear designer. Nolan’s knitwear designs, published under the name Oileánach Knits, use making as a tool for connecting with place, heritage, and lost ancestral language.
"Again and again, language—dialects and tongues—proves a pivotal throughline. Although it was serendipitous that I picked up [Land of the Rock: Talamh an Carraig and The Vernacular Strain in Newfoundland Poetry] together, in another way it’s no coincidence at all."
“In this beautifully balanced collection, Heather Nolan considers the notion of how we come to meet our different ancestral stories, and then how we mine the past to find ourselves in the present places and spaces. For those of Irish descent, it’s an exploration of ideas that might haunt more than a few of us. Beyond that, though, Nolan’s collection roots you as a reader in geographical landscapes that echo one another, but encourages you to journey further, to consider how place and ancestry can influence identity, language, and story.”