The Introspective Musings of Queer Poet Nico Tortorella (Exclusive)

The Introspective Musings of Queer Poet Nico Tortorella

Younger star Nico Tortorella celebrated their golden birthday, turning 30 on July 30, two days after the largest lunar eclipse of the 21st century and while six planets were in retrograde.

“So there’s been a fuckload of reflection going on,” the queer heartthrob explained. “But honestly, I think my life has been in a perpetual state of reflection for the past couple of years now.”

Nico’s reflections have manifested themselves in a collection of poems, which the poet gave the title All of It is You.

Nico, who prefers they/them pronouns, says “the point of the book is about collapsing binaries and recognizing the continuity of everyone and everything.”

“It’s about this oneness. This singularity.” They believe that “every idea and incredible piece of art already exists in one way or another in this collective conscious.”

This unity to the human experience is what inspired the title of their debut poetry book, All of It is You.

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Nico, in both their poetry and personal life, has been attempting to better understand how our experiences with liminality influence who we are. They note there’s a complex irony that occurs when speaking in terms of oneness. While they “try to celebrate the infinite of the in-between,” Nico also believes in a unified “singularity.”

They gave the example of gender pronouns to illustrate their point.

“I’ve been struggling a lot with gender nonbinary and gender nonconforming [labels] because those two labels are specifically saying what we are not. We are not this. We are not that. So then, what are we? What’s the opposite of binary? Is it singularity or is it infinity?”

They paused, taking a big breath before continuing, “This is where my artwork is living. Everything [I write] is theory that I’m working through every single day.”

For a while now, Nico has been struggling to find the appropriate pronouns and ways to accurately describe the complexities of their own identities and thoughts.

“I think they/them really encompasses everything beyond gender identity. For so long, I was so cautious of using any nonbinary identity label, because I look and am perceived a certain way.”

They thought, “Since I mostly present as masculine, there’s no way I could ever be nonbinary, but the whole point of being gender nonconforming is that we’re not conforming. We’re not one thing or another. And I’ve found my own place in a third gender that is my own.”

They made clear, “that has nothing to do with anyone else or their expressions.”

The day before Nico’s birthday, they were one of the headliners at the 8th-Annual NYC Poetry Festival on Governors Island. There, they got to read a few poem from their debut book and other poems not yet published. They were accompanied by airy-sounding music from artist David Block aka The Human Experience.

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Still new to performing their personal work, Nico absolutely loves to recite their own written word.

“I found a version of my own god in writing this book through the mantra that ‘all of it is you.’ In my show, when I’m performing, I get to share this god with them, in my way.”

The NYC Poetry Festival was no exception.

“This is my first [time performing] at any sort of poetry festival ever,” Nico explained. “I’m used to performing in spaces where people know me. Whether they’re Younger fans or know about the book, [but] a lot of people weren’t aware of me there. It was really special to see people react to something [and someone] completely brand new.”

(Nico and The Human Experience Performing at NYC's 8th-Annual Poetry Festival. Cred: Horst Dieter Baum) 

Poetry, to Nico, hasn’t only been an outlet for them to explore queer theoretical questions that have been plaguing the contemplative artist, nor has it simply offered them a new outlook on life. In writing and performing their poetry, the artist has unlocked a new form of spirituality that was inside of them — a spirituality that they now hope to share with the world.

All of It is You is now available on Amazon.

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