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Cover to cover: Natalie Olsen on designing Amber McMillan’s We Can’t Ever Do This Again

We Can't Ever Do This Again finalFINAL.  After a second, third, and fourth reread, I rediscovered a reference to a blind boy who cradles a plastic telephone to his ear for hours, finding comfort in the dial tone. I initially passed over this poem because, although the description of the boy was affecting, the thrust of the imagery is primarily auditory and therefore – I thought – not a suitable cover visual. But then I asked myself, what does a dial tone really look like? My solution was to simplify things, playing with the cropping and scale of the receiver to invite a dialogue with the reader and suggest an intimate, unspoken exchange.