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In this heart-wrenching collection, Vanessa Shields chronicles the life of her Nonna, Maria, from her origins as a seamstress in Italy to her eventual death from dementia. These raw, prosaic poems thread together grief, memory, loss, and love into a conversation that speaks across pages, years, and oceans. Shields bravely interrogates her own feelings of guilt, grief, and curiosity with unflinching precision. As she attempts to navigate and accept Nonna’s decline, Shields takes on the role of witness as she excavates the larger narrative that is her Nonna’s legacy. Thimbles is a courageous celebration of the transformative power of love across generations.

Praise for Thimbles

Shields has an ear for the ocean, the fugitive word, insect symphonies and the luscious unsaid. Thimbles is a beautiful blaze of a book, a paean to generations of gently brave women, but, most of all, an unforgettable tribute to the gospel of Nonna.—Kyo Maclear

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