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A Housecoat Remains

A Housecoat Remains

By Tina Biello

This collection of poems tells a multi-layered story between worlds: old country vs. new, traditional life vs. modern, health vs. illness. Biello takes us on a journey between these worlds and shows us how mother, father and daughter cope with loss and re-discover each other through the difficult illness of Alzheimer's disease. Everything must change to make way for this new journey. This is the beat of her language, culture and family disappearing, but somehow, at the heart of it all, love remains.


Guernica Editions (Essential Poets Series)


100 pages |

Regular price $16.00 USD
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In her deft homage to her post-WWII Italian parents, Biello takes us into their three shifting worlds: the old country; the new; the new-ways of their Canadian-born children. We eat sugo at their table, grab a rock to stop a repeated taunt, hold their dying hand and are invigorated by their tenacity, vitality. When you finish this book, it stays put in your heart.

Betsy Warland, author of Breathing the Page – Reading the Act of Writing

Tina Biello’s stark, spare lines capture the mysterious expanse of loss – first of a mother to Alzheimer’s, then a father. With a keen ear for the range of emotions in the human voice and for the music of language, she records this territory in a sensual and moving way, celebrating as much as she mourns our deepest connections to each other, and the ultimate requirement of love, which is to let go. A wonderful debut.

Pamela Porter, author of the Governor General’s Award-winning The Crazy Man

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About the author

Tina Biello grew up in Lake Cowichan, B.C., a small logging town. She studied Theatre at UBC and now finds herself writing. Since 2008, her poems have appeared in chapbook anthologies edited by Patrick Lane. Her chapbook, Momenti, published by Leaf Press (2010), was shortlisted for the Bressani Prize, and was part of a multi-disciplinary art exhibition of poetry and watercolour in Montreal and Vancouver. Eight of these poems were composed into a CD of music called Dolci Momenti. In the Bone Cracks of the Walls, her first full length book of poems, was published by Leaf Press in 2014, while the translation of the book, Nelle fenditure profonde delle mura (Leaf Press), came out in Spring 2015. A Housecoat Remains is her second collection of poetry. Visit her at