Thimbles Press


Poetry by Vanessa Shields

“There are no stories until I ask…”
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 navigates and accepts Nonna’s decline, Shields takes on the role of witness by excavating the larger narrative that is her Nonna’s legacy. Thimbles is a courageous celebration of the transformative power of love across generations.

Interviews, reviews, blogs & more!

The Thimbles Book Trailer by Jett Shields

Thimbles Book Trailer

The Thimbles Poetry Performance Video by Nick & Jett Shields, featuring Vanessa Shields, poet.

Thimbles Poetry Performance Video


September 28, 2021 – Book Review by Josie Di Sciascio-Andrews

September 27, 2021 – Book Review by Independent Book Review

To read the interview, CLICK HERE!

April 24, 2021 – CBC Books

Thimbles makes CBC Books Spring Poetry Must-Read List for 2021!

To see the full list, please CLICK HERE.

April 27, 2021 – Blog Interview & Review

Vanessa is interviewed on poet/literary blogger Deb Hill’s blog, Kites Without Strings. This interview includes a book review as well.

To read the blog, CLICK HERE.

April 28, 2021 – Alumni News Article

Vanessa’s virtual book launch was featured in the Daily News at her alma mater, The University of Windsor.

To read the article, CLICK HERE.

May 3, 2021 – CBC Windsor Morning

Vanessa chats with CBC Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette and writing a poem a day for 2021.

To hear the interview, CLICK HERE.

May 3, 2021 – Windsor Public Library Book Talk Interview

The Windsor Public Library featured Vanessa on its zoomcast show ‘Book Talk’ with host Adam Peltier.

To watch the video, CLICK HERE.


May 11, 2021 – Interview on HOWL w/ Valentino Assenza

Sunday, May 16th, 2021

All Write In Sin City podcast interview with the AWISC gals!

Here’s a teaser!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021 -Open Book Ontario

It was a grand pleasure doing a Q & A for the lovely literary lovers at Open Book Ontario.

For the full q & a, please CLICK HERE!

Book Review by Kim Fahner

Here is a gathering of poems that speaks to the close matrilineal bonds that lace themselves through an Italian family. So often, we read of how mothers interact with daughters, but these pieces document the connection between grandmothers and granddaughters. In her work, Vanessa Shields serves as listener, witness, and recorder as she ensures that her grandmother lives on in the poems she has written here in tribute to Maria.


Posted on Rob McLennan’s blog, Perodicities: A Journey of poetry and poetics.