Double Poetry Collection Launch: Patrick Grace and Tina Biello

    Please join Munro’s Books in celebrating the launches of two new poetry collections by local authors!

    Patrick Grace’s debut collection, Deviant, traces a trajectory of queer self-discovery from childhood to adulthood, examining love, fear, grief, and the violence that men are capable of in intimate same-sex relationships. Richly engaged with the tangible and experiential, Patrick Grace’s confessional poetry captures profound, sharp emotions, tracking a journey impacted equally by beauty and by brutality. Coming-of-age identity struggles are recalled with wry wit, and dreamlike poems embrace adolescent queer love and connections as a way to cope with the fear and cruelty that can occur in gay relationships. Later poems in the collection recall vivid moments of psychological trauma and stalking and explore the bias of the justice system toward gay men. Collecting memories, dreams, and fears about sexual identity, Deviant makes important contributions to queer coming-of-age and intimate partner violence narratives.

    PATRICK GRACE is an author and teacher who divides his time between Vancouver and Victoria, BC. He has read at literary festivals around Canada, including Word Vancouver and Versefest Ottawa, and will be appearing at the Edmonton Poetry Festival in late April. He has published two chapbooks: a blurred wind swirls back for you (2023), and Dastardly (2021), exploring aspects of love, fear, and trauma that represent a personal queer identity. Deviant, his first full-length poetry collection, continues to explore these themes. He works as managing editor of Plenitude Magazine, and is this year’s judge for The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Award for Poetry.

    In Tina Biello’s new collection, The Weight of Survival, in a small logging town nestled near Lake Cowichan is an old elementary school. The child of immigrants from post-war Italy attends this school among the population of mostly white, anglo-saxon families. She does not speak English.

    Her family is one of four who emigrated from southern Italy, to this small forested community. There are other families, from India, who share a kinship of ‘other’ with the Italian families. What happens when your voice, your food, your home is different? How do you know how to be queer when there is no language or place for it? How do you remember a time not spoken of, but passed on through the smell of walnut blossoms in the spring, grapes in the fall? In The Weight of Survival, Tina Biello chronicles this upbringing of otherness, of being shaped by two very different communities, of blending identities into one, and what is left behind in the process.

    Poet, playwright and actor, TINA BIELLO was born in Lake Cowichan, a small logging town here on Vancouver Island to immigrant parents. She has honed her skills of being from ‘two places’ and speaks a few languages because of it. She believes in the power of poetry to reach in, grab hold and get us through. She had the great privilege of working with mentor Patrick Lane. ‘The Weight of Survival’ is her 4th book of poems. When she’s not writing poetry, she’s gardening, walking dogs and writing plays and more recently a screenplay. She was Nanaimo’s 2nd Poet Laureate from 2017-2020 and has just finished a 3 year cycle of writing librettos for composers with the Vancouver Island Symphony.

    WHEN: Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:00 p.m. (doors at 6:30).

    WHERE: In-store at Munro’s Books, 1108 Government Street.

    WHAT: Readings by Patrick Grace and Tina Biello, followed by a Q&A with the audience and book signings.

    HOW: This event is free to attend.