Amy Biancolli? Who dat?

squint, amy. squint.

That’s me. I’m a gray-haired mama and an ink-stained wretch. I’m also:

A survivor of suicides. A journalist for A former arts writer at the Albany Times Union.  A lover of movies and former critic for the Houston Chronicle.

A player of jazz fiddle. A singer of alto lines. A person of faith who believes that God loves without discriminating, and guess what, so should we.

A dabbler in plays. And an author of books:

1. Figuring Shit Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival, about my husband, who died in 2011, and me and my kids, who didn’t, and shit, which I deal with, and life, which proceeds with blessings. 2014 Behler Publications.

2. House of Holy Fools: A Family Portrait in Six Cracked Parts, about my childhood family, who died in 1992-1994. 2004 Lulu Press.

3. Fritz Kreisler: Love’s Sorrow, Love’s Joy, about the Austrian violinist-composer who died in 1962. 1998 Amadeus Press.

While we’re at it, here’s a story I did for “The Moth”:

And here’s my TEDx Albany talk on grief following suicide:

Go ahead and email me at amybiancolli[at]yahoo[dot]com

16 thoughts on “Amy Biancolli? Who dat?

  1. Hi- I have really enjoyed you columns and blog. I knew your husband- not well , but fairly well. He was my sponsors sponsor.
    I really enjoy reading your perspective on all the issues you discuss –

  2. A couple of days ago my daughter contritely informed me that my 20-month-old great-grandson says “oh shit” now and it’s mostly her fault. “I don’t want him getting kicked out of daycare,” my daughter said, “so I’m trying to break him of the habit. I’m not having much luck, though. It took forever just to get him to stop drinking out of the dog’s bowl.”

    To which I replied, “Oh shit!”

    Last night I discovered Amy Biancolli and her wonderful book via a post on Marion Roach’s memoir writing blog. The fresh and funny voice of this amazingly resilient woman is exactly what I need in my life right now, as I am currently writing a memoir about living with mental illness. Yesterday, I wrote about the time when my schizophrenic dad dangled my two-year-old sister off the side of a four-story parking garage, chanting “I’m going to drop you! I’m going to drop you!” while my sister’s twin and I (nine years old) screamed and pleaded with our father not to hurt our sister.

    After I finished my writing for the day, I clicked over to Marion’s blog, feeling the need for something inspirational… and found a hilarious excerpt from FIGURING SHIT OUT, a story born of the sorrow of living with mental illness (depression), and a tragedy involving a parking garage.

    Reading Amy’s excerpt about her problematic mouth had me laughing until I bawled.

    The universe really does give us what we need, right when we need it. Except, of course, for those times when it doesn’t. 🙂


    • Exactly the same for me! I was struggling with my own memoir and stumbled upon Marion’s blog to find the article and excerpts from Amy. If my own writing reaches even a hundredth of Amy’s standard, I will be a happy man. What a talented and inspirational writer, thank you Amy.

      • Thank you so much for your generous words, Neil! I’m grateful you found Marion’s blog — and mind. (And I’m sorry it took me so long to reply to your comment.) Thanks for reading!

  3. Hi,
    I’m in love with your friend Nina.
    I actaully am going to marry her!.

    Anyhow awesome blog hope the new newspaper-=presss is awesome.

    Neen thought we should meet. I’m associated with Bards dead poet society, and am quietly huge supporter of their-style of academia.

  4. Hi Amy. I read your column in the TU yesterday with tears in my eyes. I am happy for you that you are into a new adventure and I know you said that you will still freelance for the TU. But I still was feeling a loss and it made me sad. I know the importance of emotional and mental health as my brother committed suicide. I wish you blessings in your new activity. Ruth Smith

  5. I found inspiration within these pages. The author’s words and experiences are gut-wrenching. She is witty, impossibly logical, and she truly portrays the ups and downs during the months following her husband’s death. I taught college writing and would’ve been highlighting many passages to use as examples of various techniques, but I’m retired. But Amy writes from her heart. In the same sentence, Amy can be funny, vulnerable, logical, but she always manages to convey the conflict of moving forward without guilt. This mindset unfolds logically. I know this talented, witty, intelligent, religious woman. And I’m so lucky.

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