Pamela Porter says of this new collection, her fifth with Ronsdale Press, "I knew then what was required - that I must carry the rest of the story." In Defending Darkness, starting over is a constant theme as she explores what wisdom can be gained in "waiting on the heart to finish her grieving," and then to move on - across borders, through time, even into eternity. What these poems accomplish is to carry the adversity we all must endure with a kind of singing that is "older than praise, younger than light, cousin to regret, sister to fate," and finally, to declare, "We were instruments of music, every one . . . we sang for a season." With such singing, even darkness itself can be defended. Pamela Porter has been praised for her deeply redemptive poetry and its deceptively simple style, which has been said to "evoke the poetics of Rilke." Powerful, searing, lyrical, Defending Darkness is surely a book to treasure.
Patrick Lane has called Pamela Porter "a poet to be grateful for." Her poems have earned numerous accolades, including the inaugural Gwendolyn MacEwan Poetry Prize, the Malahat Review 50th Anniversary Poetry Prize, the Our Times Poetry Award for political poetry, the FreeFall Magazine Poetry Award, the Prism International Grand Prize in Poetry, and the Vallum Magazine Poem of the Year Award. She was also a finalist for the CBC Poetry Prize, and the Raymond Souster and Pat Lowther awards. Her novel in verse, The Crazy Man, won the Governor General's Award, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, and other prizes. Pamela lives near Sidney, B.C., with her family and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs, and cats.