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Poetry Death

Defending Darkness

by (author) Pamela Porter

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Death, Canadian, Nature
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

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In Defending Darkness, starting over is a constant theme as Pamela Porter 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. These poems 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, often said to “evoke the poetics of Rilke.” Powerful, searing, lyrical, Defending Darkness is surely a book to treasure.

About the author

Pamela Porter was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she lived in New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Washington and Montana before emigrating to Canada with her husband, the fourth generation of a farm family in southeastern Saskatchewan, the backdrop for much of Pamela's work. She is the author of three collections of poetry, and her poems have appeared in numerous journals across Canada and the US as well as being featured on Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac. She is also the author of a number of children’s books, including Sky and Yellow Moon, Apple Moon (illustrated by Matt James).


Pamela's first novel in verse, The Crazy Man, received the TD Children's Literature Award, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Award for Children, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the Governor General's Award, as well as several children's choice awards. It was also named a Jane Addams Foundation Honor Book and won the Texas Institute of Letters, Friends of the Austin Public Library Award for Best Young Adult Book.


Pamela lives near Sidney, B.C., with her husband, children and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs and cats.

Pamela Porter's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“So much wildness in Defending Darkness. This delicate poetry wrestles with whatever makes us wild, what is wild around us and inside us, prizes it — and makes of it music.” — Arleen Paré, Governor General’s winner for Lake of Two Mountains

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