In this breathtaking collection of poems, Pamela Porter invokes the twin mysteries of love and loss to illumine the heart burdened by grief, yet comforted and renewed by the beauty of the natural world. In the long poem "Atonement," Porter takes us into a human drama, rich with astonishments: "There was no snow, but you could say the snow buried everything, and you'd be right." In simple language at once lyrical and powerful, these poems are a meditation on vulnerability - "how fragilewe are; a word shatters us" - on nature, where plum blossoms are "kissed eyelids, moths,/the night's numberless secrets,/little messengers that whisper, release," and on the heart's ability to mend, even under the most difficult circumstances. To love deeply, to grieve and, ultimately, to praise, carries us into the country of possibility, where we "begin again/to name each thing: Say water. Say breath. / Say empty. Say heart," and ultimately, arrive, changed and blinking in the light.
Pamela Porter's work has won more than a dozen international, national, provincial, and local awards, including the Governor General's Award, the Gwendolyn MacEwan Poetry Prize, the Malahat Review's 50th Anniversary Poetry Prize, and has appeared on the CBC, Pat Lowther and Raymond Souster Award shortlists. Pamela lives near Sidney, BC, with her family and a menagerie of rescued horses, dogs, and cats.