Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Poetry Death

House Made of Rain

by (author) Pamela Porter

Ronsdale Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2014
Death, Canadian, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2014
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2014
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


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 fragile we 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.

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

“You certainly feel as if you are in good hands with Porter, confident, insightful, steady hands, and though we never discover that nugget of information searched for through the book, we are left with the feeling that, probably, that’s okay.” —PRISM

“Porter’s collection evokes the poetics of Rilke—the attentiveness to the natural world and the ‘infinite solitude’ he ascribed to works of art.” —Arc

“House Made of Rain provided the emotional and visual complexity necessary to take me beyond myself and into another deeper, heavily shadowed world, and it was well worth the trip.” —FreeFall

“Pamela Porter is a poet to be grateful for.” —Patrick Lane

Other titles by Pamela Porter