Pamela Porter

Pamela Porter’s poem “First Snow” was featured on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac.

Books by Pamela Porter at the Backwaters Press

The Intelligence of Animals The Intelligence of Animals by Pamela Porter

Author: Pamela Porter
Format: Paperback, 104 pages
ISBN: 9780981693644
Published: August 2008

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Critical Praise for Pamela Porter’s The Intelligence of Animals

Review of The Intelligence of Animals in the Story Circle Book Reviews.

Pamela Porter knows the suffering of others, human and animal, in her wise, heartbreaking collection, The Intelligence of Animals. She frames those ordinary mornings of wheelbarrow or bucket into richly textured canvases, and understands the ghosts of animals live among us. Her poetic ear catches the way we should bless our adversaries. She breathes with van Gogh in his painful labor to beautify the world. Pamela Porter is good at mercy too—to allow us to see the reason for barbed wire. She meditates on not only van Gogh, but Tom Thompson and Thomas Merton. A piece of baling twine in the pasture becomes a significant clue to understanding death; we hear in a snowy field the choral music in barbed wire strands. Porter examines her snowy landscape of lonely roads and silent rivers as one would look at a naked body. She celebrates as much as she mourns an abandoned hospital for the insane—one that van Gogh might have found himself in, peering out from his cell to a fence and sky and those dark priests of crows. Her poems use concise, imagistic language, the material painters rescue from “the dark’s sucking vortexes” to paint the light.
Russell Thorburn – Author of Approximate Desire

The world that Pamela Porter brings to life in The Intelligence of Animals is earthy, original and true. With an impeccable ear for the range of emotions in the human voice and for the music of language, she records this territory in a sensual and moving way. The remarkable accomplishment of this book is that it dwells so intimately on nature in all of its facets, even the making of art, that one emerges from it with the feeling of having been lifted into another realm—we see the miraculous and the supernatural right before our eyes.
John Skoyles – Author of The Situation

Here are poems of great, straightforward clarity and sure control that capture a sense of arrested time in rural Canada where the great deal that doesn’t happen makes the little things that happen deeply significant. The isolation and distance kneaded into Pamela Porter’s oak table poems bring us closer, no matter where we are, to the things that matter.
Jack Myers – Author of As Long as You’re Happy

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