P.W. Bridgman is a writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Mr. Bridgman has earned undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in psychology and a degree in law as well. While he is convinced that the short story is both the preeminent literary prose form and his true métier, when pressed he will also quietly admit to having begun work on a novel (so far untitled) and a slim volume of poetry (also, as yet, untitled).
Mr. Bridgman’s writing has appeared, or is forthcoming, in (among others) The Moth Magazine, The Glasgow Review of Books, Poetry Salzburg Review, Litro UK, Litro NY, Praxis Magazine, Grain Magazine, The Antigonish Review, Ars Medica, Ascent Aspirations, Patchwork Paper, The New Orphic Review, London Grip, A New Ulster, Easy Street, Section 8 Magazine, Pottersfield Portfolio, The Mulberry Fork Review and Aerodrome. His works have won prizes or been finalists in several competitions, both in Canada and abroad. Some of his short stories, flash fiction pieces and poems have been included in anthologies published in Ireland, England, Scotland and Canada. His first book of short fiction, entitled Standing at an Angle to My Age, was published in 2013 by the independent Canadian commercial publisher, Libros Libertad Publishing Ltd. (Would you like to see the launch poster, designed by the talented digital graphic designer, and P.W.’s daughter, Nicola Woods? Click here.)
Standing at an Angle to My Age can be purchased at better bookstores across Canada and directly from the publisher. Alternatively the book of short fiction can be bought online from Chapters/Indigo, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Waterstones. Per i lettori in Italia, questo libro di racconti è disponibile on-line da Amazon Italia, ma … purtroppo … solo in inglese.
P.W. extends his thanks to the great writers, poets and spectators who showed him such a warm welcome at the “To the End of the Verse” reading series in Melbourne, Australia. As happens monthly, a number of poets and spoken word artists gathered on March 21st to read from their recent writing at The Open Studio, 204 High Street, Northcote. The quality of the work was remarkably high. Perhaps most memorable of the evening’s lineup were Monster Mike (whose offerings included an extraordinary rendition of “Waltzing Matilda” in the style of Tom Waits), and Yuri (whose lively, energetic and articulate reading was positively hypnotic). Australia (Melbourne particularly) is blessed with a very vibrant and creative literary culture.
Watch for a poem by P.W. that is forthcoming in Ars Medica (“Consent to Orchidectomy”) and two that have just appeared in Easy Street (“Low Horse on a High Road: Variation on a Theme by Gershwin” and “At the Corner of Triumph and Pandora”). The latter-mentioned poems complete P.W.’s Julian Capstick trilogy, the first of which–entitled “Single Helix”–appeared in Easy Street in April, 2016.
The editors of the Glasgow Review of Books kindly invited P.W., along with other contributors of poetry and fiction to the GRB‘s pages over the past year, to offer up their “good reads” for 2016. P.W. chose to celebrate poetry recently published by Karen Solie, short stories recently published by Colin Barrett and an old chestnut of a book of poems by George MacBeth released in the late 1960s. If you’re minded to see what lifted P.W.’s literary spirits in an otherwise rather dispiriting year, click here.
Poetry Salzburg Review, the Austrian literary print magazine, has accepted P.W.’s poem, “Time’s Forward Gear” for publication in its forthcoming, Winter/Spring 2016/2017, issue (No. 30). P.W. finds himself in good company within the pages of PSR. Other poets having surnames beginning with “B” whose work has appeared there include T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prize winner John Burnside, Yves Bonnefoy, Douglas Barbour, Gerard Beirne, Dermot Bolger, Jorge Luis Borges and Nick Burridge.
P.W.’s poem, “Somebody Shot President Kinney,” was chosen as a Friday Poem by David Fraser for publication on his Ascent Aspirations literary website for Friday, November 18, 2016. To read that remembrance of the Kennedy assassination, as refracted through perplexed younger and older eyes, scroll down within the archived Friday Poems for 2016 on the Ascent Aspirations website (by clicking here) until you reach the entry for November 18th.
On October 12, 2016, P.W.’s short story entitled “No Writers Were Harmed in the Making of this Whiskey” was published by the Glasgow Review of Books. You can see it by clicking here. Set in a small village in Northern Ireland, “No Writers …” is a dark meditation on human fallibility and its sometimes tragic consequences. The posting is accompanied by an extraordinary image by world-renowned photographer and Emily Carr University of Art and Design professor, Art Perry.
On October 6, 2016 (National Poetry Day no less!), the online American literary journal, Praxis Magazine, published P.W.’s poem, “I’ve Asked the Iscariots Over for Potluck and a Game of Bridge.” The poem vaults biblical characters forward in time to the 1960s and recasts them, with a frisson of mildly irreverent humour, as ordinary, plainspoken folk in small town Canada. You can read “I’ve Asked the Iscariots Over …” by clicking here.
P.W. is honoured to have had his story, “But No, Nothing,” chosen as the feature podcast for International Podcast Day (September 30th) on Wisconsin-based Bob’s Short Story Hour. Robert (or Bob) Daun is the creative force behind the podcast site (accessible by clicking here). Bob has an abiding love for the short story form and for storytelling. He has a particular love for the oral tradition and he recognises that the experience of hearing a story told well is qualitatively different from that of reading one. Thus, about a year ago he created Bob’s Short Story Hour. Since then he has put up podcasts of many short stories by many writers on his site, accompanied sometimes by incidental music by Bob and others. (Bob is also a very skilled guitarist.) Bob’s Short Story Hour opens a different kind of window onto short fiction–some from the classics but much more written by contemporary writers hailing from many places. If you are looking for a restful evening’s literary entertainment, or perhaps for something diverting to play via Bluetooth through the audio system in the car on a long drive, dial in Bob’s Short Story Hour and give it a listen. New short stories appear regularly and there is an archive of everything posted since the site’s inception that you can tap into.
Section 8 Magazine, a print and electronic journal based in Seattle, has published in its online version a short story by P.W. entitled “Smothered Mate”. Section 8 Magazine has previously published a flash fiction piece of P.W.’s entitled “Indirection”. You can find both by clicking here.
The American literary e-zine, Easy Street, “provides writers a venue to discuss the publishing industry, to showcase their own work, and to share viewpoints on diverse aspects of contemporary life and culture”. It is chock full of high-quality fiction, non-fiction, poetry and commentary. P.W.’s dark and moody poem, “Single Helix,” was published by Easy Street at the end of April, 2016, and can be accessed via this link.
Robert Daun, from Wisconsin, U.S.A., has recently launched a very fine website indeed. It features podcast readings of short fiction. This is a welcome development for those who recognise that short stories are meant not only to be read but also to be heard. Mr. Daun’s website is called Bob’s Short Story Hour and episode 4 on that site contains a podcast of a reading of P.W.’s story, “But No, Nothing”. You can access the podcast online by clicking on this link. ”But No, Nothing”–a consummately Irish story–was selected for recognition for Excellence in Contemporary Narrative and inclusion in the 2014 Gem Street anthology published by Labello Press of Conmel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
P.W.’s poem, “Safari Not Supported but Your Prayer is Important to Us,” has now been published in Aerodrome, a marvellous a literary journal based in South Africa. You can see the poem online by clicking here.
P.W. has had work appear before in Litro, an arts and culture magazine headquartered in London that publishes a great deal of fiction and commentary. Litro has recently expanded to North America. Visit the New York-based LitroNY site to see a gritty little noir flash fiction piece authored by P.W., entitled “Shotgun Wedding: Vancouver, 1960″. Click here and your browser will take you directly to “Shotgun Wedding: Vancouver, 1960″.
The website, London Grip, is (of course) is headquartered in the U.K. It accurately self-describes as a “wholly independent online venue, a cultural omnibus providing intelligent reviews of current shows and events, well-argued articles on the widest range of topics, an exhibition space for cross-media arts and an in-house poetry magazine with its own editor”. P.W.’s poem, “The Nobility in That, or Not,” appears in the December 2015 issue of London Grip.
The successful staging, in July 2015, of P.W.’s “The Mars Hotel” by talented contemporary dancers Ziyian Kwan and Noam Gagnon together with jazz trio Handmade Blade (that is, Peggy Lee on cello, JP Carter on trumpet and electronics and Aram Bajakian on electric guitar) appears now to have been just a beginning. The dancers and musicians are continuing to develop the performance and have tentatively secured dates to stage the collaborative creation inVictoria in early 2017. (To read more about that, turn to page 6 of the Spring, 2016, issue of Dance Victoria Magazine, which you will find online by clicking on this link.) Beyond that, discussions are also underway which, if successful, will result in touring performances of “The Mars Hotel” taking place in other cities across Canada. Very, very exciting.
P.W.’s flash fiction piece, “A Summer Nativity: Vancouver, 1977,” has been published online by the edgy Scottish webzine, Word Bohemia, which is accessible by clicking on this link.
On July 8 and 10, 2015, talented contemporary dancers Ziyian Kwan and Noam Gagnon joined forces with jazz trio Handmade Blade (that is, Peggy Lee on cello, JP Carter on trumpet and electronics and Aram Bajakian on electric guitar) to stage performances in movement and music built around P.W.’s flash fiction piece, “The Mars Hotel”. The July 8th performance sold out and the one on July 10th came very close to selling out as well. ”The Mars Hotel” was choreographed by Ziyian Kwan; Peggy Lee composed the original score. It formed part of the 2015 Dancing on the Edge Festival and was presented at the Fire Hall Performing Arts Centre on East Cordova Street, Vancouver. To see, en francais, a television interview of Ziyian Kwan and Noam Gagnon on CBC Vancouver’s French language channel in which footage of one of the final rehearsals for “The Mars Hotel” was aired, click on this link. An edited, six-minute video clip of highlights of the performance filmed on opening night at the Firehall Performing Arts Centre can be seen here. And to see a pre-performance interview of P.W., Ziyian Kwan and Peggy Lee by Janet Smith in the Georgia Straight, and a post-performance review of the performance by critic Matt Hanson published in Brooklyn-based Dance World, click here and here.
In the May, 2015 issue of A New Ulster–the Belfast-based online and print literary magazine edited by Amos Grieg of Lapwing Publications–you will find P.W.’s new story, “Even Unto My Death You Shall Be Judged”.
P.W. sends out words of thanks to all who got behind Authors for Indies Day at hundreds of independent bookstores across Canada on May 2, 2015 by turning up, buying books, listening to readings and generally joining in the lively discussions that unfolded in each venue about our literary culture in Canada. That literary culture badly needs a thriving network of independent bookstores to sustain and nurture it and the support shown for booksellers on May 2nd by authors and readers alike was heartwarming indeed. A special thanks goes out to Nancy who organised the readings at the People’s Co-op Bookstore on Vancouver’s edgy and uber cool Commercial Drive, and to Daphne Marlatt and Fiona Lam with whom it was P.W.’s pleasure to join in readings there. What fine, gracious women and magnificently talented poets! Below are a couple of photos taken at and after the readings at the People’s Co-op Bookstore on Authors for Indies Day.
P.W. also wishes to thank session leader Michael Kerins and all of the participants and audience members who were present in Glasgow’s West End on April 17th at the iconic Tchai Ovna Teahouse in Otago Lane where he (P.W.) had the privilege of giving a reading of some of his fiction from Standing at an Angle to My Age. Tchai Ovna is a venue where some of Scotland’s finest storytellers, poets and fiction writers gather to share their work with a discerning audience of listeners. P.W. was shown a very warm, Glasgow welcome and, as well, he appreciated the opportunity to hear some very fine storytelling by the others on the evening’s lineup. Never been to Tchai Ovna? Better hurry! Its future is threatened by a creeping luxury flats development that may, ultimately, result in its demolition. That would, truly, be a great pity. Tchai Ovna is an important and working part of Glasgow’s literary and indie music infrastructure. As some measure of that, consider the fact that the teahouse’s interior is featured in the cover art for Belle and Sebastian’s 2003 album, Dear Catastrophe Waitress.
P.W.’s non-fiction piece, “Virginia Woolf and Pete Seeger, Inter Alios: A Meandering Rant on on Truth, Beauty, Love and Twitter” — which has been published in the U.S.-based Mulberry Fork Review – has received honourable mention in the Royal City Literary Arts Society’s “Write-on!” competition.
Some happy news! The McGill University based literary criticism journal, The Bull Calf (which takes its name from the Irving Layton poem), has published a warm and generous review of P.W.’s book of short fiction, Standing at an Angle to My Age. Have a look at the Critical Reception/Reviews subpage on this website for an excerpt from the review and a link to the full text of it.
The Patchwork Paper–a UK-based magazine that presents contemporary poetry, fiction and photography to its online and print readers–has just published P.W.’s “Villanelle Moderne”. This dark little poem addresses a very modern kind of problem within a highly structured poetic form that some believe originated in Italy or Spain during the Renaissance. A villanelle comprises 19 lines and, using capitals for the refrains and lowercase letters for the rhymes, its form can be expressed as: A1 b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 / a b A2 / a b A1 A2. ”Villanelle Moderne” is accompanied by a haunting photograph by Asia Wardzynska and is accessible online via this link.
The Irish publisher, Labello Press, is currently running interviews with its Gem Street anthology contributors on its Labello News website subpage. You can access P.W.’s interview via this link.
A nonfiction piece written by P.W.–entitled “Virginia Woolf and Pete Seeger, Inter Alios: A Meandering Rant on Truth, Beauty, Love and Twitter”–has been published at page 90 of the September 2014 issue of the American literary journal, The Mulberry Fork Review. The rant is accessible by clicking on this link and scrolling ahead to page 90. (And, while you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to sample the work of the many fine writers whose stories and nonfiction contributions are found in that issue.)
P.W.’s short story, “The Colours of Love and Loss,” appears in an anthology entitled National Voices, published in November 2014 by the Canadian Authors Association. Copies of National Voices can be purchased directly from the CAA, online, via this link.
Tá sé am chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh! P.W.’s short story, “But No, Nothing,” was selected by Labello Press for an Excellence in Contemporary Narrative Award and inclusion in the Irish publisher’s Gem Street anthology for 2014. Released in August, the latest Gem Street anthology includes the 15 stories that were chosen as finalists in this year’s Leonard Koval International Short Fiction Competition. The authors whose work is represented in the 2014 anthology hail from England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Italy, U.S.A., Australia and Canada. To purchase a copy of the Gem Street anthology online, visit the Labello Press website using this link.
P.W.’s story, “Dear Dark Head”–an adapted version of Ceann Dubh Dilis (which appears in Standing at an Angle to My Age)–was published in August 2014 in the Belfast-based print and online literary journal, A New Ulster. As well, a review of Standing at an Angle to My Age appears in the September, 2014 issue of that journal.
P.W.’s ”Win, Win: A Miniature Vancouver Tragicomedy”–a story written in a satirical vein — can be accessed via this link. Despite its Vancouver-centric conceit, “Win, Win …” was published in the U.K. in Litro, an ultra-cool, London-based literary arts magazine with a print circulation of 100,000+ and a large online presence as well.