My poetry and short fiction have appeared in various literary journals, both in print and online. They are also represented in anthologies published in Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland and the USA. Some of my poems and stories have won awards or placed in literary competitions, both in Canada and internationally. I have been privileged to give in-person readings of my work in and around British Columbia and also at venues in Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow, Melbourne and New York.
In 2018, I was one of nine poets to participate in the intensive writing summer school program offered by the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast. I can say unreservedly that having the opportunity to study directly with poets of such talent and stature as the late Ciaran Carson, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Stephen Sexton, Leontia Flynn and Gerald Dawe was a highlight of my writing life. (To see an interview I gave that was published in the Derry-based literary journal The Honest Ulsterman not long after I finished my studies at the Seamus Heaney Centre, click on this link.)
“P.W. Bridgman” is a pen name. My real name is Tom Woods. For career reasons, I found it sensible during my working years to keep my professional and writing personae separate. Although the need to maintain that separation no longer exists, I continue to write under the Bridgman pen name because it is by that name that I am known in the cultural realm.
Quite apart from my creative writing, I have enjoyed three rewarding careers. I first worked for ten years in the child behaviour therapy field serving children and youth with autism, beginning as a clinician and researcher and ultimately assuming full responsibility for a treatment program as its executive director. After returning to university to study law, I practised as a barrister for 20 years and then served as a judge for 12 years hearing and deciding adult criminal, youth criminal, family, child protection and civil cases.
Professional and academic writing and editing have been important parts of all three of my careers. During those years I presented my research at conferences, both in Canada and abroad, and I published more than 90 articles in academic and professional journals. I also edited two legal journals and co-edited (and contributed chapters to) texts and treatises on evidence and civil procedure. I remain active in academic writing and editing to this day, with my five-year stint as the editor-in-chief of this judicial journal concluding in 2024.
Sample research publications from my years in the child behaviour therapy can be found by clicking here and here. One of the articles that I published while practising as a barrister can be accessed by clicking this link. And one of the articles I published in the legal academic literature while I was serving as a judge can be reached by clicking here.
I began writing literary criticism in the mid-1980s, publishing more than 50 reviews of mostly literary titles in Canadian newspapers such as The Globe and Mail and the Vancouver Sun. (See an example here.) I have lately resumed book reviewing and currently serve as a book critic in the UK for the Glasgow Review of Books, The High Window and London Grip and in Canada for the British Columbia Review. Examples of such reviews can be found here, here, here and here.