published books

Idiolect is P.W. Bridgman’s second book of poetry. It was published by Ekstasis Editions in August 2021 (two years and counting into The Plague.2). Perhaps fittingly, it begins with a poem, “Call and Response”, which deals with the indignities and worse that have been visited upon the elderly during the current pandemic, even in developed countries. Other content ranges widely, geographically as well as in terms of subject matter and form. The mood, too, fluctuates from the uplifting and optimistic to the playful and whimsical to the more chilling and ominous — reflecting, thus, the full reach and chiaroscuro of life in the modern world.

The poems in Idiolect return to territory that will be familiar to Bridgman’s readers. They aim to explore love, loss, happiness, sorrow and redemption, but in different ways and from some different angles. They seek to provide glimpses of both our better and lesser selves, often in circumstances where character and belief are tested by life events. Many of the poems are new works, not seen before; others have appeared in literary journals and anthologies published in Canada, Northern Ireland, Ireland, England and the USA. Some have placed in literary competitions. Bridgman’s poetry reflects the influences of other poets and writers as diverse as Louise MacNeice, Allen Ginsberg, Elizabeth Smart, George McWhirter, Karen Solie and Seamus Heaney.

Idiolect is now available at better bookstores. The book can, however, easily be obtained by placing an online order directly with the publisher, Ekstasis Editions. Simply click here and you will be taken to an order page showing options for purchasers in Canada, the USA and the rest of the world.

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The Four-Faced Liar is P.W. Bridgman’s second collection of short fiction. Published by Ekstasis Editions, the book contains short stories and flash fiction pieces, some of which have never been seen before and others which have previously appeared in journals and anthologies published in Canada, Northern Ireland, England and the USA. The Four-Faced Liar was released in January 2021 is available at better bookstores. The book can, however, easily be obtained by placing an online order directly with the publisher, Ekstasis Editions. Simply click on this link and you will be taken to an order page showing options for purchasers in Canada, the USA and the rest of the world.

From the jacket copy:

As is evident in his previous books, P.W. Bridgman’s imagination is curiously nomadic and adventurous. Informed by his family history, his travels and his life experience across three careers, Bridgman dips his writerly ladle into many wells in the course of serving up this latest fictional fare for his readers. These newest stories reflect the cadences and colour of life and spoken language, not only in urban and rural Canada but in Northern Ireland and England as well. At times unsentimentally tender, and at others prickly and discomfiting, the stories in The Four-Faced Liar continue Bridgman’s explorations of love, loss, life, death, redemption and the surprisingly banal, everyday face of evil.

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Cover, A Lamb

A Lamb is P.W. Bridgman’s first collection of poetry.  Comprised mostly of narrative poems, A Lamb was released in September 2018 and is available at better bookstores.  The book can also be ordered directly from the publisher, Ekstasis Editions, by clicking on this link.

From the jacket copy:

As was the inimitable Seamus Heaney, so also is P.W. Bridgman concerned with the “sway of language and its furtherings.” The mostly narrative poems gathered together in A Lamb, Bridgman’s first volume of poetry, comprise a diverse assemblage. They speak to the reader in markedly differing voices and accents. They give expression to insights and revelations, large and small. They present fleeting glimpses of splendour and of dread alongside pings of epiphany, incanted and decanted from the poet’s experience and imaginings. Bridgman engages, of course, with the big themes—love and loss, darkness and light, life, death and redemption—but he does so with humour and wit. Expect to find instances of whimsy and beauty in these poems. Be prepared too, though, for moments of crushing darkness and for the occasional withering dismissal of the banal and corrosive “values” which have migrated insidiously from the marketplace and taken hold in the politics and public discourse of our troubled times.

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Standing_FrontCover

Standing at an Angle to My Age is P.W. Bridgman’s first sellection of short stories and flash fiction.  It was published in 2013 and, alas, is now out of print.  Efforts are on foot however to find a publisher for an updated, second edition of Sanding at an Angle to My Age.  In the meantime, used copies can often be found via online resources such as www.abebooks.ca.

From the jacket copy:

P.W. Bridgman’s fictional writing explores universal themes of forgiveness and redemption, of love and loss, of hope and hopelessness and darkness and light. The author is concerned—as are so many of us—with the lineaments and poetic chiaroscuro of seemingly ordinary lives. Set mainly in Canada, Ireland and England, the stories that comprise Standing at an Angle to My Age cut across broad expanses of time, space, culture and circumstance.

An aging pensioner in a Northern Ireland town suffers from dementia. During a fleeting and poignant moment of unexpected lucidity, he reveals a sharp awareness of the human decency for which he is indebted.  Its source gives a turn to the less discerning members of the family that had taken him in years before. A 13-year-old girl in Timmins, Ontario is forced by tragic circumstances to grow up too quickly as she watches the man she believed was her father learn a painful lesson at a time when it is too late for him to profit by it. A precocious youth on the brink of adulthood pursues an amateurish quest for Eastern mystical truth and discovers—unexpectedly, in a middle-aged co-worker at a Vancouver Island corner grocery—a quietly inspiring example of Siddhartha-like wisdom.

So it goes in these works of short fiction, half of which have not been previously published and the remainder of which have won competitions and appeared in literary magazines and anthologies published in Canada, England, Ireland and Scotland.