A Lamb front cover
Reviewed by John Swanson
in The Pacific Rim Review of Books

…This is a dark book, a parade of lost souls. And yet. It is a parade watched over, created, shepherded by a poet with a big and growing heart, each lost soul seen, accepted with compassion, not judged, not condemned… At times Bridgman sits in a corner of a dark pub, hospital room or smoke-filled kitchen observing, listening, reporting in the cadence of the story and place. And the many places where the tales occur adds to their universality. We may have no experience of the vernacular of Northern Ireland but we understand it when we meet it. We feel the authentic voice of the characters as they struggle with the life they have been given… A wonderful, essential book that sings to our sorrows, cloaks our mysteries, celebrates the fierceness of our young love and the joy of appreciative love that survives and grows later in life.” (To read the entire review, click here and turn to pages 32-33.)

Reviewed by Daniel Cowper

in the Advocate

…“P.W. Bridgman” (a nom de plume) has excelled in a long legal career under his own name, while building a literary reputation, pseudonymously, as a writer of both short fiction and poetry. The recent collection and publication of a volume of his poems by Ekstasis Editions under the title of A Lamb presents the legal profession with poetry written from its own perspective… Bridgman’s stylistic values are the Purdyesque properties of exactness, faithfulness to the subject matter, and clarity: appropriate, necessary virtues when a Vancouver lawyer is telling stories of people very different from himself, such as the working class of Northern Ireland… His interest in people different from himself, his scrupulous accuracy in setting out their actions, words, and fates, is the quality that dominates this book. That is a quality worth celebrating…  Bridgman is a poet who not only understands ordinary people and sympathizes with them, but also sees the ordinariness and humanity of those whose misfortunes and mistakes have made them criminals. To gain some of the benefit of Bridgman’s long experience of human nature by reading A Lamb is an opportunity not to be missed. (To read the entire review, click here.)

Reviewed by James Wood
in The High Window

…[T]his poet emerges in transition from long experience as a prose writer, combining his knowledge of poetry with subtle, understated humour and the imaginative capacity to combine what Yeats described as “antimonies”, those apparent paradoxes of existence life offers us… When a first collection appears from such an accomplished writer with a long publication record to his credit, it’s wrong to speak of “promise”: and yet one can’t help but look forward to what’s next from a writer as familiar as Bridgman with diversity in the truest sense: wide ranging in his subjects, catholic in his tastes, and with a sharp eye for the witty aside that makes one think of a darker, funnier version of the American master Billy Collins.” (To read the entire review, click here.)

Reviewed by Bill Arnott
in Canadian Poetry Review

A Lamb not only welcomes us into the author’s realm, but props open the door to his secret citadel. Bridgman’s musicality and romance language fluency come through in meter, tempo and an umami-esque richness in each lyrical line. His narrative style can seamlessly deliver razor wit… From the outset, lamb triggers a mosaic of metaphor – frailty, play, sacrifice, and slaughter…  (To read the entire review, click here.)

Reviewed by Jami Macarty
of The Maynard (Twitter Short Form Shout-Out)

…To read this poet’s alchemical poems is to hear them, as one hears live, improvisational theater; so imbued are they with scene, character, accent, and idiom.  (To read the entire review, click here.)

Reviewed by David Stouck
inThe Ormsby Review

Spring, 2019

…I first encountered P.W. Bridgman (a pen name) when he reviewed a collection of Ethel Wilson’s letters for the Globe and Mail. Ethel Wilson would certainly have delighted in A Lamb, his newly published book of poetry. Herein are contained all the qualities that she valued in good writing — the visual thrill of language, the interplay of many voices (especially including those from the working class), and an ironic authorial perspective that renders the simple as something complex. She would have laughed at titles like “Carrying On After the Carrying On,” “Grace and Disgrace,” and “Mr. Low-Hanging Fruit Makes His Will.” She would have been especially delighted I’m sure to find Christopher Smart on the opening page serving as something like a master of ceremonies… In my view this is a remarkable collection of contemporary poetry that encompasses the now and the before. I am confident indeed that Ethel Wilson would have delighted in this book not only for its linguistic bravura but for its naming of Vancouver — its streets and shops, the very same that the characters experienced in her stories…  (To read the entire review, click this link.)

Reviewed by Thomas Ovans
in  London Grip

… In these relatively long poems Bridgman tells stories, sets scenes and develops ideas, often using quite plain language but most imaginatively put together in many varieties of free verse…  (To read the entire review, click here.)

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