Pam’s first book of poetry Parallel Lines was published by Ekstasis Editions (Victoria) in 2006. It explored the distance between her adopted home in Canada and the old country with poems reaching back into family history.
She collaborated with four other poets on the book Quintet: Themes and Variations (Ekstasis Editions, 1996). This was the culmination of a fascinating experiment as five women wrote to themes. (More below).
In 1993 with a small baby in her arms, Pam was invited to join four Vancouver area women in a poetry venture they had started some time before. Eileen Kernaghan, Jean Mallinson, Sue Nevill and Clelie Rich were all poets with considerable accomplishments and Pam, who was just beginning to get acceptances from magazines, was both thrilled and terrified. It was a project too enticing to turn down. In the days when many writers were still using typewriters or at best, a very basic word processor, the women were exchanging ideas for poems and then the poems them selves by what we now call “snail-mail”. Then, it was all they had. Every two weeks one member would come up with a word or phrase, send it to the others who would write a poem incorporating those words or a closely associated idea. Critiques were shared courtesy of Canada Post. Eventually the group adopted the name “Quintet”, began to perform poems throughout the Lower Mainland at poetry readings and in 1996 their book Quintet – Themes and Variations was published.
Quintet was the most public of Pam’s collaborations with other poets but others followed. She joined the Vancouver group Compossibles, founded by poet Sandy Shreve, which met on each solstice and equinox to discuss and share the poems of a poet, classical or contemporary with the goal of broadening knowledge of world poets.
Currently, Pam is part of the small and private poetry group, P6. Poets Kate Braid, Heidi Greco, Fiona Lam, Tana Runyan and Leslie Timmins meet in support of each other’s writing, providing critiques and editing.
Born in northern England, Pam now lives in Vancouver with frequent trips to the place she still calls home, Manchester.
She decided at the age of 14 that she wanted to be a speech therapist and followed through with that plan by training in a vocational style programme in Leeds, England graduating in 1974. She has worked in the field since then, close to 45 years working with children and their families to support speech and language development.
Speech therapy brought Pam to Canada in 1981 when she took up her post at the Prince George Child Development Centre. The move to Vancouver came in 1986 and soon after Pam began to pursue another dream – of being a writer.
Beginning with short fiction, Pam was soon drawn to poetry which since childhood had always been important in her life. Her first published poems were in literary magazines and many poems were published from 1993 to 1998 when Pam joined the Creative Writing department at UBC to work on her MFA, her main focus being poetry with a second track in creative non-fiction.
After graduation in 2000, Pam moved briefly into a new career as a freelance writer. She focused on science and health writing which fit with her background in health work. It was a short foray with publications in local newspapers and more fruitfully with a medical news agency but ultimately speech therapy called her back and she returned to her poetry exclusively.
Pam writes about the people and places she encounters in daily life, often touching on universal stories or experiences the reader relates to, bringing new perspectives into the work. Inspiration often comes as she walks the trails around her South Vancouver home or, a short distance away, on the Fraser River Foreshore.