Norm Sibum’s The Pangborn Defence marks a departure from his previous verse, and will be something of a surprise for those who have followed his career over the last thirty years. A suite of poems as letters to personages both real and imagined, there are political undertones to many rarely seen in Sibum’s ouevre. But there is still the same attention to detail, the same craftsmanship, humour, love and originality.
“This semi-epistolary form comes out of a long tradition made fresh in Sibum’s hands by his contemporary diction and topics, and by the undeniable energy, intelligence, and frankness of the poems. The book is a meditative rant, full of fire and play yanked up short by dead-seriousness.”—Western News
“The fare Sibum provides covers the four spiritual food groups – humour, seriousness, discipline, humility – and is therefore wholesome and nutritive.”—David Solway, Director’s Cut
“He creates a very original kind of dialectic between present and past, in which each illuminates and penetrates the other…there is in his approach none of that bright postmodern cynicism that makes everything grist to the solipsistic mill of the present.”—Poetry Nation