js-porter-portrait.jpg Frances Ward photographer.

Welcome to SpiritBookWord, a website dedicated to my work as a poet, critic and teacher. In these electronic pages, you will find a collection of my poems, essays, and thoughts on art and spirituality.

Born in Belfast in the north of Ireland and educated at McMaster University (MA in English literature), I'm a reader, poet and essayist - blogger as well. I taught literature for 30 years at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario. Long time contributor to the Hamilton Spectator and Hamilton Arts and Letters. Culture Critic for The Nancy Duffy Show, I used to write book reviews for The Globe and Mail and The Literary Review of Canada. Former columnist for Dialogue Magazine, I live in Hamilton with my wife Cheryl and dog Sophia.

Critical Comment

"J.S. Porter is our most generous, elegant essayist. He is also one of our very best critics. Wisdom, perception, humour, wide reading, passion, quirky intelligence, a love of style - he has it all."

--B.W. Powe

Important Links

To know more about me, you can also read my work at these sites:


Coming Soon from the Alfred Gustav Press in Vancouver:

Subscriptions for Series Twenty-One are available for $18 ($25 outside Canada) in total for the two chapbooks plus the two holms (a holm is a small island in the river).

Subscription deadline is May 1, 2019, to be released June 2019.

Joshua Sterlin, We, the Unextinct
Kieran Egan, Among the Branches
-- Small Discriminations, by J. S. Porter (Read a Sample Poem: Making a Mark)
-- In the Space Between, by Kelly Shepherd.

Send cheque to
The Alfred Gustav Press
1430 Chesterfield Ave. Apt. 301
North Vancouver, BC
V7M 2N4

Susan McCaslin comments:
"I just read your Small Discriminations twice and think it will be among the best chapbooks David has published. I love the title of the collection. I love your energy in concision. I love the presence of the great soul parents: Proust, Yeats, Hemingway etc. I love the last line about Lee.'"

J.S. Porter's Latest Book, With Susan McCaslin: Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton's Dance with the Feminine


Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton's Dance with the Feminine is a unique, unified, multi-genre work that includes dialogue, imaginary letters, poems, and reflective essays by two established Canadian poets. Taking cues from Merton himself, Susan McCaslin and John Porter establish a playful, jazzy, dialogic tone - superabundantly alive. This book invites participation for those who already know Merton's work and for those who are meeting this whole and broken, prophetic, whimsical, paradoxical prophet and visionary for the first time.

(See More)

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