Beth Robinson, Greensville

…Letter to the Editor, Hamilton Spectator, (August 1999)

“Re: ‘In praise of prepositions’ (July 30) and ‘Newspapers: A Human Cosmos’ (Aug. 18).

Wow—two articles on The Spectator’s Forum page by J.S. Porter in as many weeks. Thank you.

Porter’s essays are so strikingly unusual… It is part of my job as librarian at the Hamilton Public Library to keep track of local authors who publish creative pieces. With J.S. Porter, it’s not easy. He has published many essays in literary magazines in Canada and abroad for at least the last 10 years…With some of Porter’s essays, I read them over and over: Letter to Brodsky, Farewell to a Monk, and two on Emily Dickinson—Melody for Bone and Terrible Simplicity.

While Porter’s essays on literary criticism are so very personal in their insight into the writers who obviously mean so much to him, his essays on language and reading are at least as engaging as those by Alberto Manguel. Take his essay from last month, In Praise of Prepositions—quirky, clever entertainment—from prepositions of all things. His essay on newspapers is another gem…”

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