Gathering Voices, Penn Kemp’s Lit.-on-Air radio show

Gathering Voices, CHRW Radio Western, 94.9 FM, is heard on Tuesdays, 6:30 am and 6:30 pm.

Shows are archived on


100 Thousand Poets for Change, Gathering Voices, world-wide and on radio in London ON. See and for the radio show, Gathering Voices celebrates 2014’s 100,000 Poets for Change event, archived on See

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 6:30 – 7:00 pm. (R. October 14, 6:30-7:00 am). Gathering Voices features the divine Brenda McMorrow in her latest CD, Igniting the Beauty, Part 1, White Swan Records.This former Londoner travels worldwide to share her presence, igniting the Beauty indeed. The title is taken from a poem by Hildegard of Bingen, a Benedictine abbess,writer and mystic. Brenda sang and composed the music to Penn’s poem that opens each Gathering Voices show. Listen to the show on Hear more on

Tuesday, October 21, 2014, 6:30 – 7:00 pm. (R. October 28, 2014, 6:30-7:00 am). The show features circle of she by Moe Clark. Moe received mentorship from Sheri-D Wilson, who helped launch her career as a spoken word artist at the 2005 Calgary International Spoken Word Festival. Moe has toured across Canada and internationally. A Métis artist, Moe showcases her unique understanding of performance narrative with traditions of circle singing and spoken word. Listen to the show on

Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 6:30 – 7:00 pm. (R. November 11, 2014, 6:30-7:00 am). Helwa! a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt, Part 1 by Penn Kemp with The Helwa Ensemble: musicians Mary Ashton and Panayiotis Giannarapis, sound artist Jocelyn Drainie, Egyptologist/poet Daniel Kolos and belly dancer Ishra Blanco. Together we trace the soul’s journey across the nocturnal sky to rebirth the next day: a classical Egyptian journey that the star goddess Nut took nightly. Recorded live at Aeolian Hall (August 2011) and mastered by John Magyar. Helwa! a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt (cd) will be available from Pendas,  It is archived on

Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 6:30-7:00 pm. (R. November 25, 2014, 6:30-7:00 am).  Helwa! a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt, Part 2 by Penn Kemp with The Helwa Ensemble: musicians Mary Ashton and Panayiotis Giannarapis, sound artist Jocelyn Drainie, Egyptologist/poet Daniel Kolos and belly dancer Ishra Blanco. Together we trace the soul’s journey across the nocturnal sky to rebirth the next day: a classical Egyptian journey that the star goddess Nut took nightly. Recorded live at Aeolian Hall (August 2011) and mastered by John Magyar. Helwa! a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt (cd) will be available from Pendas Productions, Listen on

Tuesday, December 2, 2014,6:30-7:00 pm (R. December 9, 2014, 6:30-7:00 am). Featuring Trieze, a CD by Viviane Houle, BC sound artist. As vocalist and improviser, Vivian deconstructs words into sounds on remarkable journeys that include jazz vocals as well. With Peggy Lee (cello), Lisa Miller (piano), Chris Gestrin (analog keyboards) and Jesse Zubot (violin). Listen on

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 (R. December 23, 2014 6:30-7:00 am).Featuring Cat Kidd’s Hyena Subpoena, Part 2. A formative figure in the Montreal poetry scene since the early 90s, Catherine Kidd is the author of the novel Missing the Ark, the poetry collection Bipolar bear and a critically acclaimed solo show, Sea Peach. Her most recent poem series, Hyena Subpoena, was presented in 2011, and released as CD/book in May 2014; see We’ll hear several of these poems with soundscapes now. Listen on

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 (R. January 6, 2015, 6:30-7:00 am). The show features Penn Kemp’s poem for peace in many voices, Pendas Productions, Volume 2, Daniel Kolos and Penn perform Penn’s “poem for peace” in Daniel’s translation into Ancient Egyptian: perhaps the first time for millennia that a poem has been translated back into hieroglyphics! On, you can see the poem and hear more translations.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 (R. January 20, 6:30-7:00 am). Gathering Voices features Sarah Murphy’s CD, when bill danced the war, Part One. Author, activist, translator, visual and spoken word artist, Sarah Murphy is the recipient of the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival’s 2008 Golden Beret Award. Murphy has published seven books and performed and shown widely in Canada, the UK, the US, Australia and Mexico. Sarah is a previous recipient of the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award, honouring spoken word artists. Listen on

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (R. February 3, 6:30-7:00 am). In honour of Susan McCaslin’s new book, “Into the Mystic”, from Inanna Publications, Gathering Voices features our interview with her. The show is archived on

Penn Kemp


“Flux Flash Flood”

My poem “Flux Flash Flood” is today’s choice @bookgaga @jaduperreault #todayspoem  Thanks, folks!

Flux, Flash, Flood

Tall Poppies 481948_10151091650089402_1953963330_n

The subject of hot flushes never arises
in our conversation. Are we ashamed
to admit the extraordinary, the poet

as heating system gone berserk in
the everyday climacteric, proclamation
of sweat the race is conditioned to?

A fever of estrogen deprivation confuses
my cooling system. Where else would the therm-
ometer measure a Hermes of despair, a message
of ruin, a riot of theorems that do not compute?

Moods overtake me and I become
most plaintive, aspirant at the gate
of reason, querent and respondent
indignant at the indignities my minds

stoop to. And is the I we, the multitude
of possible selves that congregate at
the starting gate, too late for legal entry,
over-exposed and ruled out as
arbitrary legislators of the world.

I wail a lament that was meant to
soothe and only blinds, but it drowns
the rage at the page that will neither
whiten nor dabble in ink, what used to be

called ink–but is now obsolete dot
matrix without a mother to mend her
weary ways. The maze of binary points
before the eyes, does not compute/does–

The dot blinks, the bindi between the brows
an acupressure point to stimulate clear
seeing. Oh press that third eye pituitary out
of the pit and pineal out of this odd
penitentiary of self aspiring.


I eat nut chocolate instead of carrots, I drink
caffeine straight from the bean, I don’t care
if my senses rot, cavities root in my mouth,
gnaw at my brain. I nod a refrain to be
wicked, to be wild at the expense of ordinary

sanity. The expanse of external wisdom
mounts as paper wrappers, candy wrappers,
oh sweet sweet the caress of chocolate.

While I don’t care if the sun turns
my uncoloured skin ultra-violet, the long
and the short of it is the spectrum
unannounced of the daily. In living we
are realized, we are being flushed out

of hiding our response by this reddening
cheek, the drenching of the brow in sudden
cartoon frenzies of sweat, the character is
worried, she is fretting, she is sunk.

Penn Kemp
From:   On Our Own Spoke. CD-ROM. London ON: Pendas Productions.

The poem is up on


Upcoming Events with Penn Kemp, October 2014

Upcoming Events with Penn, October 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014, 7-10 pm. The Poetry Salon. Reading with Allan Briesmaster, with flautist April Barker and Open Mic. Gallery of Ancient Egyptian Art, 211 Elgin Street North, Durham, ON. Penn will perform sound poetry and read from From Dream Sequins. We will launch Jack Layton: Art in Action, Quattro Books. Contact: Daniel Kolos, Box 567, Durham, ON N0G 1R0, 519-369-1129, Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets. See and

Saturday, October 25, noon, starting at Museum London, 421 Ridout St. N. London N6A 5H4. Volunteers of the Words Literary Festival will take to the streets of downtown London for “Guerrilla Poetry.” Participants will travel in groups and take turns reciting poems aloud to listeners and passersby. The poems will range from world classics to the participants’ own work. Our guerrilla poets will also provide information on other exciting events in the Words Literary Festival lineup. So on October 25, head downtown and keep your ears open! This event is organized by Poetry London and The Public Humanities at Western. To register for this event, email guerrillapoetrylondon@gmail.

Sunday, October 26, 5:30-6:45 pm. #PoetryLab, Museum London Lecture Theatre, 421 Ridout St. N. London N6A 5H4. The featured five poets from the London community will present their poetry onstage in tandem with visual projections and sound effects. The poets are Emma BlueFree, Laurie D. Graham, Penn Kemp, Andy McGuire and Steven Slowka. Penn’s videopoems are performed in collaboration with Chris Meloche and Dennis Siren. As part of Words: The Literary & Creative Arts Festival,, this event is co-ordinated by Poetry London and the Public Humanities at Western. Free and open to the public. Contact: Philip Glennie,, Twitter @PoetryLab. For more information, see and

And a poem:

Wednesday, October 29, 7–8:30pm, 2014. “Meet Up with Your Muse”. Reading/workshop, London Public Library, Stevenson/Hunt Room, 251 Dundas St, London ON N6A 6H9,, “Penn Kemp will read several scenes from her plays to serve as inspiration for your own writing, whether as dialogue or as poetry or
prose, whatever form it may take. We will work with memory, sound, dreams, images and character development to conjure evocative new ways of entering your writing. Perhaps a memoir will emerge; perhaps a story: be open to the surprise of possibility. For more information on
Penn’s work, see Come prepared to raise the roof of your imagination!” Free but register at

Paraclete by Penn Kemp



Dream Sequins Cover

I am hunting the wild poetic in all its true
form’s sequence of beaded dream sequins.

I glimpse a glance from cat-green eyes that
refract light, reduce fact, fuse and refuse.

I am lying on a matted forest floor waiting
for the known universe to roll over me, toss
me aside with an errant claw or lift me toward
celestial spheres I might have missed till now.

Bolting from the blue, the sudden poem lights
on my shoulder, a tameable parakeet ready to

unroll words like some sort of weird piano­
imagine, a player piano out here in the deep

mahogany woods beyond the rule!  This bird
comes close to naming herself, or her desire:

“Play a gain or pray begone!  Pair again, paragon!”

from my art book, “From Dream Sequins”, LyricalMyrical Press, Toronto.

penn %22For Me it was Foxes%22small(1)

Penn Kemp

October 11, The Poetry Salon, Durham Ontario

The Poetry Salon | Open Book: Ontario.


Saturday, October 11, 2014 – 7:00pm


Gallery of Ancient Egyptian Art
211 Elgin Street North
Durham, ON
N0G 1R0


Join us for a reading with Allan Briesmaster, Penn Kemp and flautist April Barker. There will be an Open Mic portion involved. The evening will take place at the beautiful Gallery of Ancient Egyptian Art.
Penn Kemp will also be performing sound poetry and reading from From Dream Sequins.
There will be a launch for Jack Layton: Art in Action , put out by Quattro Books.

For more information, please contact
Daniel Kolos
Box. 567
Durham, ON
N0G 1R0

Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets

Saving our woodlots through poetry!

Gathering Voices, Lit.-on-Air on 94.9 FM, Radio Western,

Because saving our woodlots is still imperative, my Poem 2013 Chinese Year of the Snakeshow, Gathering Voices, on Radio Western is replaying this show, “Trees, Please!” Listen now on

penn %22For Me it was Foxes%22small(1)photo by Dennis Siren

A polyglot of poets read their poems to save the London woodland, as published in the PigeonBike Press pamphlet, “Trees or Jobs: It Should Not Be a Dichotomy”. Poets include Tom Cull, Andreas Gripp, Patricia Keeney, Penn Kemp, Susan McCaslin, Susan McMaster and R L Raymond from PigeonBike. With an intro. by Joni Baechler, London’s mayor. She writes:
“I am so pleased that London poets have come together in a creative,
collaborative project with the goal of protecting our natural
environment. Heartwarming to my creative soul.” MP Irene Mathyssen,
also a creative soul, writes: “When all the empty strip malls are
falling down, we will still be missing our beautiful lost trees.”

The poems are up on Music on the show is from Bill Gilliam’s “Prelude (Dream Sequins) ”, composed for Penn’s sound opera of that name performed at The Aeolian, from his latest CD, Ensorcell.

Creative Aging for Boomers

Creative Aging for Boomers 


Demographically, baby boomers have already lived much longer than most of our great-grandparents. Thanks to modern medicine, we have survived childbirth and childhood diseases that would have killed off many of us in earlier eras. Now, suddenly, baby boomers are facing en masse a new longevity that few survivors previously attained. 

Since those born after World War II are now in their sixties; many are reclaiming The 60’s as their own, in some resonant echo with the 60’s in which they came of age. The sixties are the new forties, I hear. But I think of grandmothers, worn out and surrendered to old age at forty. My mother at seventy thought of herself as thirty-five, despite longstanding aches and pains. Nearly seventy, I think of myself as seventy, with few aches and pains, at present. (Thanks, Aquafit!) 

In approaching my eighth decade, I contemplate the years ahead and behind. So far, so good. To surrender ambition, competitiveness, greed: how freeing. I have spent the allotted lifetime of three score and ten, accumulating, accomplishing, gathering. And now the work is in letting go, shedding, prepared at any point to surrender IT ALL. 

How do we learn letting go, surrendering the unnecessary, the outmoded, that which is not useful? How do we live completely in the moment, so that we no longer live in dread of our spouse’s illness, our own? How do we age creatively? How do we grow up without the wisdom of older guides? How do we mature into elderhood, with so few signposts to guide us? 

Neoteny, the expanded time for growing up that our culture allows, is a word that I have lately been examining. “Neoteny is the retention, by adults in a species, of traits previously seen only in juveniles.” Croning may begin at fifty these days. What new possibilities begin at seventy, at eighty and on? We know all too well what diminishes, and what ends. 

How are we to grow into creative aging, with so few pointers? Since we’ve thrown away or lost ancient traditions that might have helped, we need to draw our own maps, our own definitions of maturity. What is an elder? Can we define the term, or do we need to live the question into our own answers, as Rilke suggests in Letters to a Young Poet: 

“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” 

Sherry Ruth Anderson’s Ripening Time: Inside Stories for Aging with Grace is a remarkable exploration of this new territory of personal growth. Anderson’s book is both her own journey into elderhood and a guidebook that brings the reader along as a friend whom she invites into her garden. Having written such formative books as The Feminine Face of God and The Cultural Creatives, Anderson is well qualified to articulate the first steps toward elderhood. She is adept at tracing the social implications of her own investigation as it reflects cultural changes. Her personal is indeed political. 

Anderson’s own questions, ponderings and fears remain, but now she begins to live the possibilities of elderhood. 

P. 83: “Almost always, when I feel my fear open up like this, something unexpected happens… my familiar sense of self has shifted into a deep calm and stability. I feel sober and mature, steady as a mountain and at the same time quite spacious and relaxed. The sensibility is of one ancient and wise. 

All of this is quite paradoxical. I feel empty… containing all possibilities— so unformed I’m no longer caught in my yesterdays; so free I’m miles of sky with no clouds. 

Will I ever get over how experience changes when I don’t run away from it? Here my fears about getting old and losing my mind have opened to a new sense of maturity… that ancient calm wisdom… the perspective of an elder, I wonder?” 

In her inquiry, Anderson quotes some renowned elders. Mary Daly in her seminal Gyn/ecology writes: “‘We knit, knot, interlace, entwine, whirl and twirl…’ And what women found, she said, was a place to develop their integrity and ways to break the spell of the culture’s clocks.” As theologian Nelle Morton mused, “we were hearing ourselves into speech.” 

What can we learn from the process of creative aging? What wisdom can we claim? Anderson is never content to keep her own findings to herself. She has developed elder circles across the continent. In group dyads, she poses such questions as “Tell me a way you deny your experience of diminishment.” “What’s it like to feel that denial now?” “What are the gifts reserved for age?” She listens to the responses and invites us into a deeper hearing of one another. 

Anderson presents “a new perspective on aging, inviting the reader to engage the aging process through the art of inner inquiry. This work guides beyond our culture’s mind traps through stories where elders face into the lies, the losses and endings, the tender and bittersweet and ferocious truths of growing old.” 
May we too long continue to explore on all levels, inner and outer. 

May our histories be recalled. May we all remember 

the right role of elders: to listen, to be heard, to be held 

in respect. To hold on. To let go. To be held. 

For further exploration, see Ripening Time: Inside Stories for Aging with Grace by Sherry Ruth Anderson. Changemakers Books, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78099-963-0, www.sherryruthandersoncom and
See also Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Highly recommended is activist Judy Rebick’s transformative book, Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political,

Judy Rebick and Penn 2014
– Penn Kemp 

writer-in-residence for Creative Aging Festival, London 

“Creative Aging for Boomers”, Art-in-Society #14, 2014.,!.

100 thousand poets for change!

Poets for Change, Upcoming, Fall 2014

Events, Upcoming, Fall 2014

We are up on Radio Western,! Listen now on


Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 6:30 – 7:00 pm. (R. September 16, 2014, 6:30-7:00 am). Gathering Voices celebrates 2014’s 100,000 Poets for Change event on September 27 world-wide, Part 1 features a poetry reading celebrating the theme of change that took place on September 29, 2013, at Landon Library, London. Archived on

Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 6:30 – 7:00 pm. (R. September 30, 2014, 6:30-7:00 am). The show celebrates2014’s 100,000 Poets for Change event on September 27 world-wide, Part 2 features a poetry reading celebrating the theme of change that took place on September 29, 20013, at Landon Library.

This show celebrates Culture Days across Canada as well. Archived on

Celebrate well!


Featured Image -- 117

Ode to Tim Two-Bitswhopper

Ode to Tim Two-Bitswhopper

Tim Horton and his family lived opposite my in-laws in Willowdale, North York, throughout the ’60’s.  They raised their kids in an unassuming, unpretentious VLA house.  A contrast to the Tim Hortons enterprise!  (Veteran Lands Act, post ’45)

Ode to Tim Two-Bitswhopper

Ah, Tim, how far you have fallen from
fine hockey star on quicksilver skates
to purveyor of sludge and sugar and
starch even without any golden arch.

O Tim, if you’d lived you’d be fat now,
rich on food faster than you ever flew.
You discovered the secret, free enterprise.

Hire cheery faces at minimum wage.
Make ’em watch eight hours’ video
extolling Horton history. A myth in
the making, all in marketing learned

so well from Amurican owners, those
grown-up Wendy’s to your Peter Pan.
And we know how that worked out for

you. Now you’re willing to marry again,
moving up the ranks to rank Burger King:
“The triumph of hope over experience.”

For you can never age nor decay, Tim.
You’ll franchise and fry, immortal in lard
pans or steaming as old-fashioned soma.

Place yourself on every main drag or mall
so tourists can ride from rest stop to rest
expecting their fare everywhere exactly

the same. Why travel for variety when comfort
is here? Drive through. Drive on to the next town.
Familiarity never flags when we’re in a rush.

Forget the fuss of old fogies who lament passing
home cookin’ for simulacra substitution. They’ll
die off with the trees as you lay waste your cups.

Strew your containers and spread your name far!
Overflowing fame translates into dollars, a paean
to plastic and paper debris. Ex-pan, expand and

never explain. Throw out your day-olds, don’t let
customers buy them cheap, sans tax. You have a
Canadian reputation to keep fresh. O Tim, Do-nut

Deity, your name lives in bits, in bites on Saturday
nights, 24/7. We’d bow to you if we could still bend.
Fast fueled, we promo you, we expand with you, O

Sweet Special! O Rush! Think doughnut-emburger’d.
And you’re already for all night bagel breakfast!

Penn Kemp

Thanks to MIke Donachie for the great article!