Four Days in May: Winnipeg, 2015

Memories of Winnipeg: wafting lilacs this way! A confluence of two great rivers. And the city is an island of mature elms: arching over the streets…

A glorious gaggle of writers! We’re in Winnipeg for the 2015 joint conference presented by the League of Canadian Poets and the Writers Union of Canada. This celebration marked the 49th annual LCP Poetry Conference and Festival. So many good panels and talks and collective catching up.

May 29. A photo after my reading… and participatory sounding.. in The Aboriginal Resources section of The Winnipeg Public Library. The reading was sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets, the Library and CV2..Here’s the poster: ReadingWinnipeg.

Mora Gregg, Barbara Schott, Clarise Foster, Margaret Sweatman, Teri Degler, me, Judy Rebick, Susan McCaslin, Ellen Jaffe

Mora Gregg, Barbara Schott, Clarise Foster, Margaret Sweatman, Teri Degler, me, Judy Rebick, Susan McCaslin, Ellen Jaffe

May 30. For the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets, I read my poem dedicated to Colleen Thibaudeau. The text is up on https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/poem-for-poet-colleen-thibaudeau/.

I was delighted and honoured to present the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award award at the League of Canadian Poets banquet in Winnipeg on May 30 to esteemed Saskatchewan poet Glen Sorestad, represented by Tracy Hamon. James Reaney recently wrote about Colleen and Glen Sorestad in his blog: http://blogs.canoe.com/brandnewblog/entertainment/glen-sorestad-wins-2015-colleen-thibaudeau-award-yay/. There was a large turn-out, as the League event was combined with the Writers’ Union AGM. Colleen would have chuckled at the orange flower I wore in my hair for her!

Photo: Susan McCaslinWinnipeg palm up

And I was awarded the 2015 SHERI-D WILSON GOLDEN BERET AWARD.
“The Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award was created by Sheri-D Wilson—a pioneer of spoken word poetry in Canada—to honour a Canadian spoken word artist who has made a substantial contribution to the development of spoken word, through the originality and excellence of his or her own writing/performance works, and through involvement in—and contributions to—the expansion of the spoken word community. The award carries a $1,000 prize and is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and Calgary Spoken Word Society.” 2015 Jury:  bill bissett, Moe Clark and Sheri-D Wilson. Judges’ Comments: “We are pleased to honor performance poet, activist and playwright Penn Kemp of London, Ontario for her influence and impact on spoken word in Canada.”

What a thrill!

Accepting Golden Beret award from Ayesha Chatterjee, President of the League of Canadian Poets. Photo: Susan McCaslin

Accepting Golden Beret award from Ayesha Chatterjee, President of the League of Canadian Poets.
Photo: Susan McCaslin

Winnipeg banquet audience

I'm describing Sheri=D Wilson as Poet Lariat!

I’m describing Sheri=D Wilson as Poet Lariat!    The above photos were taken by Susan McCaslin.

Winnipeg Banquet Penn, Teri Degler , Judy Rebick, Susan McCaslin

Winnipeg Banquet
Penn, Teri Degler , Judy Rebick, Susan McCaslin

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Kate Braid, Judy Rebick, Susan McCaslin, Bianca  Lakoseljac, Penn, Teri Degler Photo: Allan Briesmaster

Kate Braid, Judy Rebick, Susan McCaslin, Bianca Lakoseljac, Penn, Teri Degler
Photo: Allan Briesmaste

May 31. Glad to be Carmelo Militano’s guest  from 4:30-5pm on CKUW, University of Winnipeg Radio! Synchronicities abound.  You can hear the half hour on https://ckuw.ca/128/20150531.16.30-17.00.mp3.

Photo by Carmelo Militano, just after he has interviewed me on P.I., May 31, 2015, Winnipeg. https://ckuw.ca/programs/detail/p.i.-new-poetry

Photo by Carmelo Militano, just after he interviewed me on his show, P.I., May 31, 2015, Winnipeg. https://ckuw.ca/programs/detail/p.i.-new-poetry

Mora Gregg and I walked this lovely labyrinth dedicated to Carol Shields.

Photo: Mora Gregg

Photo: Mora Gregg

In the Manitoba legislature building, I got to sound the echo in the round Egyptian room.  Sphinxes, Athena, Medusa, bronze buffalo bulls… and golden Hermes on top, pointing a way along the avenue to open the North!  Mysteries abound… along with giant polar bears.

Photo: Heidi Greco

Photo: Heidi Greco

Heidi, Penn and Golden Boy, aka Hermes!  Photo: Mora Gregg

Heidi, Penn and Golden Boy, aka Hermes!
Photo: Mora Gregg

And THEN, the WAG.  The Winnipeg Art Gallery featured an exhibit of Classical Art… including the Muses.

Judy Rebick, several friends and I spend the evening looking out on the gardens where two more labyrinths are being dreamed into existence.

Thank you, Winnipeg, for your kind and generous hospitality… and for bringing back the Spring!

Penn

Photo: Deb Hill

Photo: Deb Hill

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