River Revery

In November 2019, River Revery will be published by Insomniac Press with Penn Kemp’s poems, photographs by Mary McDonald, and q.r. codes by Mary and Dennis Siren.

River Revery is a collaboration between poet Penn Kemp and Mary McDonald. River Revery received the generous support of the London Arts Council’s City of London’s 2019 Community Arts Investment Program, through Pendas Productions. Mary McDonald’s Animations and Augmented Reality Art for River Revery were exhibited at Wordsfest and Penn’s poems read on Nov 3, 2018 as part of River of Words, the Poet Laureate presents series. The AR (Augmented Reality) art exhibit was on display at Museum London throughout the Festival weekend. See https://marymcdonald.ca/storyteller/. On https://riverrevery.ca/, you can see and hear “Believe”, “Silicon Valley” and “Wishing Well”.  Here’s the River Revery playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkrrcdIFk53WsG-LMalVzzW6tgCyoupQ7 London Arts Council logo

In November 2019, River Revery will be published by Insomniac Press with Penn’s poems, photographs by Mary, and q.r. codes by Mary and Dennis Siren.

believe 2018 Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald’s multimedia collaborations with Penn Kemp include multimedia promotional information for Penn’s work on Teresa Harris, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On0eQzLsreA, interviews, and collaborations exploring the intersections of art and the mobile culture; see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coKJgXsaHx0.

Here’s the Eldon House Animations playlist:

“The Wanderer Returns Home”, AR by Mary MacDonald, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fnJZ9shkHs&feature=youtu.be. This video by Mary McDonald (marymcdonald.ca) is the first in the Augmented Reality Art series, River Revery. It was shown at the launch of Penn’s book, Local Heroes (Insomniac Press), Museum London, 2018. The River Revery transmedia and AR art exhibit project also formed part of the Augmented Reality presentation at Eldon House in 2018, when Mary created a montage of sound and visual animation by juxtaposing audio clips from the performance, the text and music, with text from Penn’s poems from Local Heroes, intermingled with photography and stop motion animation. This recording features Mary Ashton’s original compositions, music played by Mary Ashton and Panayiotis Giannarapis, and was recorded during their performance of Penn’s play, The Dream Life of Teresa Harris at Masonville Public Library, London, Ontario, March 4, 2017. https://vimeo.com/280812786.

These animations can be seen as an entire playlist on Mary’s channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHv0yQTSRl8sgp9-BS_j81A/featured?view_as=public.

Pendas Productions  

 (519) 434-8555 e-mail: pennkemp@gmail.com
525 Canterbury Road London ON N6G 2N5

Since our first production of a play by Penn Kemp in 1977, Pendas Productions has been developing multimedia works, often in collaboration with other artists and art forms. Our micro publishing company in London ON has produced plays, CDs, DVDs of sound opera, as well as hand-made artbooks of poetry, art and drama, often in combination with CDs. James Kemp Faun.RP after JK


Introducing Naming the Shadows by Sharon Berg

Kites Without Strings

We were breaking strict rules, heading towards the high, crumbling hillside that was the northern face of this valley called Cedar Vale – Sharon Berg*

 What happens next for Elke, the young protagonist in Sharon Berg’sfictional tale “Trespass” is a heart-wrenching account of how quickly innocence can slip into a dangerous and dark abyss. The tension builds and as a reader, I am left scarred similar to my feelings after reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Will the horrors between bullies and victims never end?

However with shadows comes light and for this Sarniawriter her ability to shock (and move readers into action) is offset by her caring and strong interest in portraying the human experience in its painful as well as its tender, healing moments.

For almost a year, Facebook followers have received teasers about Berg’s upcoming short fiction collection Naming the Shadowsto…

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Pendas Productions

Pendas Pan            Since our first production of Penn Kemp’s play in 1977, Pendas Productions has been developing multimedia works, often in collaboration with other artists and art forms. Our micro publishing company in London ON has produced plays, CDs, DVDs of sound opera, as well as hand-made art books of poetry, art and drama, often in combination with CDs. The company started in 1977 with the production and publication of Kemp’s first play, The Epic of Toad and Heron (Black Moss Press), a drama written to save Toronto Island homes. Pendas continued with poetry/cd combination books, featuring more than twenty authors and producing anthologies in several languages.

Pendas published 136 translations of Penn’s “poem for peace” in two volumes, with CDs. Our literary magazine, Twelfth Key, begun through London publisher Applegarth Follies, continued from 1976 in twenty issues, often of Penn’s workshops and students’ writing. Twelfth Key culminated in 2005 with an anthology and CD of Pendas Poets.

For the last decade, Pendas Productions has collaborated with Saby Siren Productions in producing several videopoems for Penn Kemp’s poetry as well as documentation of numerous live performances of her larger works. Our collaborations have been generously supported by the London Arts Council.

“Translation”, a videopoem with Dennis Siren, 2019:

“Among the Parasols”, with Dennis Siren, 2019, q.r. code in RIVER REVERY. https://youtu.be/uomD6YEVkLo

“Heart P’Art”, with Dennis Siren, 2019, https://youtu.be/tqnwecUmSHI

“Between Between”, with Dennis Siren, 2019, https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm#sent?projector=1

April 2018. Launch of Local Heroes: video by Dennis Siren: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-zCVUjonwk

Video by Dennis Siren: Couplets#15: November 2017, London. Featuring Penn Kemp & Marta Croll-Baehre. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKiUCHy_Hjs&feature=youtu.be

PennandDenn Collection #1, 2016: Five Eerie Pieces
“On the Other Hand of Time”
“From Dream Sequins”
“Heart P’Arts”
“Between Between”
“For Me It Was Foxes”

“In the Words of Penn Kemp”, 2012

Dennis Siren’s Arts Doc Compilation. Penn: 20.46-26.25, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDa2HF6YDAM

Luminous Entrance: a Sound Opera performed at Aeolian Hall in 2009 with Anne AnglinRuth DouthwrightBrenda McMorrowRobert Menegonini, video by Dennis Siren

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A trickster review for Fox Haunts!

I bet you’ll love this review of Fox Haunts: Poems on ReWilding by Bill Arnott as much as I do!  SO much fun.

Available from me for $20 plus mailing. 525 Canterbury Road, London ON N6G 2N5.

Fox Haunts. Poems by Penn Kemp. Aeolus House, 2018. 97 pages. 

First time I saw a fox I was atop an open-air double decker, trundling along Cornish coast, intermittently thrashed by leafy birch as though in a weaving Finnish sauna. I was compelled to shield my eyes – what was there beyond my grasp, available only to the worthy. In fact it was present for everyone. Laid bare, unabashedly rich in beauty and lore. A slender, russet blonde animal, taller than I imagined. Regal. Same as when I met Penn Kemp. Somewhere a fellow trickster – Loki, Kokopelli perhaps, grinned as I carried a newly signed Fox Haunts to my semi-detached lair.

Adaptation runs through this London Laureate’s poems in darting twists, flight from imagined hunter’s horn. At times furtive, dreamily camouflaged, or bounding in plain sight, Kemp’s artistry enraptures. We join Penn in childhood, parents fused to fox memories with “A Child’s Garden Fox.”

“Sleepy, sleeping in my mother’s lap. Nestled. / When. A fox ran in front of the car. And / was transfixed by the headlights. Ran and / ran in front of the car but could not escape”

In red hued monochrome we glimpse dead fur and living banshees in “Steal, Stole, Stun.”

“The dried heads of black fox hung / from my grandmother’s stole as if / ready to strike. Dead flat button jet / eyes shut tight to their own secret”

And with fireside ease we move through seasons, geography and myth, playful “Glow” perching us parrot-like on the writer’s shoulder, experiencing evolving words while peering real-time into her thoughts.

“That narrow snout surfaces to / figure your next ploy, asking / curiously: ‘Who do you serve?’ // The essential question mocks / my reply. The whole, of course.”

Reading Kemp’s work I feel nestled in a sidecar affixed to the master’s motorbike, confident in her route, at times in conversation, storytelling, or akin to a lie-down on a therapist’s sofa. This book can leave one simultaneously inspired and intimidated, seeing genius expand exponentially with time.

Writing this I’m at Penn’s desk, at least the one she left for me to use in Vernon, BC. Beside me Fox Haunts lies curled and content, in its rightful place atop the rest. Through a broad bay window a few last leaves cling in vixen colours and from “Entertaining the Fox” the author’s words linger.

“May you be translated. And remain / entirely your own.”


Vancouver author, poet, songwriter Bill Arnott is the bestselling author of Dromomania and Gone Viking: A Travel Saga. His articles and reviews are published in Canada, the US, UK, Europe and Asia. Bill has a poetry prize from Pandora’s Collective and is a finalist for the Whistler Independent Book Awards 2019 with Gone Viking: A Travel Saga.

This review appeared in the latest (and, sadly, last) issue of Sharon Berg’ s Big Pond Rumours (Page 79) and online at Vancouver’s Pandora’s Collective.

I was also delighted by kind words on Fox Haunts in Goodreads:

Lauren Davis rated it *****:
“An absolutely charming book of tales (tails) insights into and beyond the world of this most worthy trickster!
Be wild. Be unruly. Be inspired by this delightful book of poems.”
And Jennifer Wenn’s 5-star review on http://tuckmagazine.com/2019/01/11/fo…
“Fox Haunts by Penn Kemp is a fascinating investigation of both the real animal and the figure of literature and myth. Kemp’s wordplay, wit and humour are on full display (for example, the whimsical suggestions for keeping foxes out of the yard in How To Repel the Urban Fox), but there are serious streams concerning adaptation, the collision of our civilisation with nature, and what Kemp terms rewilding. This is a captivating, multi-layered work”.


Penn Kemp ~ Xtra Text/ure

Xtra Text/ure). Penn Kemp & Chris Meloche. The following are mp3 audio files of the. 3 sections of the work “Xtra Text/ure”. Xtra Text/ure – Level 1.

DM du Jour

Leet speak
elite a leap
bleats peek
leave left

level well
alone own won one one

State the Play / Play the State

Take the aim
out of game
out of mine
out of mind

Time out
Time outa mind
out of site
outa sight

Parallel worlds
like lines life lines
first on second life
do not converge.


Select play
play for Real
for keeps ache

Fine Reality
Find Reality
Refine Reality

Define Reality
Defy Reality
Deafen Reality


will the real
will the real add
will the real avert
will the real version
will the real aversion
will the real adverse chew

will the real ah-choo!
will the real virtue
will the real virtue all
will the real virtual you plea
will the real virtual you plea sap
will the real virtual you please apt
will the real virtual you please a peer
will the…

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Reading Lorna Crozier’s Wolves: An Exercise in Cascadian

“We follow praising…”

Okanagan Okanogan

Here’s a poem from the great Canadian poet, Lorna Crozier, who has spent most of her working career in Cascadia. That refined achievement is about as Cascadian as you can get if you weren’t formed by the rocks and water of Cascadia (as all children are formed, in part, by their environments.) It’s pretty fascinating. I know that many of my readers aren’t readers of poetry, but hopefully I can show you something about Cascadia and its relationship to Canada. Perhaps we can find a method that we can apply to, shall we say, less-refined objects. So, let’s plunge in. Here’s the opening.


A great start! Note that there are plural wolves here. We expect a pack. It’s not a pack. As readers, like it or not, we are included. In fact, we read on, committing ourselves to Crozier’s power. She now exercises it, kind of like flexing the…

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