#31BooksInAugust

A challenge indeed, to read a poetry book a day throughout August!

It’s only now in preparing this list that I’ll see if I reached 31 books. Included here are several anthologies of poetry and the very poetic novel, Baudelaire’s Fractal. I’ve also read books that I had started earlier, a couple that I reread, and several that I have not yet finished! Some I’d been meaning to read forever. There’s always #SealeySeptember!

How to group the list? Some are from my own collection; some, gifts from friends. Many others arrived from the Library. The books came in clusters: Canadian; writers of colour, feminist, contemporary. I decided to go alphabetically. I didn’t have time to include comments or quotes, though a running commentary is ongoing in my head. Pals, if I haven’t included you here, are you in my blog for National Poetry Month? Check out https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/reading-and-recommending-poems-for-national-poetry-month-2020/.

Here’s the list:

  1. bill bissett, Air 10-11-12
  2. Billy-Ray Belcourt: NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field
  3. Di Brandt, Glitter & Fall
  4. Ariane Blackman, The River Doesn’t Stop
  5. Allan Briesmaster, River Neither
  6. Jillian Christmas, the gospel of breaking
  7. Margaret Christakos, charger
  8. Tom Cull, Bad Animals
  9. Ellen Jaffe, Skinny-Dipping with the Muse
  10. Patricia Keeney, First Woman
  11. John B. Lee, The Half-Way Tree
  12. D.A. Lockhart, Devil in the Woods
  13. Alice Major, Welcome to the Anthropocene
  14. Daphne Marlatt,  Seven Glass Bowls
  15. Susan McCaslin, Painter, Poet, Mountain: After Cézanne
  16. Susan McMaster, Haunt
  17. Bruce Meyer, McLuhan’s Canary
  18. Stephen Morrissey, A Poet’s Journey: on poetry and what it means to be a poet
  19. Colin Morton, Coastlines of the Archipelago
  20. Miguel Neneve, En los Caminos de la Miradas
  21. Catherine Owen, Riven
  22. Harold Rhenisch, Winging Home: a palette of birds
  23. Canisia Lubrin, The Dyzgraph*st
  24. Jay MillAr, The Ghosts of Jay MillAr
  25. Joni Mitchell, Morning Glory On the Vine
  26. Lisa Robertson, Baudelaire Fractals
  27. Sharon Thesen, The Receiver
  28. Phyllis Webb, Peacock Blue

Anthologies
29. Kim Maltman, editor. The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2018
30. Nyla Matuk, Resisting Canada: an anthology of poetry with an Introduction by Nyla Matuk
31. Adam Sol, How a poem moves: a field guide for readers of poetry

Thanks for such an inspiring initiative, Nicole Sealey! @Nic_Sealey

#31outof31 #TheSealeyChallenge #sealeychallenge #poetry #31Books31Days #31BooksInAugust

WHEW~! See you in September!

Penn Kemp
http://www.pennkemp.weebly.com

A panacea of poems in the pandemic

I’m so grateful to Joe Belanger and the Free Press for supporting the arts and local artists.
Poetry really can console and articulate our emotions in the pandemonium of pandemic. But imagine, a local newspaper publishing new poems!  and these three of mine are so beautifully laid out with room for the poems to breathe! But, hey, embrace me from 6 feet away, okay? 🙂

BELANGER: It’s time to embrace London’s poet laureate, Penn Kemp, and all artists

It’s funny the things you think of when the going gets tough.

London poet Penn Kemp explores the pandemic in her writing as the country has a muted celebration of Poetry Month. JOE BELANGER

It’s funny the things you think of when the going gets tough.

Like everyone else in recent weeks, I could feel the sun’s warmth, see the green tips coming through the garden soil and welcome the crocuses.

It’s spring arriving, yet there wasn’t a big smile on my face; no, just the tension of uncertainty and foreboding that goes hand-in-hand with the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then I heard Penn Kemp’s voice on the telephone and a smile arrived.

I can’t help it. London’s first poet laureate and one of this country’s great writing talents always offers up some delightful word treats that usually provoke a smile, sometimes laughter and even tears that eventually give way to serious pondering of the words, ideas and observations she so expertly writes on paper.

I should have anticipated the phone call because April is poetry month and, more often than not, a chance for me to reconnect with Kemp, who has written more than 30 books of poetry and drama and is renowned as a spoken word performer.

Penn Kemp is a perpetual reminder to me of why we need our artists and I couldn’t wait to find out how she’s been keeping, but even more excited to find out what she’s doing.

“Life as usual for a writer, I’m at home,” said Kemp, for whom a degree of isolation is a natural consequence of her art.

“But we feel it all so deeply. The irony and the consolation or disparity in it all is spring’s arrival – the return of warmth against the depths of sadness and sorrow of so many people passing. There’s so much information coming at us, we’re inundated with so much grief. For me, poetry can console.”

And then I read her new words, in her new poem titled, What We Remember, words this horror has provoked that grabbed my heart and told me I am not alone. The opening stanza drawing tears . . .

So many are leaving the planet and yet

are with us, still and still.

How they hover,

the lost, the bewildered, the wild ones!

Clearly life during a pandemic hasn’t escaped Kemp’s gaze or understanding; it has provoked her muse to sing.

There are two more poems, each with compelling observations, perhaps even provocations. It is what Kemp must do, even though she won’t get paid this month when she is often on tour to celebrate her art. It is why I feel so compelled to write about our artists.

“I so believe in the power of community yet everything we relied upon has shifted — to ‘host’ has become a negative and even ‘positive’ (test) has become a negative,” said Kemp.

“What the arts really does is offer a vehicle for the expression of emotion, whether we’re creating or we’re a recipient, you can share in the collective expression of sorrow and suffering and sense that we are together, that humanity is facing this together.”

And I smile again because I don’t feel so alone.

I’m feeling hopeful again because the power of the arts continues to churn, inspiring and, yes, comforting.

jbelanger@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/JoeBatLFPress


The Big Ask

In times of crises we count on the arts for respite,
relief, relaxation and articulation of our response
and reaction to a compounded new normal. As if

unknowns have not always been nearby, hovering
at edge of sight, beyond reach but closing in now,
still unknown. All our questions rise without reply.

How long.

The difference is now we know for once what we
did not know, can’t know, don’t want to face, hid
under cover. But special masks hand-sewn as if to

protect let us feel we are doing our bit, let us act in
dispelling disconnect, overwhelm of circumstance.
Art helps us stitch together disparity or discontent.

This poem will not reveal statistics, won’t describe
missing medical gear, what remains undelivered,
how many gravesites prepared, how much suffering—

how many gone. We have aps for that, as numbers
grow beyond belief but not beyond hope nor help.

Frontline workers, be praised. May all you need be
yours now. May salaries be raised. May you rest
till the rest is easy. May your harvest be in health

not death, not calculated statistics of raised risk.
Do care for yourselves just as you care for others.

We wait, sequestered, connected, isolated, missing
touch, missing what we used to call normal, what
we used to do long ago just last month. We wait for

the weight to lift, to remember we are safe at home,
not stuck. We also serve who stay indoors and wait.

May home be our haven. May we shelter in place,
in peace of mind. Confinement’s just fine for now,
home stead, home stayed and schooled in the new.

Mind the gap, the gulf between then and now as
broadcasts sweep over: they are not forever. Turn
off the hourly news. Tune in to spring joys instead.

We can gather in the power of dandelion greens.
Warmer weather is not another postponed elective.

Even though last night, lightning and hail the size
of loonies lit up the sky at the pink full moon, no
frogs are raining and forsythia has not forsaken us.

Toads are peeping, myrtle is purpling and the sun,
sweet sun, is warming our faces as forget-me-nots
pop their determined way up through damp earth.

What is essential, what urgent when baselines shift?
Spontaneous dance parties and web performance
lighten fatigue, the philosopher’s moral dilemma.

The consolation of poetry is the resilience of words
given to comfort or challenge, compare and contrast.

What is grief but love unexpressed? What is love but
expression? Giving, not in, not out, but forth, giving
over to you. The game’s a match. Love won. Love all.

Penn Kemp
April 8, 2020

What We’ll Remember

How first scylla sky shimmers
against the tundra swan’s flight
west and north, north north west.

How many are leaving the planet and yet
are with us, still and still forever.

How they linger,
the lost, the bewildered, the wild ones!

Though tears come easily these days,
we too hover over the greening land

as spring springs brighter than ever
since stacks are stilled and the pipe
lines piping down.

When the peace pipe is lit
and sweetgrass replaces
smog— when the fog of pollution
lifts and channels clear—

Earth take a long breath
and stretches over aeons to come
and aeons past.

Penn Kemp

No Reruns, No Returns

for les revenants

Those who died once from influenza
a century ago, who now are pulled to

a hell realm of eternal return—are you
repeating, reliving the hex of time as if

doomed to replicate the old story you
already lived through? Once is enough.

No need to hover. You have suffered
plenty. You’ve loved and lost all there

is to lose. You have won. You’re one
with all that is. Retreat now to your own

abode. Return home, spirits. You’re no
longer needed here. You are no longer.

Although we honour you and thank
you and remember you each and all,

all those who’ve been called back, called
up from dimensions we can only guess at—

caught in the Great War and carried away
or carried off in the aftermath of influenza—

by this spell, we tell you to go back to
your own time, out of time. Just in time.

May you depart. We don’t know, how can
we tell? where your home is. It’s not here.

Know this virus is not yours. Know this
war is not yours. You are here in our era

by error, by slippage, a rip. You’ve mis-
taken the signage, the spelling in wrong

turns. Now return, by this charm, retreat.
You are dispelled, dismissed, dismantled,

released to soar free from the trance of time.
May you travel well. May you fly free.

Penn Kemp

The poems have been slightly revised.

Reading and Recommending Poems for National Poetry Month 2020

Both books and isolated poems, with some quotes, as they happen.  I include the publishers as well, to thank them for their insistence on publishing poetry~! And the Library for fulfilling my requests for titles!

*

Margaret Atwood’s “Six Poems”, Cutting edge: new stories of mystery and crime by women writers, edited by Joyce Carol Oates
Gary Barwin, For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New and Selected Poems (Wolsak & Wynn)
Jay Bernard, Surge (Penguin Random House)
Frank Bidart, Half-light: collected poems 1965-2016  (Farrar Straus Giroux)
Heather Cadsby, Standing in the flock of connections (Brick Books)
Tina Chang, Hybrida: poems (Norton)
Leonard Cohen, The Flame
Marlene Cookshaw, Mowing (Brick Books)
Lorna Crozier, What the soul doesn’t want: poems (Freehand Books)
Carol Ann Duffy, The Bees (Picador)
Katerina Vaughan Fretwell, We Are Malala (Inanna Publications)
Matthew Gwathmey, Our latest in folktales (Brick Books)
Joy Harjo, An American sunrise: poems
Stevie Howell, I left nothing inside on purpose: poems (M & S)
Maureen Hynes, Sotto Voce (Brick Books)
Monika Hope Lee, If water breathes  (Resource Publications))
Michael Lista, Bloom: poems (House of Anansi)
Erin Moure, The Elements (House of Anansi)
Harold Rhenisch, The Spoken World (Hagios)
Jane Urquhart; photographs by Jennifer Dickson, Some other garden: The little flowers of   Madame de Montespan and I am walking in the garden of his imaginary palace (M & S)
David White, Local Haunts (Pedlar Press)
Howard White, A mysterious humming noise / new poems by Howard White (Anvil Press)
Sheri-D. Wilson, A Love Letter to Emily C. (Frontenac House)

*

from Margaret Atwood’s “Spider Signatures” Six Poems in Cutting edge: new stories of mystery and crime by women writers, edited by Joyce Carol Oates

“and while you sleep
I hover, the first grandmother.
I trap your nightmares in my net,
eat the seeds of your fears for you,
suck out their ink

and scribble on your windowsill
these tiny glosses on Is, Is, Is,
white lullabies.”

*

Gary Barwin, For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe: New and Selected Poems

About to read For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe! I know it will be a Pleasure and a Surprise:)!!

*

Jay Bernard, Surge

The ‘New Cross Massacre’, the fire, a racist attack?

*

Heather Cadsby, Standing in the flock of connections 

I spend all
this energy fending off cures when I could be enjoying boring times;
guarding my secrets and incessant thoughts. I tell you, my supply is
dwindling.”

*

Tina Chang, Hybrida: poems

A terrifying, brilliant book confronting the poet’s terror

“Somewhere, glass breaks
and the one who shatters it
wears a mask of God’s many faces.

*

Leonard Cohen, The Flame. Recommending the audiobook, read by Atwood, Seth Rogen, etc, a company of fine readers. Listen again and again till the rhymes chime. They already resonate.

Great to hear the exchange between Leonard and Peter Dale Scott, Frank’s son and Cohen’s mentor at McGill: “You want it darker?”

I published a book of poems called Travelling Light with Soft Press (1976), decades before Cohen’s. But his poem here is the more inspiriting, I mean inspiring.  Surprised?  I think notJ. And titles are open game.

*

Lorna Crozier, What the soul doesn’t want: poems

Up to snuff.  Deeply engaged and engaging.

*

Carol Ann Duffy, The Bees

My fave: the sweetest of all these books.

“alchemical, nectar-slurred, pollen-furred,
the world’s mantra us, our blurry sound
along the thousand scented miles to the hive…
the hive, alive, us—how we behave.

*

Katerina Vaughan Fretwell, We Are Malala (Inanna Publications)

Some of Fretwell’s phrases will ring in your head long after you have put the book down. My favourite lines in the book link spirit and the natural world:

Once all women could talk to trees.
*
I still chant to forests, seeing chi—
silvery energy—pulsing around twig,

leaf, branch, bole. The whole.

The last lines of this book are a rallying call:

United we thrive, divided we die.
All souls. All sentience.

Sentenced to prescience, We Are Malala.

*

Stevie Howell’s text, I left nothing inside on purpose: poems

How I love Stevie Howell’s text, I left nothing inside on purpose: poems. Like this:

“Anonymous,
the one who sands the edges of sorrow.”

Magic!

*

Maureen Hynes, Sotto Voce

“We’re always
looking backwards in galleries and books
to find women like ourselves.”

Maureen Hynes, “Keep It Dark”

*

Monika Hope Lee, If water breathes

We’ve both made poetry of experiences like the Kalachakra, like Jaipur!

“Talking to the Unknown”

Tomorrow a gain or loss or truce
will alter the past

and we will reach for signs, particulars
a keyhole to the future’s largesse”

Penn Novel Idea Kingston 2018

Reading at Novel Idea, Kingston. Photo by Andrew Simms.

Poets logo

 

Equinox Blessing for Balance

Penn magnolia magnificentAt the Moment of Equinox

I enter the garden, the ground
still held by winter, spring
almost released. I stand
at the centre into which all
flow, from which all emerge.

Wind in the upper birch stills.
The garden’s breath is so long
it is immeasurable. But I wait,
offering awareness as witness.

Pivoting, I pray. North, grant us
your clarity and strength. West,
your surrender and acceptance.
South, your joy and creativity.

East, your initiation, inspiration.
Sky, your broad view. Earth,
your ground, your holy round.

The moment is held in a bowl
beyond comprehension, beyond
belief. May we carry balance

lightly on each step of the way
till it recurs six months off. May
we find a way to become whole.

May the earth find her stability.
May the equanimity of equinox
be yours, be ours, the way animals
holds their ground without belief

in beyond.

This poem will appear in P.S., a chapbook written with Sharon Thesen. Kalamalka Press, 2020.

Penn Sharon Pyx (2)

A Year of Happily Reading

BOOKS READ

An odd collection but then 2019 was an odd year!

Thanks to London Public Library for most of these books! And to indie bookshops and small press publishers. Long may you thrive!

penn-1950

Jon Acuff, Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done

Elizabeth Alexander, How Lovely the Ruins

Andre Alexis, Days by Moonlight

Nina Allan, The Rift

Kate Atkinson, Transcription
Kate Atkinson, Big Sky

Atticus. The dark between stars

Margaret Atwood, Power politics: poems /introduction by Jan Zwicky
Margaret Atwood, The Testaments

Mona Awad, Bunny

Chris Bailey, Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction

James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk

Jo Baker, The Body Lies

John Banville, The sea

Linwood Barclay, A Noise Downstairs

Pat Barker, The Silence of the Girls

Julian Barnes, The Only Story

Mike Barnes, Braille rainbow: poems

T.A. Barron, Atlantis Rising
T.A. Barron, Merlin’s Dragon
T.A. Barron, Merlin’s dragon. Book 2, Doomraga’s revenge

Belinda Bauer, Snap

Ann Beattie, A Wonderful Stroke of Luck

Yves Beauchemin, translated by Wayne Grady. The Accidental Education of Jerome Lupien

Frank Beddor, The Looking Glass Wars

Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World

Gwen Benaway, Holy wild

Chloe Benjamin, The Immortalists

Diana Beresford-Kroeger, To Speak for the Trees: My Life’s Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest

Sharon Berg, Naming the Shadows: stories

Gabrielle Bernstein, May Cause Miracles

bill bissett, Breth: th treez uv lunaria: selektid rare n nu pomes n drawings, 1957-2019

Robert Bly, More Than True: The Wisdom of Fairy Tales

Alan Bradley, The golden tresses of the dead

Gregg Braden, The turning point / creating resilience in a time of extremes

Dionne Brand, The Blue Clerk
Dionne Brand, Theory

Di Brandt, Glitter & fall: Laozi’s, Dao De Jing transinhalations

Brené Brown, Dare to lead: brave work, tough conversations, whole hearts

Julie Bruck, How to avoid huge ships

Carol Bruneau, A circle on the surface

Wanda Easter Burch; with a foreword by Robert Moss, She who dreams: a journey into healing through dreamwork

Anna Burns, Milkman

Augusten Burroughs, Toil & Trouble

Steve Burrows, A Dance of Cranes

Simon Buxton, The Shamanic way of the bee: ancient wisdom and healing practices of the bee masters

Maria Campbell, Halfbreed

Anne Carson, Bakkhai / Euripides

Michael Chabon, Book Ends

Kai Cheng Thom, Fierce femmes and notorious liars: a dangerous trans girl’s confabulous memoir

Tracy Chevalier, A single thread

Susan Choi, Trust Exercise

Ann Cleeves, Cold earth

Cohen, Harry’s trees

Henri Cole, Orphic Paris

Billy Collins, The Rain in Portugal

Edwidge Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory

Craig Davidson, The Saturday Night Ghost Club

Lauren B. Davis, The Grimoire of Kensington Market

Lisa de Nikolits, The occult persuasion and the anarchist’s solution / a novel

Edmund De Waal, The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance

Patrick DeWitt, French Exit

Claudia Dey, Heart-Breaker

Kate DiCamillo, The Tales of Despereaux

Cherie Dimaline, Red rooms
Cherie Dimaline, Empire of Wild

Emma Donoghue, The Lotterys More or Less
Emma Donoghue, Akin

David Dowker, Machine Language

Carol Ann Duffy, Rapture

Helen Dunmore, Birdcage walk

Alicia Elliott, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground

Marina Endicott, The Difference

Jenny Erpenbeck; translated by Susan Bernofsky, The end of days

Terry Fallis, Albatross

Amanda Flower, Prose and cons: Magical Bookshop Mystery Series, Book 2

Jonathan Safran Foer, We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast

Jonathan Franzen, The end of the end of the earth: essays

Tana French, The Witch Elm

Neil Gaiman, The Neil Gaiman Audio Collection
Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman, The problem of Susan and other stories. P. Craig Russell, adaptation and art (The Problem of Susan, Locks) ; Scott Hampton, art (October in the Chair); Paul Chadwick, art (The Day the Saucers Came)
Neil Gaiman, Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World
Gaiman & Terry Pratchett, Good omens: [the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch]

Elizabeth Gilbert, City of Girls

Susan Gillis, Yellow crane

Malcolm Gladwell, Talking to Strangers

Imogen Hermes Gowar, The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Philippa Gregory, Tidelands

Lauren Groff, Florida

Camilla Grudova, The Doll’s Alphabet

Steven R. Gundry, The plant paradox cookbook: 100 delicious recipes to help you lose weight, heal your gut, and live lectin-free
Steven R. Gundry, The Longevity Paradox: How to Die Young at a Ripe Old Age

Samra Habib, We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir

Mark Haddon, The Porpoise

Tessa Hadley, The past

Rick Hanson, Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness

Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens

Dan Harris and Jeff Warren, Meditation for fidgety skeptics: a 10% happier how-to book

Paul Hawken, ed. Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming

Brian Henderson, Sharawadjii

Elin Hilderbrand, Summer of ’69

Susan Howe, Debths

Helen Humphreys, Machines Without Horses

Siri Hustvedt, Memories of the future: a novel

Mark Hyman, Food: what the heck should I eat?
Mark Hyman, The Blood Sugar Solution
Mark Hyman, MD. Eat fat, get thin: why the fat we eat is the key to sustained weight loss and vibrant health

Inbali Iserles, The mage

Denis Johnson, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden

Sadie Jones, The Snakes

Eve Joseph, Quarrels: prose poems

Julie Kagawa, Shadow of the Fox

Mary Karr, Tropic of squalor: poems

Byron Katie, written with Stephen Mitchell: Loving what is: four questions that can change your life

Guy Gavriel Kay, A Brightness Long Ago

Thomas King, A matter of malice: a DreadfulWater mystery

Barbara Kingsolver, Unsheltered

John La Greca, Homeless Memorial: Poems from the Streets of Vernon

Ben Ladouceur, Otter

Mark Laliberte, Brick Brick Brick

Olivia Laing, Crudo

Michiko Kakutani, The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump

Laila Lalami, The other Americans

Lori Lansens, This Little Light

Juliet Lapidos, Talent: a novel

John Le Carré, Agent Running in the Field

Ursula Le Guin, Words Are My Matter: Writings About Life and Books
Ursula Le Guin, No time to spare: thinking about what matters

John Lent, Wood Lake
John Lent, Frieze

Donna Leon, Unto Us a Son is Given

Robert Lepage and Marie Michaud; Fred Jourdain, illustrator ; translation from Mandarin, Min Sun. The blue dragon

Jonathan Lethem, The Feral Detective

Elise Levine, This wicked tongue: stories

Deborah Levy, Things I Don’t Want to Know: A Working Autobiography: a response to George Orwell’s 1946 essay ‘Why I write’

Thea Lim, An Ocean of Minutes

Sven Lindqvist, Terra nullius: a journey through no one’s land; translated by Sarah Death

Sam Lipsyte, Hark: a novel

Penelope Lively, Life in the Garden
Penelope Lively, The Road to Lichfield

D.A. Lockhart, Big medicine comes to Erie

Barry Lopez, Horizon

Amanda Lovelace, The princess saves herself in this one

Canisia Lubrin, Voodoo hypothesis: poems

Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive

David Lynch and Kristine McKenna, Room to dream

Sandra Lynn Lynxleg, Glass Beads, Gaspereau Press

Tanis MacDonald, Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City

Robert Macfarlane, Jackie Morris, The lost words: a spell book
Robert Macfarlane, Underland

Lee Maracle, My conversations with Canadians
Lee Maracle, Talking to the diaspora

Daphne Marlatt, Intertidal: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1968-2008

Mark Matousek, Mother of the unseen world: the mystery of Mother Meera  

Susan McCaslin & J. S. Porter, Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine

Elizabeth McCracken, Bowlaway

Ami McKay, Half Spent is the Night
Ami McKay, Daughter of Family G: A Memoir of Cancer Genes, Love and Fate

Bill McKibben, Falter. Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

kevin mcpherson eckhoff, Circadia

Andrew McMillan Playtime

Jay MillAr, Timely irreverence

Madeline Miller, Circe

Ken Mogi, Awakening your ikigai

  1. M. Montgomery, Rilla of Ingleside: Anne of Green Gables Series, Book 8

Sinéad Morrissey, On Balance

Toni Morrison, The Source of Self-Regard

Robert Moss, The secret history of dreaming

Sarah Moss, Ghost Wall

Herta Muller, the fox was ever the hunter

Renée Nault, The handmaid’s tale / [based on the novel by] Margaret Atwood; art & adaptation

Sandra Newman, The Heavens

Cecily Nicholson, Wayside sang: poems

bpNichol, Nights on prose mountain; edited by Derek Beaulieu

Edna O’Brien, Girl

Michelle Obama, Becoming

Chigozie Obioma, An orchestra of minorities

Mary Oliver, At Blackwater Pond: Mary Oliver reads Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver, Upstream: selected essays

Tommy Orange, There There

Susan Orlean, The Library Book

Judith Orloff, The empath’s survival guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People
Judith Orloff, The Power of Surrender

Elaine Pagels, Why Religion?: A Personal Story

Nicholas Papaxanthos, Wearing Your Pants

Ann Patchett, The Dutch House
Ann Patchett, Run

Louise Penny, A Better Man

Sarah Perry, Melmoth

Julia Phillips, Disappearing earth

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Tonguebreaker: poems and performance texts

Signe Pike, The Lost Queen

Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind: what the new science of psychedelics teaches us about consciousness, dying, addiction, depression, and transcendence

Maria Popova, Figuring

Max Porter, Lanny
Max Porter, Grief is the Thing with Feathers

Steven Price, Lampedusa

Philip Pullman, Daemon voices: on stories and storytelling
Philip Pullman, The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth

David Quammen, The Tangled Tree

Joanne Ramos, The Farm

Ian Rankin, In a house of lies

Michael Redhill, Twitch force: poems

Clea Roberts, Auguries: poems

Robin Robertson, The Wrecking Light

Eden Robinson, Trickster Drift

Judith Rodger, Greg Curnoe: life & work

Sally Rooney, Normal People

Laisha Rosnau, Our Familiar Hunger
Laisha Rosnau, The sudden weight of snow

Rena Rossner, The sisters of the winter wood: Forests and forestry

don Miguel Ruiz and Barbara Emrys, The three questions: how to discover and master the power within you

Salman Rushdie, Quichotte

Karen Russell, Orange World and Other Stories

Oliver Sacks, The River of Consciousness
Oliver Sacks, Everything in its Place: First Loves and Last Tales

Robert Sapolsky, Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

Anakana Schofield, Bina

Rebecca Scritchfield, Body kindness

W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz; translated by Anthea Bell

Lisa See, The island of sea women: a novel

Diane Setterfield, Once Upon a River
Diane Setterfield, The thirteenth tale

Hana Shafi, It begins with the body: poems & illustrations

Leanne Shapton, Guestbook: Ghost Stories

Robin Sharma, The 5 AM club: own your morning, elevate your life

Dean Sherzai, The alzheimer’s solution: A Breakthrough Program to Prevent and Reverse the Symptoms of Cognitive Decline at Every Age

Vivek Shraya, I’m Afraid of Men

Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, The Yes Brain
Daniel Siegel, The Science and Practice of Presence—A Complete Guide to the Groundbreaking Wheel of Awareness Meditation Practice

Leila Slimani, The Perfect Nanny

Ali Smith, Winter
Ali Smith, Spring

Zadie Smith, Grand Union

Adam Sol, Complicity

Karen Solie, Pigeon: poems
Karen Solie, The Caiplie Caves

Rebecca Solnit, Whose story is this?: old conflicts, new chapters
Rebecca Solnit, Cinderella Liberator

Jen Sookfong Lee, The Animals of Chinese New Year

Heidi Sopinka, The Dictionary of Animal Languages

Lauren St John, Dolphin Song

Elizabeth Strout, Olive, Again: A Novel
Elizabeth Strout, The Burgess Boys

Tanya Tagaq, Split Tooth

Tanya Talaga, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward

Daniel Tammet, Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing

Drew Hayden Taylor, Chasing painted horses / a novel

William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity fair

Harold Rhenisch, The Spoken World

Joan Thomas, Five Wives

Miriam Toews, Women Talking

Dania Tomlinson, Our Animal Hearts

Rose Tremain, Trespass

Mark Truscott, Branches

Ayelet Tsabari, The Art of Leaving

Anne Tyler, Clock Dance

Arielle Twist, Disintegrate/dissociate: poems

Priscila Uppal, On second thought

Luis Alberto Urrea, The House of Broken Angels

Katherena Vermette, river woman

Alberto Villoldo, Grow a new body: how spirit and power plant nutrients can transform your health

Ocean Vuong, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Richard Wagamese, Embers: one Ojibway’s meditations

Martin Walker, A taste for vengeance
Martin Walker, The body in the castle well

Clemantine Wamariya, The Girl Who Smiled Beads

Phoebe Wang, Admission requirements

Izabella Wentz, Hashimoto’s food pharmacology: nutrition protocols and healing recipes to take charge of your thyroid health

Walt Whitman, Live oak, with moss; art by Brian Selznick . Commentary by Karen Karbiener, Whitman scholar

Jeanette Winterson, Frankissstein

Peter Wohlleben, The Weather Detective: Rediscovering Nature’s Secret Signs
Peter Wohlleben, The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things

Tom Wolfe, The Kingdom of Speech

Anthology

Luminous Ink: Writers on Writing in Canada

Howard White & Emma Skagen, editors; Beyond forgetting: celebrating 100 years of Al Purdy with a forward by Steven Heighton

Ian Williams, editor; The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2018

Hua Laura Wu, Xueqing Xu, Corinne Bieman Davies, editors; Toward the North: stories by Chinese Canadian writers

Poems and texts; an anthology of French poems, translations, & interviews with Ponge, Follain, Guillevic, Frenaud, Bonnefoy, DuBouchet, Roche & Pleynet  

Jeremy Noel-Tod, The Penguin book of the prose poem: from Baudelaire to Anne Carson / edited and introduced by Jeremy Noel-Tod

An enduring wilderness: Toronto’s natural parklands / photographs by Robert Burley; with writing by Anne Michaels, Michael Mitchell, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Alissa York, George Elliott Clarke, Wayne Reeves

DVDS SEEN

Anne of Green Gables: fire & dew; directed by John Kent Harrison

Doctor Who: the two doctors

Paul Goodman Changed My Life: The Life and Work of an Influential Philosopher

Black panther / directed by Ryan Coogler

The Square

Top of the lake directed by Jane Campion
Top of the lake. China girl directed by Jane Campion

Killing of the Sacred Deer. “The Killing of a Sacred Deer takes its name, Iphigenia in Aulis. Dating back to 405 BCE, Agamemnon and his men are stranded on an island because the goddess of the hunt, Artemis, has suspended the winds they require to set sail for Troy. If the war effort is to continue—and it must—he has to sacrifice his own daughter, Iphigenia, because he was previously responsible for the death of a sacred deer belonging to the goddess.”

Madame Bovary

Miss Julie

Regarding Susan Sontag: Portrait of a Feminist Icon

Paris was a Woman

To the Ends of the Earth

Counterpart

Colette

Hereditary directed by Ari Aster

The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2

The Good Karma Hospital. Series 1

Faces places; written and directed by Agnès Varda and J.R. Watched a glorious doc, Faces Places by Agnes Varda and J.R.: she’s 80 something.  So moving; you’d love it: colour galore!

Claire’s Camera

Primaire

The Sisters Brothers

Agatha Raisin. Series one

Crooked house

Notes on a scandal; directed by Richard Eyre

The Little Stranger. Based on Sarah Waters

On Chesil Beach

The spy who dumped me directed by Susanna Fogel

The children act; directed by Richard Eyre. Based on the novel by Ian McEwan

Isle of dogs / directed by Wes Anderson

Risk

The White Queen

Blackkklansman directed by Spike Lee

Can You Ever Forgive Me? Dir: Marielle Heller. With a screenplay by film-maker Nicole Holofcener. Melissa McCarthy Sharp objects

The crown. The complete second season

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Americans. The complete fifth season

At Eternity’s Gate by Julian Schnabel

A Star is Born

The White Queen

Mum. Season one

First reformed directed by Paul Schrader: two quotes from Merton!!  Activism and faith… good commentary on DVD.

The Bookshop

Greta

If Beale Street could talk. Barry Jenkins from James Baldwin

Harold and Maude

At Eternity’s Gate. Willem da Foe as Vincent van Gogh

Fahrenheit 11/9 directed by Michael Moore

Crazy Rich Asians

On the basis of sex. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Good Karma Hospital. Series 2

Doctor Who with Jodie Whittaker –in Broadchurch, new showrunner Chris Chibnall

The Wife

Private Life

Symbiotic Earth: How Lynn Margulis Rocked the Boat and Started A Scientific Revolution. I was listening to David Quammen, The Tangled Tree: A net more than a tree. “In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field—the study of life’s diversity and relatedness at the molecular level—is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. It turns out that HGT has been widespread and important. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection—a type of HGT. In The Tangled Tree David Quammen, “chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them—such as Carl Woese, the most important little-known biologist of the twentieth century; Lynn Margulis, the notorious maverick whose wild ideas about “mosaic” creatures proved to be true; and Tsutomu Wantanabe, who discovered that the scourge of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a direct result of horizontal gene transfer, bringing the deep study of genome histories to bear on a global crisis in public health.”

July 19, 2019: Entropy indeed! But the construction continues from 7am till 6pm, making the entire house and my nervous system vibrate!  Not today, there were several wild thunderstorms and more to come, even hail!  And a tornado watch. So I’ve been watching videos…The Wife (astounding; have you seen it?  Glenn Close is mesmerizing. Symbiotic Earth: Lynn Margolis Rocked the Boat & Started A Scientific Revolution. Brilliant woman!  A Private War, with Rosamund Pike totally inhabiting war correspondent Marie Colvin. About to see My Brilliant Friend. All from our Library, so I’m out of date but what a treat: I don’t usually watch: we don’t have TV, just the monitor:).

A private war. Marie Colvin.

My Brilliant Friend. July 21, 2019:  During the storms, I’ve been watching My Brilliant Friend… amazing corollary depicting so vividly Ferrante’s story! I just saw MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, based on Ferrante. Brilliant indeed!

Shetland. Season four

Vera 8

RBG

Mary Queen of Scots. Dir: Josie Rourke, played by Saoirse Ronan. Margot Robbie plays her nemesis, Queen Elizabeth I, and David Tennant is John Knox

Victoria, Season 3

Poetry in America. Season 1; director, Elisa New

In the dark, directed by Gilles Banner, Ulrik Imitiaz Rolfsen

The Durrells in Corfu. The complete third season. Watched The Durrels in Corfu series with the kids: sweet.

Killing Eve; Based on the novellas by Luke Jennings. I recovered by watching Killing Eve and fast forwarding through the ‘kills’.  Brilliant and weird.  Sandra Oh is a marvel. Have you watching Killing Eve? Mesmerizingly weird! Oh Sandra Oh!

The child in time. Watching Cumberbatch in “A Child in Time” and about to see, next cloudy day, “Patrick Melrose”.

Patrick Melrose. David Nicholls turned Edward St Aubyn’s books into a heart-wrenching account of abuse and addiction, carried by a majestic Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict as Patrick… I cdn’t get through the novels, too disturbing. I don’t really understand the gay sensibility of those times, like “Suddenly, Last Summer”.

Us

Gloria Bell

The seagull

Infinity: the ultimate trip / produced by Alberto Villoldo
A Handful of Dust
Apollo 11: Mission to the Moon

Departure/ director, Andrew Steggall

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Green Book

Fantastic beasts: the crimes of Grindelwald / directed by David Yates

24 frames / a film by Abbas Kiarostami

My Week With Marilyn

Small Island. Based on the novel by Andrea Levy

Late Night with Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling

Pina / directed by Wim Wenders

High Life, Claire Denis

Beloved

The Little Drummer Girl

Penn Novel Idea Kingston 2018

Reading at Novel Idea, Kingston. Photo by Andrew Simms.

 

 

 

Poems for Sale: a wish list for you

Books are the best gift for upcoming holidays… a respite from the rush.

Here are my recent offerings to share with poetry- and play-loving pals.

If you order from me, I’ll sign them as you wish!
Penn Kemp
525 Canterbury Road
London Ontario N6G 2N5
pennkemp@gmail.com

Or order from Amazon*. Details below.

From Insomniac Press*, $2O + tax + postage:

River Revery front back cover

Local Heroes cover good

From Quattro Books*, $2O + tax + postage:

FoxHaunts-Cover

barbaric-cultural-practice_front-cover

Also, prose to celebrate Jack Layton: Love, Hope and Optimism, Ongoing!*

960121_10151616103230020_1383103619_n

Travel to Ancient Egypt with me for $6 + tax +postage!

Helwa cover

Or this fabulous hand-made chapbook from Mother Tongue Books for $50 + tax +postage!

Suite Ancient Egypt

If you love plays and local history, two of my plays about Victorian explorer Teresa Harris are available: https://www.canadianplayoutlet.com/products/the-dream-life-of-teresa-harris and https://www.canadianplayoutlet.com/products/the-triumph-of-teresa-harris.

And this anthology,  available only from me. $20 in this format.  But for $12, without the colour, order from https://www.canadianplayoutlet.com/products/performing-women.

performing-women-2016

* Find my books on https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=Penn+Kemp&ref=nb_sb_noss.

Blessings for a Joyous Holiday!
Penn

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:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMqzgfLJtws&t=22s

“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

PoemforPeaceVol2BerniceVincentpaintingVocal Braidings.hmtb.front cover.200gatheringvoicesbanner

Published Works by Penn Kemp

PoemforPeaceVol2BerniceVincentpainting

Publication History

 

BEARING DOWN (1972) poetry.  Coach House Press, 401 Huron St. Toronto ON

TRANCEFORM  (1976) poetry.  Soft Press, Victoria BC. Reprinted 2006, Pendas

THE EPIC OF TOAD AND HERON (1977) play.  Black Moss Press, Windsor ON

Reprinted 1985 by Playwrights Union, Toronto

CLEARING (1977) poetry. B.C. Monthly, Vancouver  BC

CHANGING PLACE (1978) poetry/prose.  Fiddlehead, U.N.B., Fredericton NB

ANGEL MAKERS (1978) play. Playwrights Union, Toronto

TOAD TALES(1981) poetry. White Pine Press 76 Center St. Fredonia NY 14063

CVii: Spiritual Poetry in Canada (1982), ed. Box 3062, Winnipeg R3C 4E5

ANIMUS (1984) poetry.  Caitlin Press. Reprinted, 2005, Pendas Productions, London

BINDING TWINE (1984) poetry. Ragweed Press, Charlottetown PEI

SOME TALK MAGIC (1986) Ergo Productions, Box 4460 London ON N5W 5J2

TRAVELLING LIGHT (1986) poetry. Moonstone Press, London ON

EIDOLONS (1988) poetry. White Pine Press, 76 Center St. Fredonia NY 14063

THROO (1989) poetry.  Moonstone Press, Book. CD, Pendas Productions, London

THE UNIVERSE IS ONE POEM; FOUR POETS TALK POETRY (1990) Simon & Pierre

WHAT WHAT THE EAR HEARS LAST (1994) play. Playwrights Union, Toronto

FOUR WOMEN (1999) poetry. Red Kite Press, Guelph ON

INCREMENTALLY (2000) poetry Pendas Productions, London.  Book and CD combo

TIME LESS TIME (2000) poetry. Pendas Productions

SUITE ANCIENT EGYPT (2001) poetry. Mothertongue Press, BC

VOCAL BRAIDINGS (2001) with Patricia Keeney, poetry. Pendas Productions

WHAT SPRINGS TO MIND (2001), Pendas Productions

Poem for Peace in Many Voices, ed., Vol. 1 & 2 (2002), book and CD

SARASVATI SCAPES (2002) with Angela Hryniuk, Pendas Productions

C’LOUD (2003) poetry, Pendas Productions. Book and CD combo

SARASVATI SCAPES: a sound opera, CD, Pendas Productions

MELISMA, CD (2002) with Angela Hryniuk and Penn Kemp

GATHERING VOICES (2002) with Gloria Mulcahy, Pendas. Book and CD combo

POEMAS ESCOLHIDOS DE PENN KEMP/ Selected Poems (2004) ABECAN, Brazil

PINCELADAS (2005, 2011) with Gloria Mulcahy, Pendas Productions

RE:ANIMATING ANIMUS (2006) Pendas Productions.  Book and CD combo.  London ON

HELWA1 (2011), PigeonBike Press. London ON. CD forthcoming with Light of East Ensemble

FROM DREAM SEQUINS (2012), Lyrical Myrical Press, Toronto ON
THE EPIC OF TOAD AND HERON (2012), reprint. Pendas Productions, London ON
JACK LAYTON: ART IN ACTION (2013), editor, Quattro Books, Toronto

WHAT SPRINGS TO MIND (2016), second edition, forthcoming. Pendas Productions
WOMEN & MEDIA, editor and contributor, Living Archive Series, Feminist Caucus, League of Canadian Poets, http://poets.ca/feministcaucus/. Launched June 17, 2016.
WOMEN & PERFORMANCE, editor and contributor, Living Archive Series. June 18, 2016.

BARBARIC CULTURAL PRACTICE (2016), Quattro Books, Toronto
THE TRIUMPH OF TERESA HARRIS (2017), Playwrights Guild of Canada, Toronto
LOCAL HEROES (2018), Insomniac Press
FOX HAUNTS (2018), Aeolus House

FoxHaunts-CoverPenn Local Heroes LFP

Launch of LOCAL HEROES

Launch of Local Heroes (Insomniac Press) by Penn Kemp

April 19,2018, Lecture Theatre
Museum London, 421 Ridout St N.

6:30-7:15. Curator Tour: Women’s Lives in Canada: A History, 1875-2000
7:30-8:30. Penn’s reading
8:30-9 pm. Book signing

Join London poet and playwright Penn Kemp for the launch of her book
Local Heroes (Insomniac Press). Local Heroes is a celebration of regional artists from Greg Curnoe and James Kemp to writers Alice Munro, Colleen Thibaudeau and Bonnie Burnard.  New poems about explorer Teresa Harris are featured.

The evening includes an exhibition tour with curator Amber Lloydlangston, followed by Insomniac Press publisher Mike O’Connor and Penn’s reading.

The theatre will show several short videos on Local Heroes by Dennis Siren, Mary McDonald and Western’s Community Engaged Learning. The poet will then sign books.

Contact: Museum London, 519 661-0333, info@museumlondon.ca
http://museumlondon.ca/programs-events/event/2458/2018/04/19
promo video: https://youtu.be/x-edwKodu0s
https://www.facebook.com/events/181506832475203/

For more about LOCAL HEROES, please see http://poetryminiinterviews.blogspot.ca/2018/03/penn-kemp-part-one.html.

https://www.amazon.ca/Local-Heroes-Penn-Kemp/dp/1554832063

B1458pl8620file203 (2)

Cover photo courtesy Harris Fonds, Western Archives, Western University

Poetry Mini Interview

What are you working on?
 
My next project, LOCAL HEROES, Insomniac Press, 2018, celebrates legendary cultural heroes from London, Ontario. These poems evoke a specific city in its particular landscape and history. London’s literary and artistic heritage is documented, honouring artists in fields ranging from visual and language arts to figure skating. Presented as an overview, the collection stretches from Victoria explorer Teresa Harris to the contemporary arts scene. Local Heroes acknowledges the Indigenous peoples here, and the ongoing waves of settlers who have called the area home, as London grew from colonial outpost to vibrant cultural centre. Local Heroes spans time but remains in place.
 
Landscape shapes us by its distinctive atmosphere. Southwestern Ontario (Souwesto) is a peninsula bordered by two Great Lakes and by the United States. Local Heroes examines the works of artists who have been influenced by the pervading spirit of Souwesto. In classical Rome, a genius loci was the protective spirit of the local, depicted as a figure holding a libation bowl. London is situated in a bowl scraped out from receding glaciers. This bowl teems over with the productions of its arts through time. Why? What has made London a creative centre? As a mid-sized county seat set in the fertile farmland of Middlesex County, London is in the middle, entre lacs, between two metropolises, Toronto and Detroit, at the edge of the Snow Belt. Because it is so surrounded, London began as a garrison, a fiercely conservative British enclave that held tight to tradition and conventional mores. Artists who lived here could rebel, conform or leave.
 
The collection present three sections, in historical order. It opens with an exploration of the exploits of Teresa Harris, who escaped her corsets along with her colonial upbringing in London’s Eldon House. Like me, this explorer travelled widely for decades before returning home with memories and mementoes. The poems devoted to Teresa consist of outtakes from my play, The Triumph of Teresa Harris, that were best expressed as poetry. The middle section is What the Heart Parts, also produced as a play and a Sound Opera.When the Heart Parts is based on the life and death of her father, Jim Kemp, London artist and mentor of artists in the 1950s. In my work, poetry and drama intersect, the way two branches of the Thames meet at the Forks.
 
The second half of the book is a tribute to local London creators. I was lucky enough to grow up in an artistic household and so was introduced to many of London’s cultural icons. Anecdotes abound. “London Local Heroes” recognizes several of those artists who broke through conservative conventions to create and celebrate their own community. Cultural activists had to develop their own vibrant and exciting arts scene or be pulled away to the larger metropolis east or west of London. Transformation happens in the local, through the intersection of culture, art and geography that defines the regional. Local Heroes offers an empowering vision of regionalism: we are at our own centre, our own gravitational field, where activism is most effective. We are at the centre of a cultural cauldron where opposites mingle and mix. Here the arts are cultivated and emerge as rich as the farmland surrounding London. The centre not only holds but opens up to the world, rippling out in concentric circles.
Penn Kemp
For more, please see
by Thomas Whyte.