Gathering Voices in Response to Peril

POEMS IN RESPONSE TO PERIL, our anthology with 48 Canadian poets in support of Ukraine, will be launched May 28, 2 pm, Blackfriars Bistro, 46 Blackfriars St., London ON! All welcome, an outdoor patio.

The anthology, all 122 pages, is out now and it is beautiful… a fitting tribute in solidarity with Ukraine!
Order from r_sitoski@yahoo.ca: $25 plus post till our launch on May 28, then $30 plus post.

POETS IN RESPONSE TO PERIL, our Zoom on April 2, is now up, thanks to Richard-Yves Sitoski: h4. Truly a labour of love, from Canadian poets to Ukrainian poets and people. What a profound and poignant event, gathering 100 poets and participants coast to coast— holding fast for over three hours of words that we so needed to hear. Poetry is the ability to respond, and the poets did, in voices eloquently and powerfully expressed. This blog is intended to keep that community vibe flowing.

Part 1 of our zoom, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETCb_gHO0R4, features Penn Kemp, Richard-Yves Sitoski, Susan McCaslin, Svetlana Ischenko, Russell Thornton, Albert Dumont, Bänoo Zan, Celeste Snowber, Blaine Marchand and Marsha Barber.

The Zoom recording Part 2 is on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-XxPmrqMhE&list=PLDARA01MjoyW7WccH9j6yGtI3XZhcE0BD&index=43&t=18s. Featuring Caroline Morgan Di Giovann,i David Brydges, Diana Hayes, George Elliott Clarke, Charlie Petch, Harold Rhenisch, Jennifer Wenn, Karl Jirgens, Kate Braid, Katerina Fretwell, Kim Fahner, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, Marianne Micros, Murray Reiss, Patricia Keeney, Peggy Roffey, Solo and RL Raymond.

Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkkLB2mso7E&list=PLDARA01MjoyW7WccH9j6yGtI3XZhcE0BD&index=45 . Featuring Richard-Yves Sitoski, Robert Girvan, Robert Priest, R. Pyx Sutherland, Sharon Thesen, Sheri-D Wilson, Susan McMaster and Akinlabi Ololade Ige, Susan McCaslin, Susan Wismer, Tanis MacDonald, Tolu Oloruntoba, Yvonne Blomer.

Kudos to Rico (Richard-Yves Sitoski), our indomitable host, along with Owen Sound Public Library!  Rico continues to gather our voices in poetry on https://www.youtube.com/user/veggiemeister/playlists, 49 so far! Send your videos to him, r_sitoski@yahoo.ca. And please take a listen when you can, when you need to hear these poems. Here’s celebrating National Poetry Month, #npm22.

Attached is our cover for POEMS IN RESPONSE TO PERIL, designed by Rico.

Here’s to the community of poets! Gathering voices: so many ways of maintaining connection.
May the conversation continue! For updates, please see Gathering Voices, https://www.facebook.com/groups/PendasProductions.

And here’s my poem, “Toward”, written on the day of the Zoom: https://share.icloud.com/photos/0b2Kvbbwo24LY4DdFhsgtDt6g

May peace prevail, inner and outer,
Penn

Gathering Voices: poets and participants respond to our Zoom

A wonderful event! Still glowing from the sense of purpose generated when poets come together for an important cause. Poetry forever!
Marsha Barber

Thank you all so much for what was an amazing event. Penn, Susan and Richard for your dedication to this cause, and all the poets and audience. It was deeply moving.
Yvonne Blomer

– it was deeply moving, and healing.  Thank you all!
Kate Braid

It was an extraordinary afternoon hearing all the poets read, relating to these dreadful events in Ukraine. The strange thing is that I didn’t realize how I needed to hear the human reactions, responses poetically—Facing this issue head on (through poetry) is, to my mind, part of the eventual reconstruction of world community.
Holly (& Allan) Briesmaster

Richard/Penn: Congratulations on an impressive Zoom launch! Of all the Zoom events in the past few years i have attended this was the most high profile and meaningful with poets caring about the Ukrainian crisis. Plus so many other topics that they are passionate about. I am so heartened Canadian poets are deeply engaged in the tragedies of the day. I look forward to seeing the anthology and am proud that when the history of these times is written there will not be a blank page for the poets.
David Brydges

Today, I spent almost two hours in zoom poetry reading for “Poets In Response To Peril” as organized by Canadian Poet Penn Kemp. When the invasion of Ukraine began, she wanted to put together a chapbook, but instead, the outpouring of Canadian voices created a full-length book.. within days. 
This is a really remarkable and quick effort, and the reading had me in tears as a poetry and people lover.  My cat enjoyed the reading as well. 🙂
The proceeds of the book sales will go to PEN Ukraine.
Please consider purchasing this book in support of the voices of Ukraine and PEN Ukraine.  email inquiries and orders to:r_sitoski@yahoo.ca 
Sarah M. Daugherty

My sincere thanks to Penn and Richard and the Library Zoom meister for arranging a truly astonishing afternoon of poetry, coast to coast. It was an honour to take part. Our poems now go out like prayers to Ukraine and , sadly, other places in our world where people suffering in peril may find a measure of comfort in our words. Poetry does have power. With love,
Caroline Morgan Di Giovanni

Our time together yesterday reminded me of a statement I made years ago. This is it: “Time is the storage place of our memories. And the human heart is the storage place of our tears. I have gone to that place of memories and visited where tears are kept. What I retrieved was the notion that poetry is delightful to the human spirit.” I hope your Sunday is restful and emotionally uplifting.
Albert Dumont

Congratulations on this impressive mobilization of poetic force in support of our allies and fellow artists under attack in Ukraine.
Neil Eddinger

These poets…so amazing…all of them.
Kim Fahner

What an event dear Penn, and such variety and diversity and even Ukrainian spoken! Brava! A huge life-changing Poets in Response to Peril event. Brava/bravo Richard and Penn!! The variety, poignancy, astoundingly creative and delightful videos all contribute to a masterful, memorable production. 
Katerina Vaughan Fretwell

​We were particularly interested in your latest book since it also benefits those affected in the Ukraine. What a beautiful endeavour that helps shed light on the dreadful situation expressed with poetry. It is so beneficial and of course, our residents love reading poetry!
Rebecca Gee

Dear Penn, Rico, Susan and all who made this special event possible…It was an emotional gathering of coast-to-coast poets and poems and I was honoured to be part of the outpouring of love and grief and hope at this time of peril.
Here’s to peace and freedom indeed!
Diana Hayes

Dear Penn & Rico,
Warm thanks for hosting such a wonderful event! It was fabulous.
I know it took a lot of energy to do that. You’re culture heroes!
Excellent reading. — It came out great!
Good to see and hear so many supportive authors!
A strong reading set! — The book extends vital support of Ukraine while condemning war.
What a massive job. Your combined energies on the reading, video and book are deeply appreciated.
Here’s hoping that the war will come to an end soon. 
The world stands against the atrocities.
It is good that Canadian writers also stand against such martial aggression.
Thank you for it all,
Sunflowers for Ukraine) 🌼🌼 🌼
Karl Jirgens

And thanks dear heart for all your continuing efforts. I love that the whole project began with the conviction that poetry makes everything happen…in its time.
Patricia Keeney

Such an amazing project! I hope the blog post, the project (and the new book!) get lots of well-deserved attention and love!
Renée Knapp

Thank you  Richard-Yves Sitoski and Penn Kemp for all the work you put into Saturday’s very moving “Poets in Response to Peril” event. It felt like a teaser for the upcoming anthology. Now I can’t wait to read “Poems in Response to Peril”.
Mary Little

Wonderful initiative, great event. And thanks to you Penn, to Richard-Yves, to Susan McCaslin who worked so hard to bring it to fruition. Thanks to Tim for the technical support. A great gathering. Splendid poetry. Now people should purchase the Anthology and help support Ukraine. But it was great to feel a part of the poetic community this afternoon. I look forward to reading the anthology. There were many powerful, moving poems this afternoon.  
Blaine Marchand

Dear Penn & Richard,
Thanks to you both for collaborating on this wonderful and meaningful event. I hope more books orders flow in. Thanks for all you are doing to get more poets’ voice out to the public, Penn. And thanks for the links you are providing to preserve people’s responses to Saturday’s amazing event. The event continues opening in ever-widening circles!
Susan McCaslin

Yes, thank you Penn, Rico, Tim, Susan, and all of my fellow poets for a most intense and meaningful event. I’ll remember it!
Susan McMaster

One of the poets said that she was falling in love with the community of poets on the zoom. Certainly, it was a wonderful group of poets, both in terms of their poetry and also their humanity. In the midst of sorrow about the war, there was also much beauty in the poets’ words…The breadth and depth of the poems shared by the poets was emotionally moving. Thank you again for putting together such a phenomenal project.
Ola Nowasad

I would like to order a copy of Poems in Response to Peril. I attended the Zoom event on April 2nd and it was phenomenal.
Lisa Reynolds

That was a very rich and varied collection of poems and poets. A delight to be a part of the gathering. Well done, organizers. Thanks!
Peggy Roffey

Sorry Penn for not to be able to participate at event with my voice. I was just ear but not voice. Anyway, I already doing my best with colegues writer here in Bosnia to help some of Ukrainian writer to find temporarry home here in Sarajevo and to be evacuate with great help of German Goethe Institute. I hope I am doing right, aven I have Memory of myself rejecting to leave Sarajevo with my two Children on the beginnig of four years long siege of my city starting 1992.
All the best to you and friends making that event possible.
Goran Simic
Because of a poor connection from Bosnia, Goran was able to be with us only “by ear but not voice.” How ironic, because the voices of those who have known war need to be heard! As this conversation points out:
Dear Mr Simic, (And Everyone else…)
I have not had the pleasure of meeting you, but I do know of your fine work, and have just now read two of your poems, https://www.calvertjournal.com/articles/show/13065/poems-about-migration-love-and-war-by-bosnian-poet-goran-simic. It does not seem right that you could not share your voice at this event, particularly because in addition to your gifts as a poet, you are much closer in many ways to the bloody events unfolding in the Ukraine than many of us here.
Robert Girvan
Dear Robert, thank you for kind words about my poetry. I will be glad to record one of my poems to participate for video Message as Canadian/ Bosnian contribution of poets who alarm the world about attack on Ukrainian state, culture and history. All of my friends writers who survived siege in Sarajevo still feel alive the same scars watching destruction of city and civilians in Ukraina. But with pride for people not to give up struggle. I will do video asap because I spend most of my day on the hill keeping company to the four street abandoned dogs we adopted five years ago.
Goran Simic
Dear Goran,
Excellent! I look forward to seeing you and hearing your voice and words. The lucky ones who have not (yet) faced war, bow their heads to those who have endured it, and listen.
Robert Girvan
Goran has sent the video of his poem for https://www.youtube.com/user/veggiemeister/playlists
I hope you do too. His greetings from Sarajevo and the poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW1KSzzPQ9c&list=PLDARA01MjoyW7WccH9j6yGtI3XZhcE0BD&index=41.

I am still feeling the pleasure of seeing you in your great blue and yellow costume, and the 
 honour of being involved in the  hours of poetic tension that was so invigorating,  even in the perilous present.
Elizabeth Waterston

All I can say is
Thank you and love to you.
You are a great inspiration,
your spirit, insights and grace
encourage me, inspire.
Sheri-D Wilson

Please let me add my voice to those who have already thanked the organizers and all who attended yesterday’s reading.  It was indeed a marathon and, as one of the final readers, it was gratifying to see how many people hung in through the whole reading in an amazing outpouring of solidarity, support and yes, love. As Richard has noted, if even a fraction of that positive reverse-bomb energy intervenes in places in the world where people’s lives are torn by violence, we will have done our bit for peace and for the sustainable future of humanity. I look forward to receiving my copies of the anthology. 
Susan Wismer

The Cover Reveal!

A Poem Beyond Building Digital Bridges.

Host Kathy Smith of Creative Age London asked me to write a poem to open Beyond Building Digital Bridges, the online conference that she has organized with many participants. The events take place on Zoom, February 15–18, 2022, sponsored by Museum London and hosted by Creative Age London. These presentations share “experiences about online life enrichment programs and meaningful community engagement strategies for older adults 50+, caregivers and service providers. See https://creativeage.ca/beyond-building-digital-bridges/. Free registration for Tuesday, Feb 15th 9:30am: Beyond Building Digital Bridges.

I am honoured to present this poem as an invocation to finding creativity through new media. My video poem, “On the Other Hand of Time”, airs at the summation of the conference. You can view it on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM2Jg1Xf39g

An Invocation Beyond Building Digital Bridges

Invoking “The Decade of Healthy Aging”, we applaud
elders who have so much to teach and more to learn as
we enter the digital forum for ways to connect with our
beloveds across space and time. We can do this, because
we so want to be with them by hook or by zoom, Skype
and Facetime. That yearning pulls us to learn what we
need to explore this new realm of digital reach. How?

We watch our grandkids approach new modes, prompted
by curiosity, unafraid to fail and fail again until gleefully
they triumph. We too try and have fun trying, unabashed,
if we adopt that attitude of play, and adapt to new ways of
reaching out. Minds stretched and limber, we go beyond
building digital bridges to engage with the other side of
the screen, unknown and tantalizing with possibility. We

bridge the gap, we continue to grow, and so by definition
young in flexibility, on novel ground, our neighbourhood
wider and us wiser. Resources abound, as we expand into
creativity, that dance between self and others, beyond age
and aging. The necessary tension of creativity is excitement—
the pull between solitude and the community, between what
we’ve learnt over decades and what we continue to absorb.

I’ll end with this poem, “Believe”, written watching my granddaughter try something new. We need to create communities in which elders, like children, fly in the new directions that digital technologies offer. We believe that the power of art and culture can effect change.

Believe…

In the space of a year she has learned to sit,
to stand, to walk, to totter forward in a run.

She has seen one full round of the seasons.
She wraps her family round her little finger.

Now just before dusk we stroll hand in hand
to witness the evening ritual of geese return.

Gliding along the Thames in formation, they skim
just overhead, flapping slow time in synch.

She studies their procedure, dropping my hand
to edge forward, neck outstretched, arms aero-

dynamically angled.  She flaps and flaps along
the bank, following their flight, ready for that

sudden lift.  Again, again, till the last goose has
flown.  Dragging her heels home, disconcerted,

she braces her body against the rising breeze,
bewildered that she too can’t take off to sky

but game to try again tomorrow.

Penn Kemp

This poem will be published in the Spring 2022 issue of SAGE-ING with Creative Spirit, Grace & Gratitude || The Journal of Creative Aging, http://www.sageing.ca. I’m delighted to appear in Sage-ing again. Ihttp://sageing.ca/sageing40.html. Yes to aging… and still creating!

The poem is up here:

“We’re starting the event Beyond Building Digital Bridges with a heartfelt invocation by poet, performer, activist @pennkemp.” The poem is up here: https://creativeage.ca/2949-2/

The Symposium ends with an open chat and a replay of my videopoem, “On The Other Hand of Time”, performed with music by Brenda McMorrow, piano by Bill Gilliam with a visual interpretation by Dennis Siren. This song-poem is a part of a Sound Opera called Dream Sequins, performed at Aeolian Hall, London.

Reads for International Women’s Day

This month, with comments:) In a time of loss and transition, I’m having trouble organising my mind, so I read instead of writing or editing. A book is so contained with its beginning, middle, and end. Covers we can close with a sense of accomplishment and of completion. I love how books weave around one other, sequentially, thematically, without my conscious intent. So grateful to London Public Library for their engaging and enticing collection! The dregs of winter: a perfect time for tomes and for poems.

Here’s my poem for IWD: “Choose to Challenge”, https://lfpress.com/entertainment/local-arts/london-poet-penn-kemp-marks-womens-day-with-call-to-action. The video of my reading is up on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNC2sbZGp3c&t=6s.

Recommended Reads for International Women’s Day and ON….

Angie Abdou, This One Wild Life: A Mother-Daughter Wilderness Memoir. In her dedication, Angie Abdou hopes the reader will receive the book like a long letter from a good friend. And it is: a sweet, endearing, sometimes heart-breakingly honest memoir. But earlier, the price of being so open was a devastating social media attack: Abdou describes the effects in this memoir of healing.  We learn what it is what Abdou plans to do with her “one wild and precious life”. During the Pandemic, it’s a lovely treat to hike in the mountains vicariously with her.  And oh, I loved her cottonwood!

Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half. Many different ways of exploring identity and choice and choice’s consequences.

Natasha Brown, Assembly. Rachel Cusk, Sheila Heti and Bernardine Evaristo walk into a bar… and meet Natasha Brown. Assembly is honed stiletto-sharp, not a hair out of place, however the protagonist feels in classist, racist England. “Unfair”, whine the various white men who confront her in this short, perfect novel.

Catherine Bush, Blaze Island. Poignant and powerful writing set on Fogol Island, about climate change: “We were very quickly free of the city and out over the most vivid degree of blue permitted on this planet to the human eye.” “It looked like the earth had resisted the imagination of God or poets, I thought in exhilaration.” And this short, tender film from the text,  https://www.cbc.ca/arts/canadacouncildigitaloriginals/watch-this-collage-film-love-story-created-by-canadian-artists-in-isolation-1.5804960​.

Sharon Butala, This Strange Visible Air: Essays on Aging and the Writing Life. Always brave, honest and necessary writing.

Clare Chambers, Small pleasures: a novel. So many charming pleasures: beautiful writing, engaging characters and utterly engaging plot.  A delicious read and reprieve from current events.

Sadiqa de Meijer, The outer wards
Sadiqa de Meijer, Alfabet / alphabet: a memoir of a first language
. “Or was there an influence of origins at work, an onomatopoeic element with ecologically ambient sounds and forms giving rise to each language?”
“I tried to contain where the words went, but there are submerged forces in writing—in the land-water realms of consonant vowel—that require our surrender.”
“a sort of sideways drift has taken place among the words”
“The untranslatable is inherent in all intercultural contact, where its particles may accumulate and become tropes of otherness.”

Junie Désil, Eat salt / gaze at the ocean: poems
“scudding back and forth through history”
“There isn’t a pastness”

Esi Edugyan, Out of the sun: on race and storytelling. https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-23-ideas/clip/15891798-cbc-massey-lectures-or-5-africa-art?cmp=newsletter_Ideas_5748_403481:
“In the 1800s, Black pioneers established themselves in Priceville, Ont., only to be eventually pushed out by European settlers. The only thing that remained of them was their cemetery.”

Louise Erdrich, The Sentence. Louise Erdrich herself reads the audiobook in a delicious rendition as funny as it is powerfully poignant. And the novel includes a bookseller called Louise! A ghost story that starts on Halloween 2019 and progresses through that annus horribilis till Halloween 2020: one long sentence of the present. Glorious!

Annie Ernaux, Hôtel Casanova: et autres textes brefs. Autofiction écriture at its finest in curious glimpses: “l’écriture, du rapport qu’elle a avec le monde réel.” My school French was good for Ernaux’s lucent prose, until the slang of dialogue…

Lucy Foley, The Guest List. A predictable but fun mystery set on a secluded Island… murder ensues.

Louise Gluck, Faithful and virtuous night
Louise Gluck, American Originality: Essays on Poetry. Essential and astonishing reading and re-reading for any poet and reader of poetry. “What remains is tone, the medium of the soul.”
“The silenced abandon of the gap or dash, the dramatized insufficiency of self, of language, the premonition of or visitation by immanence: in these homages to the void, the void’s majesty is reflected in the resourcefulness and intensity with which the poet is overwhelmed.”
“the use of the term ‘narrative’ means to identify a habit of mind or type of art that seeks to locate in the endless unfolding of time not a still point but an underlying pattern or implication; it finds in moving time what lyric insists on stopped time to manifest.”

Amanda Gorman, Call Us What We Carry. An astonishingly accomplished and moving collection.
The Muses, daughters of Memory inspire us.
“History and elegy are akin. The word ’history’ comes form an ancient Greek verb meaning ‘to ask.’” Anne Carson
Lumen means both the cavity
of an organ, literally an opening,
& a unit of luminous flux,
Literally, a measurement of how lit
The source is. Illuminate us.
That is, we too,
Are this bodied unit of flare,
The gap for lux to breach.”

Joy Harjo, Poet warrior: a memoir
In these quotes, you can experience her voice directly as written: “And the voice kept going, and Poet Warrior kept following no matter
Her restless life in the chaos of the story field.”“Every day is a reenactment of the creation story. We emerge from
dense unspeakable material, through the shimmering power of
dreaming stuff.
This is the first world, and the last.”
“The imagining needs praise as does any living thing.
We are evidence of this praise.”
“When you talk with the dead
You can only go as far as the edge of the bank.”
“Frog in a Dry River”

Vivian Gornick, Taking a long look: essays on culture, literature, and feminism in our time

Lauren Groff, Matrix: a novel. “Visions are not complete until they have been set down and stepped away from, turned this way and that in the hand.” Loved this celebration of mediaeval visionary Marie of France!

Bell Hooks, All about love: new visions. “Love invites us to grieve for the dead as ritual of mourning and as celebration… We honor their presence by naming the legacies they leave us.”

Min Jin Lee, Pachinko. Fascination depiction of a war-torn Korean family saga, now filmed. All too relevant still.

Maggie Nelson, On Freedom. I’m listening to Maggie Nelson ON FREEDOM ironically, given Canada’s truck convoy versus convoys to Ukraine. Oh, the loss of innocence in that word’s current associations.

Molly Peacock, Mary Hiester Reid Paints, Travels, Marries & Opens a Door.
A lovely study of painters and painting. Tonalists “connected light both to emotions—and to the sounds of emotions. Using musical vocabulary, like nocturne or symphony, they suggested that emotions could be heard through paint”. “tap into childhood to find the ‘transitional object;” as D.W. Winnicott calls it: “‘Our first adventures into reality are through the objects” with “vitality or reality of [their] own.”

Angela Szczepaniak, The nerves centre. A ten-act cast of characters: poetry in performance, poet performing! A study of anxiety, her titles from self-help with dramatis personae. My fave: Mime Heckler. Utterly uttered!

Lisa Taddeo, Animal: a novel is a ferocious diatribe against male sexual violence. Since the book is dedicated to her parents and she lives with her husband and daughter, I wondered about the story behind the novel.

Hanya Yanagihara, To Paradise. Nicely structured fin de siècle tome, over three centuries, based on Washington Square and similarly named characters not to mention Hawaiian royalty. Deja vu, David Mitchell!

Zoe Whittal, The Spectacular. Three generations of women negotiating current, changing times.  It’s complicated, very. Spectacular, if you’re 21.  I’d have liked much more from the oldest woman but it’s a long novel as is. Reminiscent of David Mitchell’s Utopia Avenue.

To remind us of spring…

Please join me on https://penn.substack.com/p/reads-for-international-womens-day.

SPRING Events

Up now!

The Free Press has a marvellous article on line: https://lfpress.com/entertainment/local-arts/london-poet-penn-kemp-marks-womens-day-with-call-to-action. The video link to reading the poem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNC2sbZGp3c&t=6s.

“The Words Festival is very pleased to present two of Canada’s finest poets, Jane Munro & Penn Kemp! Our host for the afternoon was Phil Glennie”: http://wordsfest.ca/events/2020/jane-munro-penn-kemp-in-conversation. The recording is up on https://vimeo.com/498423922.

February 19, 2021. “Steal, Stole, Stun”. One Minute Poem, Poets Corner Reading Series. From FOX HAUNTS, P. 15 (Aeolus House) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5Dtvlc5rNE. https://poetscorner.ca/one-minute-poem/.

February, 2021. “We are gonna begin writing sometime when…” from “Re:Solution”. Performed with Anne Anglin. Sound Poetry DJ mix on  https://www.mixcloud.com/spoken_matter/sound-poetry-mix-tape/. Editors, Andreas Bülhoff & Marc Matter, <andreasbuelhoff@googlemail.com

February, 2021. “Heart to Art” from Barbaric Cultural Practice (Quattro Books) https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/valentine-poem.

Forthcoming Events with Penn Kemp

April 18. NPM. Readings from “Voicing Suicide”, an anthology edited by Daniel G. Scott. Contact: <voicingsuicide@gmail.com>, organizer Josie Di Sciascio Andrews <j_andrews@sympatico.ca>

April, 2021. NPM Zoom and launch of Femmes de Parole/Women of their Word, edited by Nancy R Lange. Readings: Penn Kemp and Sharon Thesen. Contact: rappelparolecreation@hotmail.com.

May 20, 3pm, 2021. Feature, Owen Sound Poet Laureate Open Mic series. Host: Richard-Yves Sitoski 
https://www.facebook.com/OSPoetLaureate2019to2021

September 5, 7:30-9:30pm, 2021. Feature, Red Lion Reading Series, 23 Albert Street, Stratford ON. Host: Andreas Gripp,
https://beliveaubooks.wixsite.com/redlionreadingseries/shows. Contact beliveaubooks@gmail.com.

  1. “Becoming”: a poem of 80 words matched with Jim Kemp’s painting for 80mL Exhibition to celebrate Museum London’s 80th Birthday. http://museumlondon.ca/. Contact: 80museumlondon@gmail.com

New Publications

“To Carry the Heart of Community Wherever You Find Yourself”. Sage-ing With Creative Spirit, Grace and Gratitude, http://www.sageing.ca/sageing36.html, P. 12. Number 36, Spring 2021.

“What Matters”, “Studies in Anticipation”, “Hope the Thing”, Possible Utopias: the Wordsfest Eco Zine, Issue 6. http://www.wordsfest.ca/zine, March 2021.

Forthcoming Publications

A Near Memoir, limited edition chapbook. Scroll to bottom of https://beliveaubooks.wixsite.com/home/books. Pre-order now.

“Strike/Struck/ Stroke”, These Days Zine, Jeff Blackman, publisher, thesedayszine2020@gmail.com.

“Drawing Conclusions”, “A Convoluted Etymology of the Course Not Taken”, “Celebrating Souwesto Trees” and “You There”. Beliveau Review, Vol. 2 No. 2 Issue 5, May, 2021. https://beliveaubooks.wixsite.com/home/magazines.

“What we did not know in 1972. What we know now.” Resistance Anthology. Sue Goyette, editor. University of Regina Press, Spring 2021.

“Re:Solution”, performed with Anne Anglin. Sound Poetry DJ mix. Limited edition audio cassette. Editors, Andreas Bülhoff & Marc Matter, <andreasbuelhoff@googlemail.com

“Weather Vane, Whether Vain, Whither and Thither” and “Black, White and Red All Over Town”,  An Avian Alphabet. Edited by Susan McCaslin, with woodcut prints by Edith Krause.​

“Dichte” and “Cancel Culture”, EVENT 50/2 (Fall 2021) or 50/3 (Winter 2021/22). http://www.eventmagazine.ca

Recent Events with Penn Kemp

March 8, 2021. 7 – 8:30 p.m. “CHOOSE TO CHALLENGE: Finding Common Ground Through Dialogue”,
Featuring keynote address by Waneek Horn-Miller. Celebrating International Women’s Day at the 2021 Hanycz Lecture/International Women’s Day event. 8:15 p.m. Penn’s reading, commissioned by Brescia University College, London, is sponsored by Playwrights Guild of Canada.  Register here for the whole event (https://hopin.com/events/choose-to-challenge-finding-common-ground-through-dialogue?bblinkid=248579307&bbemailid=28900794&bbejrid=1864748878. Contact: Linda, lpalme9@uwo.ca.

“Re:Solution”, performed with Anne Anglin. Sound Poetry DJ mix for https://www.mixcloud.com/. Limited edition audio cassette. Editors, Andreas Bülhoff & Marc Matter, <andreasbuelhoff@googlemail.com

2020 Holiday Recommendations

Curling Up

with a Great Book!

Superb Canadian writing highly recommended, grouped idiosyncratically

First, by women

Pairing books by Indigenous Writers: Michelle Good, Five Little Indians; Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, This Accident of Being Lost, Islands of Decolonial Love and Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies.

Pairing pandemic novels: Emma Donoghue’s The Pull of the Stars; Saleema Nawaz’s Songs for the End of the World and Larissa Lai’s The Tiger Flu.

Pairing BC novelists: Shaena Lambert’s Petra Maria Reva; Good Citizens Need Not Fear; Caroline Adderson’s A Russian Sister and Anakana Schofield’s Bina.

Pairing books on relationship: Christy Ann Conlon’s Watermark; Annabel Lyon, Consent; Lynn Coady, Watching You Without Me; Shani Mootoo, Polar Vortex; Vivek Shraya, The Subtweet; Frances Itani, The Company We Keep.

Pairing Westerns: Gil Adamson’s Ridgerunner; Emily St. John Mandel’s The Glass Hotel; Helen Humphreys’s Rabbit Foot Bill and Kate Pullinger’s Forest Green.

Pairing fiction set abroad:  Aislinn Hunter’s The Certainties. Janie Chang’s The Library of Legends; Sarah Leipciger’s Coming Up For Air; Marianne Micros’s Eye; Louise Penny’s All the Devils Are Here; Lisa Robertson’s Baudelaire Fractals. Anne Simpson’s Speechless AND Farzana Doctor’s magnificent Seven.

Non-Fiction
Carol Bishop-Gwyn, Art and Rivalry: The Marriage of Mary and Christopher Pratt
Lorna Crozier, Through the Garden: A Love Story (with Cats)
Naomi Klein, On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal
Theresa Kishkan, Euclid’s Orchard & Other Essays
Amanda Leduc, Disfigured
Susan McCaslin & J.S. Porter, Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton’s Dance with the Feminine
Catherine Sheldrick Ross, Lynne (E.F.) McKechnie, and Paulette M. Rothbauer, Reading still matters: what the research reveals about reading, libraries, and community
Susan Vande Griek and Mark Hoffmann, Hawks Kettle, Puffins Wheel
Elizabeth Waterston, Railway Ties 1888-1920
Jody Wilson-Raybould, From where I stand: rebuilding Indigenous Nations for a stronger Canada

Awards
The Writers’ Trust Award goes to Gil Adamson for Ridgerunner!
The Giller goes to Souvankham Thammavongsa for How to Pronounce Knife
The Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize goes to Armand Garnet Ruffo

Reading Canadian men
Billy-Ray Belcourt, A history of my brief body
Dennis Bock, The Good German
Michael Christie, Greenwood: A Novel of a Family Tree in a Dying Forest
Desmond Cole, The Skin We’re In
David Frum, Trumpocalypse
William Gibson, Agency
Rawi Hage, Beirut Hellfire Society
Thomas King, Indians on Vacation
Thomas King, Obsidian: A DreadfulWater Mystery
Kurt Palka, The hour of the fox: a novel
Andrew Pyper, The residence
Iain Reid, I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Robin Robertson, The long take: a Noir Narrative
Jesse Thistle, From the Ashes
Clive Thompson, Coders
Richard Wagamese, Keeper’n Me

Back to Poetry, Canadian and Beyond
Madhur Anand, A new index for predicting catastrophes: poems
Margaret Atwood, Dearly
Adèle Barclay, Renaissance normcore
Gary Barwin, For it is a PLEASURE and a SURPRISE to Breathe: new & selected Poems
Heather Birrell, Float and scurry
Jericho Brown, The Tradition 
Lucas Crawford, The high line scavenger hunt
Amber Dawn, My Art is Killing Me
Dom Domanski, Bite down little whisper
Klara du Plessis, Ekke
Nathan Dueck, A very special episode / brought to you by Nathan Dueck
Chantal Gibson, How She Read
Julie Hartley, Deboning a dragon
Karen Houle, The Grand River Watershed: a folk ecology
Patricia Keeney, Orpheus in Our World
Kaie Kellough, Magnetic equator 
Canisia Lubrin, The Dyzgraph*st
Daphne Marlatt, Intertidal: The Collected Earlier Poems, 1968 – 2008
Jane Munro, Glass Float
Harold Rhenisch, The Spoken World 
Robin Richardson, Knife throwing through self-hypnosis: poems
Anne Simpson, Strange attractor: poems
John Elizabeth Stintzi, Junebat
Moez Surani, Are the Rivers in Your Poems Real?

See more recommendations on https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2020/08/31/31booksinaugust/ , https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/reading-and-recommending-poems-for-national-poetry-month-2020/ and https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2020/11/06/on-reading-new-work-by-canadian-women-novelists/On reading new work by Canadian women novelists.

Anthologies
Best Canadian poetry 2019   
Measures of astonishment: poets on poetry / presented by the League of Canadian Poets
Caroline Adderson, editor. The Journey prize stories: the best of Canada’s new writers
Nyla Matuk, editor. Resisting Canada: an anthology of poetry
Adam Sol, How a poem moves: a field guide for readers of poetry

Beloved Books on Spiritual Ecology
Tim Dee, Landfill: Notes on Gull Watching and Trash Picking in the Anthropocene
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
Diana Beresford-Kroeger, To Speak for the Trees: My Life’s Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest
Robert Macfarlane, Underland
Richard Powers, The Overstory
Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life

Deepest, Longest and most Transformative Read of 2020
Peter Kingsley, Reality, Catafalque Press, 2020
(and Peter Kingsley, In the Dark Places of Wisdom)

International Reads
John Banville, Snow
Neil Gaiman, American Gods: The moment of the storm. 3
Sue Monk Kidd, The Book of Longings
Lily King, Writers and Lovers
Natsuo Kirino, The goddess chronicle
E. J Koh, The magical language of others: A memoir
Raven Leilani, Luster
Helen Macdonald, Vesper Flights
William Maxwell, So long, see you tomorrow
Ian McEwan, Machines like me: and people like you
Ian McEwan, Cockroach
Madeline Miller, The Song of Achilles
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, Hamilton: the revolution
David Mitchell, Utopia
Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts
Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere
Naomi Shihab Nye, Cast away: poems for our time
Maggie O’Farrell, Hamnet and Judith
Tommy Pico, Feed
Samantha Power, The Education of an Idealist
Omid Safi, Radical love: teachings from the Islamic mystical tradition
Jake Skeets, Eyes bottle dark with a mouthful of flowers / poems by Jake Skeets
Mirabai Starr, Wild mercy: living the fierce and tender wisdom of the women mystics
Natasha Trethewey, Memorial Drive
Mary L. Trump, Too Much and Never Enough
Ruth Ware, The Turn of the Key
Jennifer Weiner, Big Summer
Niall Williams, This is Happiness
Bob Woodward, Rage

About to read (sometime, soon-ish)
Madhur Anand, This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart
Marianne Apostolides, I can’t get you out of my mind: a novel
Nina Berkhout, Why Birds Sing
Carol Bruneau, Brighten the Corner Where You Are: A Novel Inspired by the Life of Maud Lewis
Cathy Marie Buchanan, Daughter of Black Lake
Catherine Bush, Blaze Island
Louise Carson, The Cat Possessed
Dede Crane, Madder Woman
Lorna Crozier, The House the Spirit Builds
Francesca Ekwuyasi, Butter Honey Pig Bread
Heather Haley, Skookum Raven
Catherine Hernandez, Crosshairs
Natalie Jenner, The Jane Austen Society
Shari Lapena, The End of Her
Jessica J. Lee, Two trees make a forest: travels among Taiwan’s mountains & coasts in search of my family’s past
Tanis MacDonald, Mobile
Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Mexican Gothic
Noor Naga, Washes, Prays
C.L. Polk, The Midnight Bargain
Damian Rogers, An Alphabet for Joanna: A Portrait of My Mother in 26 Fragments
Johanna Skibsrud, Island
Susan Swan, The Dead Celebrities Club
Emily Urquhart, The Age of Creativity: Art, Memory, My Father, and Me
Natalie Zina Walschots, Hench: a novel

AND…
Jordan Abel, Nishga
André Alexis, The Night Piece: Collected Short Fiction
Bill Arnott, Gone Viking
John Barton, Lost Family 
David Bergen, Here the Dark
Wade Davis, Magdalena: river of dreams 
Cory Doctorow, Radicalized
Cory Doctorow, Attack Surface
Gary Geddes, Out of the ordinary: politics, poetry and narrative
Steven Heighton, Reaching Mithymna: among the volunteers and refugees on Lesvos
Kaie Kellough, Dominoes at the Crossroads
David A. Robertson, Black Water
Mark Sampson, All the Animals on Earth
J.R. (Tim) Struthers (Editor), Alice Munro Everlasting: Essays on Her Works II
Mark Truscott, Branches
Ian Williams, Reproduction

Most of these books have come to me through London Public Library, now celebrating 125 years! Thank you!
Others came from Indie bookstores and friends. None from Amazon.

Check out my own books on http://pennkemp.weebly.com/works.html.

Read on ! Read often:)

3 Plays in the Pledge Project

Large cast plays by Canadian women are featured on https://www.pledgeproject.ca/plays/
For more information about my work, visit 
the CWPO Collection.
1. The Epic of Toad and Heron
https://www.pledgeproject.ca/plays/the-epic-of-toad-and-heron/
Synopsis:

This fantasy pageant tells the story of the Toad Prince who marries a real princess, the daughter of the Sun and Moon who ultimately transforms into a heron.

Characters:

The leads are a Toad Prince and a Princess who is transformed into a Heron. Other characters are Toadlets, as many as needed, played by children. Casting is completely open in regards to gender, race, orientation, and disability.

Resources:

Digital script available through the Canadian Play Outlet. $12.00

The Epic of Toad and Heron was first presented on Toronto Island by Pendas Productions as a way of saving Island homes from being bulldozed by the city. The flying Toad became the icon on the Toronto Island flag: a symbol of survival. The first production featured mimes Jay Fisher and Bibi Caspari as well as a cast of Island children. Penn Kemp has performed the play with children in many Ontario schools as well as back on Toronto Island: https://m.openbooktoronto.com/events/green_carpet_gala_3.

 The Epic of Toad and Heron was published for the first production by Black Moss Press. The marvellous illustrations are by Bobbe Besold with photos by Elizabeth Cunningham.

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Synopsis:
The personal dramas of six women in an abortion ward, presenting different responses, and an examination of the role of nurses as the patients confront hospital bureaucracy. Acts: 1. A period piece from the Seventies that is still all too current. Directed by Anne Anglin

2. Angel Makers
https://www.pledgeproject.ca/plays/angel-makers/

Characters:

2 Nurses
6 Patients
1 Grandmother
1 Child

First Produced:

Redlight Theatre, Toronto, 1976. Toronto General Hospital, 1977

Resources:

Digital script available through the Canadian Play Outlet. $12.00

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

3. https://www.pledgeproject.ca/plays/the-triumph-oh-teresa-harris/&nbsp;

The Triumph of Teresa Harris celebrates the lives of an extraordinary couple, Teresa Harris and St. George Littledale. Why have these intrepid explorers not been heard of outside the annals of Victorian exploration? The couple shunned publicity. Independently wealthy, they didn’t need to raise money for their expeditions. They reported to the Royal Society and directly to the King. This information was not to fall into the hands of foreign powers that were vying for the same territories as Britain. The Littledales preferred to serve the Empire’s glory, not their own. This is their story.

Characters:
  • Annie
  • Chris
  • First Teresa
  • Sarah
  • Mary
  • Tenzin
  • Passing Stranger, Cook
  • First Amelia
  • Helen
  • Eliza
  • Second Teresa
  • Scott
  • John
  • Second Amelia
  • St. George
  • Third Teresa

First Produced:

The Palace Theatre, London ON, 2017.

The Dream Life of Teresa Harris: Eldon House Historical Museum, London ON, 2013.

The Dream Life of Teresa Harris by Penn Kemp

Resources:

Digital copy available through the CPO website.

Notes:

Male Cast: 6
Female Cast: 10
Other Cast: 2
Total Cast: 18
Acts: 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 & Plays for Sale, by the Book-full!

Books are the best gift for a time of self-isolation!  A shout-out to Canadian small press publishers and indie bookshops.  Long may you thrive! Your health all round!

Here are my recent offerings for your wish list, to share with poetry- and play-loving pals.

If you order the books from me, I’ll sign them for you!

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

Celebrating local writers! https://lfpress.com/entertainment/books/new-books-by-london-and-area-authors-just-in-time-for-christmas

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.

You can also find them in your Library, I hope. Certainly London Public Library has them all, plus CDs and DVDS.

Blessings for a Joyous Holiday! 

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

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

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