Here’s to Spring, and the Spring Tour!

If you are in BC, I hope you can come and be with dear friends and me!

Thursday, April 6, 2017, 7-9 pm. “After Cézanne”: Ekphrastic reading: Fort Langley Art Gallery with Susan McCaslin. Contact: Edith Krause. http://www.fortgallery.ca/first-thursday-arts-evenings. http://www.langleytimes.com/entertainment/416981724.html. Sponsored by Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Poster Fort Callery April 17

Sunday, April 9, 2:00 pm, 2017. Poetry New West, Heritage Grill Backstage Room, 447 Columbia Avenue, New Westminster BC. Contact: Alan Hill, afjhill@hotmail.com, @poetrynewwest. Reading “A Stand of Oak”, http://www.vimyfoundation.ca/vimy-100/vimy-oaks-poetry/the-stand-of-oak/. Sponsored by League of Canadian Poets.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 2:00 4:00 pm. “An Afternoon of Performance and Paper Works”, with Terry Ann Carter and Penn Kemp. Free. Oak Bay Library, Greater Victoria Public Library, 1442 Monterey Ave. Victoria, BC V8S 4W1. Contact: terryanncarter3@gmail.com or Carl Cavanagh, Public Service Librarian, 250-382-7241 ext. 381ccavanagh@gvpl.ca. Writers Readers & Storytellers. For Adults. Ontario-based poet and playwright Penn Kemp will kick off this program with a performance of her play, followed by a paper craft led by artist Terry Ann Carter. Fold paper into a concertina-style, accordion book, using hand-written letters, words and text to decorate the interior pages. Use water colour pencil crayons to add embellishments to your keepsake book. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

Saturday, April 15, 3pm: Reading with Mona Fertig. Salt Spring Island Public Library, 129 McPhillips, Salt Spring Island BC V8K 2T6. Contact: Karen Hudson, Chief Librarian. 250-537-4666, ext. 223, khudson@saltspringlibrary.com. http://saltspring.bc.libraries.coop/. http://saltspring.bc.libraries.coop/event/mona-fertig-and-penn-kemp/?instance_id=96840. Sponsored by League of Canadian Poets.

April 16, 11:30-1:30pm. Reading with Sharon Thesen, Poetic Justice, Boston Pizza, 1045 Columbia St, New Westminster BC V3M 1C4. “two writers who have not been carving but excavating literary history in Canada. Their reputations have already made it to the top-most bookshelf. It’s likely this will be a poetry reading you’ll remember for a while.” Contact: James Felton, james@PoeticJusticeNewWest.org, 604-767-6908. Sponsored by League of Canadian Poets. http://poeticjusticenewwest.org/uncategorized/april-poetry-reading/.

APRIL 2017 Kemp Thesen

James Felton writes;
A Reunion of Sorts

Back in the 70s and early 80s, Vancouver boasted a vibrant poetry scene and next month’s featured poets were no small part of the ‘happening’. Good friends Penn Kemp and Sharon Thesen have sustained a friendship and their prolific writing paths ever since.

Though both now live elsewhere, Poetic Justice is honoured to bring these two exceptional writers back together for our special Easter Sunday reading.  Read more about our fabulous April featured poets on our website.

Happy spring, whenever it arrives! Bring on the Magnolias. Bring on the Cherry Blossoms!

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The Triumph of Teresa Harris March 22-25 at The Palace

http://www.palacetheatre.ca/shows-and-events/2016/9/8/the-triumph-of-teresa-harris

www.eldonhouse.ca

The Palace Theatre and Eldon House present The Triumph of Teresa Harris
Procunier Hall, The Palace Theatre, 710 Dundas St., London ON. 519-432 1029.

The indomitable explorer Teresa Harris returns to London in Penn Kemp’s new play

The Triumph of Teresa Harris!

Her adventures are on stage in 5 Performances…

Procunier Hall @ The Palace Theatre 710 Dundas Street London, ON, N5W 2Z4 Canada

Press

“From the pen of Penn Kemp”, http://www.thelondoner.ca/2017/03/08/from-the-pen-of-penn-kemp

“Writer revisits adventures of heroine Teresa Harris” https://www.ourlondon.ca/community-story/7165300-writer-revisits-adventures-of-heroine-teresa-harris/ by Mike Maloney

“Two productions by poet Penn Kemp celebrate 19th-century London woman who ‘untied the corset strings’” by Joe Belanger
http://www.lfpress.com/2017/03/03/two-productions-by-poet-penn-kemp-celebrate-19th-century-london-woman-who-untied-the-corset-strings

Bob Smith interviews Penn about March events celebrating Teresa Harris: http://www.rogerstv.com/daytimelondon
The video is up on http://rogerstv.com/show?lid=12&rid=9&sid=3268&gid=271401

“Play stands as tribute to one woman’s Triumph”,
http://news.westernu.ca/2017/01/play-stands-tribute-one-womans-triumph/

A scene from our March 4 performance of The Dream Life of Teresa Harris:interactive video by Mary McDonald:
http://touchcast.com/…/dream_life_of_teresa_harris_march_20….

“A marvelous performance, blending music and words to bring an amazing woman to life. Can’t wait to see the pla based on this story at the Procunier Hall, at the Palace Theater. We have our tickets already. They are going fast!” Susan Cassan

“I almost checked my passport on returning home for extra stamps (such was the journey we were on today)” John Hassan

Publications

The script of the complete play, THE TRIUMPH OF TERESA HARRIS is now available, on line & in print!
https://www.playwrightsguild.ca/triumph-teresa-harris-0.

The Eldon House version, THE DREAM LIFE OF TERESA HARRIS is also now available, on line, in print & in London Public Library!
http://www.playwrightsguild.ca/dream-life-teresa-harris

See http://www.playwrightsguild.ca/playwright/penn-kemp.

Upcoming

“I believe I have a little of the Bedouin Arab in me.”-Teresa Harris

March 22-25, The Triumph of Teresa Harris: a play in two acts

Performances

March 22, 2017 – 8:00 PM

March 23, 2017 – 8:00 PM

March 24, 2017 – 8:00 PM

March 25, 2017 – 2:00 PM ** Matinee

March 25, 2017 – 8:00 PM

Tickets:  $23 seniors/students. $25 adults. Online: an additional $1.00.
Preview, March 27: $15

The Triumph of Teresa Harris is written by Penn Kemp and directed by Diane Haggerty <info@londoncommunityplayers.com>

Performed by a cast of 16 with 2 musicians!

The Cast for The Palace Production, March 2017

DIRECTOR: Diane Haggerty

MUSICIANS: Mary Ashton and Panayiotis Giannarapis

ACTORS

Ammar Abraham: Lieutenant/Tenzin

Dean Andrews: Scott

Bridget Corbett: Sister

Grace Ginty:  Sister

Maya Gupta: Mid-Teresa

Brenda Hamilton: Amelia 2

Afia Kyei: Chris

Kassia Mobbayal: John

Christopher Noble: St. George

Irene Paibulsinjit: Annie

Karina Redick: Sister

Kendall Robertson: Sister

Jan Sims: Amelia 1

Old Teresa: Maureen Spencer Golovchenko

Passing Stranger/Cook: Heather Weitzel

Young Teresa: Jordyn Taylor

With thanks to London Community Players at the Palace Theatre.

https://teresaharrisdreamlife.wordpress.com

The main character is Teresa Harris, b.1839, Eldon House,
London. She tells her amazing life story from her home in
Eldon House. Born the youngest of a prosperous pioneer
family intent on bettering itself, Teresa married a Scottish
military man who promised to carry her off to foreign parts
she had dreamed of all her life. Teresa’s story emerges
through her own voice and that of her protective mother
and her two husbands. Both men offered Teresa escape
from the ordinary domestic constraint for a woman of her
time and position in colonial London society.
Young Teresa 2017
Young Teresa: Jordyn Taylor
(Photo Credits: Harris Family Fonds, Teresa on Camel Photo, Western Archives, Western University)
The Triumph of Teresa Harris
Previously…
March4 Penn Panayiotis Teresa
Penn and Panayiotis Giannarapis performing The Dream Life with Mary Ashton.
Photo: Mary McDonald

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Poetry and Jazz on a midSummer Night

Penn Kemp and Bill Gilliam with Daniel Kolos

Saturday, August 6, 7 pm. StoryRoomToronto, 48 Dalton Road, Toronto M5R 2Y7.

Helwa! Experiencing Ancient Egypt. Egypt is a land of the heart, and the heart of earth’s land mass. Travel with us to timeless realms.  Sample a piece from HELWA! here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM2Jg1Xf39g….

We will also be performing poems from Penn’s forthcoming book, Barbaric Cultural Practice (Quattro Books). These pieces are on the CD, From the Lunar Plexus, which will be available for sale along with Bill’s CDs. Seating is limited. Please note that all spaces are now filled.
Contact Penn@pennkemp.ca or Bill, 416 904 2157.

Daniel Kolos and Penn will be performing “Poem for Peace in Two Voices” in English and in Daniel’s translation into Egyptian hieroglyphs!  You can hear us reading “Night Orchestra” on http://www.mytown.ca/pennkemp.

“What happens when the lyric power of a highly experienced and galvanically charged poet dances in the electron stream? Barbaric Cultural Practice collects a decade’s poetic exploration of digital world absurdities, of the vitality of the earth and its grave needs, and of community. Penn never just reads: she performs, even on the page, and we can’t help but listen. Connect with the surging circuit of her energetic and eclectic words, connect and recharge.” – Susan McMaster

Admission is free with the purchase of the chapbook, Helwa! ($6) or a CD ($20) or by donation.

Bill Gilliam is a Toronto based composer / pianist who improvises new music compositions. blending influences of contemporary harmony & jazz idioms into his unique style of playing. His recordings include Ensorcell for solo piano; Signposts with piano, percussion & spoken word; & Memory Vision, a DVD with electro-acoustic music & two poems by Penn. www.bill-gilliam.com

Performance poet and playwright Penn Kemp is the League of Canadian Poets 2015 Spoken Word Artist of the Year. She has created several CD’s of sound opera with Bill, including Night Vision. Her latest works are two anthologies: Performing Women and Women and Multimedia. Her new book of poetry, Barbaric Cultural Practice, will be out October 1.

Bill and Penn are next performing September 3 @ 2p.m, Words and Music Salon, Vino Rosso Bar & Restaurant. 995 Bay St., Toronto M5S 3C4. Free.

Helwa cover

Penn’s readings are sponsored by the League of Poets, Metro Readings in Public Places.

Helwa Nut Circle

World Poetry Day

March 21… Monday!  and I’m remembering all our past adventures!

Posting this poem, because it’s vigorously snowing…
See Dennis Siren’s videopoem using part of this text:

Crossing the Light

Our near neighbours, the dead, shimmer beyond the fence line.
Suspended in air, why do they care for our silly antics?
Shouldn’t they be headed toward the light? Are they caught

by our yearning, pulled on the taut line of longing that holds
us to them? Memory, nothing but memories project out, project
beyond those viscous realms we can barely fathom.

Ancestors surround us, bemused. The space between us
looms like nothing, invisible fullness of spirit. Nothing
looms. Just about perfect. Almost right. Taken for granted.

Symmetries of either sphere don’t merge nor mesh.
The life to come is already here when time dissipates.
Mysteries of multiplicity displaced again shift shape.

The abstract dead regard our fears. They watch our coming
and goings-on. With a t/rope they could steer us along ways
less problematic. But then the word isn’t heard without an ear

and memory of mouth to utter. Utter confusion. Utter awe.

Shock sneaks a gap between event and reaction.
Animation suspended. Adrenaline overload. A zone
slowed down to zero and beyond. Cross at the corner

with the light or be accosted by cross border guards.

In and out of time, visitors file by, see-through poem in hand.
Wait for them. Send for them. You might wait a while.
Messages to the missing are seldom reported lost.

The dead collect, fan out with last
leaves’ fall. Not content to lie
mouldering in snow-softened grave

they hover mid air, mid-dimension, mid
dream. Their visiting hours limited to
the wee hours when all is possible

though nothing can be clearly seen.

They speak when spoken to just like
the good children they were raised
to be, but sound won’t carry across

the divide. Their mouths open and
close. Open and close. Great gulfs
of uninterrupted, uninterpreted anguish.

Nobody can lip read over here. Words
land on the sea, rest a second on that flat
flaccid surface and almost dissolve.

Snow falls, flake by flake. The dead descend
in tiny white shrouds, as in that last scene
from Joyce’s short story, John Huston’s film.

They linger alive for another moment of
morning and melt. Left mourning, I scry
between between words and worlds.

Reeled in by whatever realm entices.

Pale sun on snow
pulls me from the poem
to the window, lights

a shaft of reeling
possibility. Ice

crystals split to rainbow
in the glint and dull again
at instant cloud cover.

Indoor plants lean toward
the west, yearn for more.
Or. Less. Then. When.

The thermometer hovers at zero,
that zone where elements merge
confused, uncertain, in-between.

Tears course down the pane.

Beyond outer reaches of thought,
the land is luminous

Penn Kemp

The Parliamentary Poet Laureate Poem of the Week

http://everydaychod.com/poems/CrossingTheLight.shtml

1990.022.002

March 12- August 21, 2016. Jim Kemp’s painting, “Three Figures with Tall Hats” is on exhibit in “Portals”. Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. 101 Queen St N, Kitchener ON N2H 6P7. Curator: Edwin Outwater, Music Director. Contact: Jennifer Bullock, Ass’t Curator.
http://kwag.ca/en/connections/resources/kwag_newsletter_jan_apr_2016_web.pdf, p. 6

http://www.around-around.com/die-versify/

Poem for Winter

From an Upstairs Window, Winter filmed by Dennis Siren at The Aeolian Hall, London ON, with Anne Anglin, Penn Kemp, and Brenda McMorrow.

 

All Things Considered

Pale sun on snow pulls me from a poem
to the window, lights a shaft of spinning
possibility. Now at nadir of deepest darkness

the small Moon of Long Night turns to beam
over the orchard above the frozen lake.

The sun stands Solstice still, holding
its breath, biding its time until released
to start once more in utter clarity of cold.

In that perilous moment before cycles
start up again, we all can fall through
cracks.  Interstices of ice drag us down.

We slip between stars, drawn out
beyond what we know, considering,

considere, to be with the luminary
in the void we have too long avoided.

We fall, we fail to grasp the star we
hang on, the metaphor we reach for.

We grope from dusk to dark to light
that is meant to trick, to lead us astray
en las estrellas, through this vast space.

We sleep warily, drifting far, unsecured
by orchard, by lake, by familiar bed.

Hold on!  But there is nothing to hold fast.

Penn Kemp

 

 

Poem for Solstice Night

All Things Considered

 
On the shelf inside the storm, an empty
pitcher of light awaits sage and summer
savory.  All puns are planted to present

these things as if saying were enough
to conjure the perfect illusion illuminated.

Now.  At the turning of the year after
nadir of deepest darkness, the small
Moon of Long Night turns to beam
over the orchard above the frozen lake.

The sun stands Solstice still, holding
its breath, biding its time until released
to start once more in utter clarity of cold.

In that perilous moment before cycles
start up again, we all can fall through
cracks.  Interstices of ice drag us down.

We grope from dusk to dark to light.
We slip between stars, drawn out
beyond what we know, considering,
considere, to be with the luminary.

Night rustles outside our window, murmurs
and squeaks.  Whimpers follow outraged
raccoon yowl.  Orange and black streak

across the dark pane I can’t see through
conjuring night creatures’ obscured world,

Scent leads a trail to territorial war, deep
enmities nurtured throughout the long wee

hours before dawn lifts that velvet cloth to
reveal grey, seeping shade back to clarity.

Penn Kemp

*

The last lines of this poem were first published in “from Dream Sequins” with drawings by the brilliant Steven McCabe. See his gorgeous https://poemimage.wordpress.com/.

On Sounding

  • Sonic Word/ Spoken World
1509801_858856720840225_2235562567279061875_n
Sound Poetry is what we all do in the discovery of language. One of the ways I got into sound poetry was listening to my children when they were very young. The discovery of language comes through a baby’s babble. When you listen to a child, it is amazing to watch and hear as their mouths form what even in babble is their native language. Words emerge from incomprehensible murmurs like mmmaammmabaabbbaabbananana…, first “mama”, then do you hear “banana”?
So for us right now, you will hear English emerge through the babble. The syntax is almost there, not quite. You get the sense of subject, verb, object. But you get the rhythm of the language as a gestalt before you get the actual words.
Just as a baby moves through babble into concrete syllables and words that become more and more articulate, I get to know through what I am sounding what I want to next explore, what’s coming up, been dredged out. The poem emerges on a wave of sound. Sound leads meaning.
Sounding as well explores what you don’t yet know about language, about what you are feeling. It’s a way of allowing parts of yourself to be heard. It is a way of expressing what has not yet been articulated.
Sounding has intrigued me because it’s a way into other language, other cultures. It’s a way of experiencing the freshness of childhood again. It’s a way of lifting poetry off the page. It’s a way of dealing with experience that is too much for the logical train of subject, verb, object. Sounding allows for any eventuality. It is a hoot. It is a way of participating in the extra-segmentals of speech. For someone like me, it’s a way of entering music. I was one of those children who had a very expressive face, knew all the words to all the songs but had no pitch. No pitch. So the music teacher asked to please stay in the choir, in the back row and mouth the words. I did. Sounding is my revenge.
Sound poetry improves our communication by releasing spontaneous, inventive dialogue beyond linguistic rules. It’s a variety of wail. It explores language in widening waves of individual expression. It’s able to use the sound of the human voice to portray the environment the inner space, to sound the alphabet, to sound like frogs, like evolution, to enter into one’s own creativity.
Sound is the source of creativity for me because it allows for play. I never know what is going to be heard. Now I’d like to share the experience of sounding with you. I’d like to do a sound poem with you. Are you game? See my participatory poem on www.mytown.ca/nightorchestra.
What you’ll need to do is sit up straight and oxygenate your brain by taking a deep breath. Take your fingers and massage your voice box tension to come in between All you need to do is make every sound that I make after I make it. The piece is called Re: Solution. It might well have been called E: Volution. May the wheels of creativity keep on turning!
Penn Kemp
PennCalgary42013
Photos: 1. At Open Mic London ON, Mykonos Restaurant
2. At Calgary International Spoken Word Festival