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

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


“From the pen of Penn Kemp”,

“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

Bob Smith interviews Penn about March events celebrating Teresa Harris:
The video is up on

“Play stands as tribute to one woman’s Triumph”,

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


The script of the complete play, THE TRIUMPH OF TERESA HARRIS is now available, on line & in print!

The Eldon House version, THE DREAM LIFE OF TERESA HARRIS is also now available, on line, in print & in London Public Library!



“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


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 <>

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


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.

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
March4 Penn Panayiotis Teresa
Penn and Panayiotis Giannarapis performing The Dream Life with Mary Ashton.
Photo: Mary McDonald






Ode for the Feast of Words

WORDSFEST is happening all weekend long at Museum London: see
Send your responses about the Festival to Work for this zine will be collected from Festival-goers on Friday and Saturday, then published and launched at the Rhino Lounge in Museum London Sunday, Nov. 6, at 5pm. Whew! Here’s my poem for the zine:

Ode for the Feast of Words

Our London Muses, amused, proclaim:

Come join our Museum feast in joy

of joining, reading, weaving a way,

riding a wave, waving a welcome,

well, come in then. Here. Hear!

Attendance’s high, attention is close.

Words are our vocation, invoking

the vocative, pro vocative, calling us,

calling on us, call sure, culture, meeting

our many cultures, collected. Whatever

the weather, we conjure com pose

words worth envisioned, inclusive in

terms of the other, for all our sakes.

Describing the arc, friends collect and

meet new, gathering poets in harmony |

with other authors.  Rhythm rhymes us.

Creating community, fusion delights

this spacious collective, call elect if

held in the London community bowl.

The Graces are present, spirits high.

Lift the cup and dance, sing, speak, tell

the tale told, win, write welcome.

O may the best manifest

fest if all festivity

Cheer and exult.

Hail and salute!

Here, here!
Penn Kemp




Photo: Toban Black




Performing Women: an Anthology


Performing Women: Playwrights and Performance Poets is now for sale!

The anthology is available for $10+ shipping from The League of Canadian Poets, , 416-504-1657,  92pages.

And as a copyscript for $12 from Playwrights Guild of Canada, 416-703-0201,


Penn Kemp, Editor

Why Ducks, Anyway?
Kelly Jo Burke

Red Dresses Hang from the Trees and Towers: Red and Rapunzel are Missing

Cornelia Hoogland

Sounding the depth, the surface resounding
Penn Kemp

Zoomorphic Poetics (or, Why I Write So Many Poems About Wildlife)
Catherine Kidd

How does collaboration enhance performance poetry? The Intimate Power of Co-Creation
Susan McMaster

Spoken Word Poetry as Political Act
Sheri-D Wilson

News from the Feminist Caucus, by Anne Burke,
“The new printing of Performing Women: Playwrights and Performance Poets
is available from the League Office. I have posted a copy here of the complete list of titles in this popular series. A digital copy was sent to the Playwrights Guild of Canada, our partners for the joint panel at the 2016 Canadian Writers Summit. I came across some amazing interviews which a few of the contributors gave and provide web links here which you need to enter into your internet browser. Thank you to Kelley Jo Burke, Cornelia Hoogland, Penn Kemp, Catherine Kidd, Susan McMaster, and Sheri D Wilson!”
Interviews with Featured Playwrights Q & A

















Sound Learning!

“Reading and Workshop with Penn Kemp”

Saturday, June 6, 10:30 to noon.
Landon Branch Library (downstairs), 167 Wortley Rd, London N6C 3P6.

All welcome!

Come celebrate the culmination of our  Creative Age Festival London readings and workshops with me!

Photo: Kathy Smith

Photo: Kathy Smith

Free, sponsored by Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Program Description:

Penn Kemp is an inspiring workshop presenter, poet, playwright, performer, activist and London’s inaugural poet laureate. After reading from some of her plays, Penn will lead us in exploring and developing characters through sound and image. In allowing our Muses to speak through us, we’ll be surprised at the unfolding process of new writing. Free. Drop in.

Photo: Deb Hill

Photo: Deb Hill

Reading sponsored by the Guild of Canadian Playwrights.

Photo by Carmelo Militano, just after he has interviewed me on P.I., May 31, 2015, Winnipeg.

Photo by Carmelo Militano, just after he has interviewed me on P.I., May 31, 2015, Winnipeg.,

Spring Readings!

Upcoming Events with Penn Kemp

Dream Sequins CoverFriday, May 29, 12:10- 12:50pm. Reading and launching Jack Layton: Art in Action and From Dream Sequins. The Aboriginal Resources section, Winnipeg Millennium Library, 251 Donald St., Winnipeg, MB R3C 3P5. Contact: Lauren McGaw, Customer Service Librarian. Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets.  ReadingWinnipeg


Saturday, May 30, 2 pm. Reading “Double Vision” and “Recounted, ReStored, ReStoried: for Colleen Thibaudeau Reaney” to the Feminist Caucus, launching the new chapbook, Cautionary Tales, edited by Magie Dominic. 2015 LCP Annual Poetry Festival and Conference, Radisson Hotel, 288 Portage Avenuue. Winnipeg Downtown. Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets.

Saturday, May 30. League of Canadian Poets Banquet, Radisson Hotel, Winnipeg. Penn Kemp is the recipient of the new League of Canadian Poets 2015 Spoken Word Award, the prestigious Also presenting the Colleen Thibaudeau Outstanding Contribution Award to an esteemed League member.

League of Poets Life Member award in Saskatoon

Sunday, May 31, 4:30-5pm. Interview with Carmelo Militano, host of P.I., CKUW Radio, 515 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9.


June 4-7, 2015. Creative Age Festival London. June 4th is Creative Aging Awareness Day in London. Creative Age Festival London. A four day festival to celebrate the creative spirit of older adults (50 plus) in the City of London, Ontario. Creative Aging programs and events focus on the positive and powerful role of the creative and performing arts in enhancing the health and quality of life of older adults in our communities. Updates are on and The Creative Age Festival London is developing a creative community of arts instructors, volunteers and older adults (50 plus) who want to remain active, creative and engaged with their community. For information, contact Kathy, 519 697 2177,

Thursday, June 4, 2-4 pm. London Public Library Central Branch, Reading Garden, 352 Dundas St., London N6A 6H9. Welcoming Reception & Refreshments! Enjoy musical interludes by Marque Smith, Joe Edmonds and June Cole. A reading and invocation will be performed by Penn Kemp, Creative Age Festival Writer in Residence, sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets. Find out more about National Creative Aging Day, creative aging programs and local initiatives from Suzanna Hubbard Krimmer, CEO London Public Library, and Brian Meehan, CEO Museum London. Keynote Remarks by special guest Pat Spadafora, Director of Research, Sheridan Centre for Elder Research.

Penn’s opening poem is up on

June 4, 7-9 pm. Wolf Performance Hall, 250 Dundas Street, London ON.

Saturday, June 6, 10:30 to noon. Landon Branch Library, 167 Wortley Rd, London N6C 3P6. “Reading and Workshop with Penn Kemp”.
Program Description: Penn Kemp is an inspiring workshop presenter, poet, playwright, performer, activist and London’s inaugural poet laureate. After reading from some of her plays, Penn will lead us in exploring and developing characters through sound and image. In allowing our Muses to speak through us, we’ll be surprised at the unfolding process of new writing. Free. Drop in. Reading sponsored by the Guild of Canadian Playwrights.,

PennGaryBarwinMykonos2015Tuesday, June 16, 7:30 pm. The Supermarket in Kensington Market, 268 Augusta Ave, Toronto M5T 2L9. Teksteditions will be launching The Boneshaker Anthology, 1 416-840-0501. Penn is reading “Waving Not Drowning” and “Naturalized”. Contact editor Lillian Necakov-Avalos, Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and Toronto Arts Council, Metro Readings in Public Places.

More Seventies… P. K. Page, circa 1973

P. K. Page came to visit us on Ward’s Island, Toronto in the fall of 1973. I’d arranged for her to come and read then in the poetry series I was organizing at A Space. The next afternoon, she took the ferry over. The weather was blustery, so we had the oil stove on for the first time that season. Unaccustomed to action, it was puffing and popping away in the middle of our living room. You have to imagine the elderly Island cottage, without much insulation, and with my two small children crawling underfoot. P. K. was dressed to the nines in a glamorous cape and armloads of silver jewellry. But at the stove’s first growl, she leapt up and alighted for the evening on the couch arm that was closest to the door. She’d had an oil stove explode on her before, in Brazil, and she was taking no chances here! But she made that perch hers, crossing her legs elegantly, and gallantly discussing poetry and poets until the last boat swept her away to the city.

P. K. Page: A Tribute

P. K. Page

November 23rd, 1916— January 14th, 2010

Words play | The London Free Press

Words play | The London Free Press.

London poets Penn Kemp and Laurie D. Graham and graphic novelist Diana Tamblyn will be featured at the Words Literary and Creative Arts Festival next weekend in London. (Morris Lamont/The London Free Press)

Entertainment Local

Three local heroes who will grace the first Words fest muse and enthuse about its importance to London

By James Reaney, The London Free Press

At long last, Words.

Long overdue and much anticipated, the nine months or so in the making 2014 Words fest demands to be heard in London next weekend.

Properly known as first edition of Words: The Literary and Creative Arts Festival, it’s a big and joyful three-day celebration of books, poetry, song, children’s literature, writing for the screen and stage, new media, spoken word performances and much more.

There have been fests and events similar to Words in word-happy and Words-starved London before — just not a Words fest itself.

Which has startled and maybe kick-started the Words organizers, who represent a good range of London creativity.

“That was the thing that surprised me the most,” Western’s Josh Lambier, one of the organizers, said this week.

On the bill starting next Friday are such world-of-write stars as Canadian novelists Vincent Lam and Guy Vanderhaeghe, Portland, Ore.-based cartoonist and war reportage comics master Joe Sacco, London novelist Joan Barfoot, one-time Londoner James Bartleman, philosopher Mark Kingwell, Londoner by virtue of words and sax Gary Barwin, Woodstock College Ave. secondary school grad Matt James and Canadian poet Jeramy Dodds.

One of the fest’s lasting gifts will be the way it puts so many London talents on the same page. That happened in a mini-fest when three of Words local heroes — poets Laurie D. Graham and Penn Kemp and graphic novelist Diana Tamblyn — finally met each other, all three at the same time, to talk Words at The Free Press.

Their Words words were beautiful to hear.

“It’s meaningful that we’ve got local people — Joan Barfoot — among the top tier Canadian talent. We’re right up there. We have a lot to be proud of,” said Tamblyn.

“It‘s time for London. London’s been such a Mecca of the arts for generations but never had a literary festival,” said Kemp.

For her part, Graham said fall is the time for getting out sweaters and readying stew recipes — and fests such as Words.

“That’s one reason” for late October to be lit fest time in London, Graham said. “The second reason has to do with something my mother actually said” about hearing one-time Londoner and CanLit superstar Michael Ondaatje read. “‘I can’t remember the last time someone read to me. It was the most relaxing feeling ever,’ ” Graham’s mother told her.

Added Graham on getting-read-to total joy: “A lot of people do that to their children — but then don’t have it in their own lives. It’s good for adults, too.”

The three new friends in London words and images took turns praising the Words lineup for its balance between local and universal (or non-London) and diversity of genres, locations, voices. True words.

The fest has a hectic schedule, starting with a Lam reading at Western on Friday, Oct. 24. Count on seeing Graham, Kemp and Tamblyn — and all our other local heroes — in the thick of the creative fray right up to the finale on Oct. 26 with #PoetryLab at Museum London.

It’s no wonder Lambier and the other organizers are amazed at the creative energies and action they’ve helped conjure into London at long last.

“That’s a good question,” Lambier said when a Words admirer wondered how many voices/writers/creative forces might be experienced next weekend. “I haven’t really counted up how many writers we have.”

That’s a good sign. Words is a fall harvest of plenty — and you can never have enough good Words people in town on the same fall weekend.



What: Words festival, billed as London’s inaugural festival of creativity through the written and spoken word, is a weekend celebration of creative ideas, artistic expression, and cultural diversity. It runs Oct. 24-26. Presented by Museum London, LPL, Poetry London, Western University and private sponsors.

Where: London Public Library’s Central Library, Museum London, Covent Garden Market, London Music Club, Dundas St. in downtown London.

A brief Words guide

Friday, Oct. 24: Vincent Lam, Western’s Arts & Humanities Building, Room 1R40, 2:30 p.m; opening night reception, Museum London. 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 25: Local Authors Book Fair, Covent Garden Market, 10 a.m.; In Conversation series (Guy Vanderhaeghe, Joan Barfoot, Jeramy Dodds, Cathy Gildiner, Diana Tamblyn), Museum London theatre, 10:30 a.m.; Book Jam, LPL Central Library, 11 a.m.; Guerilla poets, Dundas St. between LPL and Museum London, noon.

Sunday, Oct. 26: #PoetryLab (Wormwood, Penn Kemp in collaboration with Chris Meloche and Dennis Siren, Laurie D. Graham, Andy McGuire, Emma Blue), Museum London theatre, 5:30 p.m.

Details: Most events free. Visit or call 519-661-4600.


A basics bio: Long a Londoner but lived “away” for decades, in such places as the Toronto Islands. Home base is her parents’ house, where she grew up in the Masonville area, part of it devoted to her father’s (the late London artist Jim Kemp) former studio. Dozens of books of poetry, plus plays, sound operas, performance artist appearances. Activist. Collected coast-to-coast memories of late NDP leader Jack Layton. The League of Poets calls her one of the “10 foremothers” of Canadian poetry. Did a terrific job as London’s first (and so far only) official poet lauerate, 2010-12.

On her Words radar: Has read Saskatchewan novelist Guy Vanderhaege in full “But I’ve never met him — so that’s exciting.”

At the fest: Guerilla poets, Dundas St. between LPL and Museum London, Saturday, Oct. 25, noon. #PoetryLab Museum London, Oct. 26, 5:30 p.m.


A basics bio: Arrived in London from Toronto, Victoria etc. in fall of 2013. BFA from University of Victoria. Teaches Fanshawe College classes how to eliminate comma splices. First book, Rove, was a finalist for the League of Canadian Poets Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, for best first book of poetry published by a Canadian in the preceding year. Also a runner-up in CBC’s Canada Writes, winning $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts.

On her Words radar: “Guy Vanderhaeghe is one of them absolutely. Jeramy Dodds. I know him through Brick Magazine a little bit.”

At the fest: Local Authors Book Fair, Covent Garden Market, Oct. 25, 10 a.m., #PoetryLab Museum London, Oct. 26, 5:30 p.m.


What: London-raised graphic novelist helmed one of 2014’s enduring cultural triumphs, the first Ting Comic and Graphic Arts Festival honouring longtime London Free Press editorial cartoonist Merle Tingley and creative artists from contemporary field. Beginning to shape its second edition, expected to offer new lineup. Published remarkable graphic novel From the Earth to Babylon: Gerald Bull And The Supergun, her account of the life and death of Bull, a brilliant Canadian scientist who produced weapons for Saddam Hussein and was assassinated in an unsolved 1990 killing.

On her Words radar: “Joe Sacco — it’s a real coup that we got him. To me, he’s a world-class talent.”

At the fest: In Conversation series, Museum London theatre, Oct. 25, 10:30 a.m. Tamblyn’s interview, 1 p.m.


What: Comments from a Words fest organizer, Josh Lambier, who is completing his PhD in literature at Western and is director of the public humanities program at Western.

Mission accomplishment: “Our mission (in the public humanities program) is to try and create more opportunities for the humanities to link the campus and the community. So a festival is ideal. It’s one of the best ways to have the public interact with the university on ideas and creativity.”

The price is write: “A big priority was to make sure a substantial amount of the festival was free.”