Fall Events with Penn Kemp

See you at these Upcoming Events!

November 6, 10am. Penn Kemp and Madeline Bassnett read together for this session @Words, Words, London’s Literary and Creative Arts Festival, http://wordsfest.ca/. The Lecture Theatre, Museum London, 421 Ridout St N, London, ON N6A 5H4. Contact: Joshua D Lambier, Artistic Director, jlambie2@uwo.ca.

Saturday, November 26, 2-4, pm. Book signing of Barbaric Cultural Practice and Launch of Women & Multimedia and Performing Women: Playwrights and Performance Poets from The Living Archives Series, The Feminist Caucus, League of Canadian Poets: Penn is essayist and editor of the two anthologies.Brown & Dickson, 609 Richmond Street, London  N6A 3G3. Contact: 519-318-1983, books@brownanddickson.com, http://www.brownanddickson.com


Thanks for a grand couple of years to the London Arts Council!

Penn, sounding at Canadian Writers’ Summit at Toronto’s Harbourfront, June 2016.  Photo: Monique Renaud for Playwrights Guild of Canada



Wednesday, October 5, 2016; doors open 7:00 pm; start time 7:30 p.m. Quattro Book Launch, Toronto, Supermarket Restaurant, 268 Augusta Ave. (event room at rear of dining area) Free. Contact: info@quattrobooks.ca, http://www.supermarketto.ca/
Six authors: Sanita Fejzić, from Ottawa, with her novella Psychomachia
Penn Kemp, from London ON, with her book of poetry Barbaric Cultural Practice
Susan McCaslin, from Victoria, BC, with her book of poetry Painter, Poet, Mountain
Richard Osler, from Duncan, BC, with his book of poetry Hyaena Season
Cora Siré, from Montreal, with her novella The Other Oscar
Laura Swart, from Calgary, with her novella Blackbird Calling

Friday, October 7, 2016, 7:30- 8:30pm. Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989, AGO Friday Nights in October, Signy Eaton Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto  M5T 1G4. Call 1-877-225-4246 or 416-979-6648. AGO features Penn Kemp and Paul Dutton, sound poets. The topic is streaming influences from the ’70’s: http://www.ago.net/new-ago-exhibition-explores-the-experimental-energy-of-the-toronto-art-scene-in-the-70s-and-80s.  More details, including a schedule of performances, will be posted on http://www.ago.net. Host Lillian Allen. Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989 is included with the price of general admission and is free to AGO members.
“I am wanting to feature some of the roots of the aesthetic influence on our city. I am thinking about the important and artistically liberating roles your  (mostly) sound works played. The fact that you were a woman inspired me so much. Your sound explorations and experimentations always make me feel so happy and empowered. The power of your art has never left me. So I am paying tribute to you by asking you to read/perform in this series.” Lillian Allen. https://www.ago.net/toronto-tributes-tributaries-1971-1989

Tuesday, October 11, 7 pm. London launch of Penn’s poetry book, Barbaric Cultural Practice (Quattro Books). Oxford Book Shop, 262 Piccadilly Street, London N6A 1S4.
Contact: Hilary bookorderprocessing@oxfordbookshop.com. Tel: 519-438-8336.

Saturday, October 15, 2016, 2 pm. Penn reading from her play “The Triumph of Teresa Harris” and Barbaric Cultural Practice. With Daniel Kolos, Antony Christie. The Garafraxa Café, 131 Garafraxa Street South (Highway 6), Durham ON. Contact: danielkolos123@gmail.com or Michelle and Kevin Bossi, 226-432-2175, garafraxacafe@gmail.com. Sponsored by Playwrights Guild of Canada.














Barbaric Cultural Practice

Poetry from Quattro Books:

Barbaric Cultural Practice

Paperback | October 1, 2016

by Penn Kemp

In praise and rant, the poems in Barbaric Cultural Practice pay tribute to our dear Mother World’s enchantments as well as her upheavals. They confront the stresses of urban life as juxtaposed to nature’s round, and deal, for example, with the effect of computers on our psyche and with the imprint of electronic media upon perception, consciousness and dream life. They are a response to the need for action against climate change and a humorous protest against overwhelming technology.

Quattro Book Launch, Wednesday, October 5, 2016; doors open 7:00 pm; start time 7:30. Toronto, Supermarket Restaurant, 268 Augusta Ave. (event room at rear of dining area) Free. Contact: info@quattrobooks.ca, http://www.supermarketto.ca/


Barbaric Cultural Practice Transporting.jpg

Cover Painting, “Transporting” by Anne Anglin

Q&A: https://pacifictranquility.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/what-made-me-a-poet-curiosity-the-thrill-of-adventure-of-new-worlds-qa-with-poet-penn-kemp/

Sample poems: “Tip Line”, “The Nature of Food”, Tuck Magazine,


“Synaesthetics”, “Filling the Cart” and “Giving Your Word”,  Tuck Magazine, http://tuckmagazine.com/2016/09/05/poetry-512/




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


The Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets is pleased to present the panel “Performing Women: Playwrights and Performance Poets” at the Canadian Writers’ Summit taking place this June at Harbourfront in Toronto. Find out more information about the Summit, and the League’s Annual Conference, at poets.ca/conference.

Friday, June 17, from 7:45 to 9 am, we will host our breakfast business meeting and open readings. We will be launching the anthology Women & Multimedia: Poetry Collaboration/Elaborations, with work from Di Brandt, Terry Carter, Penn Kemp, Moe Clark, Jude Neale, and Cathy Petch. This anthology is edited by Penn Kemp, and contains papers published in our Living Archives Series. This event is free to members of the League, and may be attended without registering for the Summit. Please contact the League office at admin@poets.ca for more information.

Saturday, June 18, from 4 to 5 pm, Miss Lou’s Room. Join six amazing panelists to discuss experiences and ideas concerning performance. Our six panelists are playwrights, performers, poets… and several are all three. We’ll conclude the panel with a Q&A. The panel is a joint venture between Playwrights Guild and the League of Poets. We will be launching PERFORMING WOMEN, an anthology with papers by the panelists, edited by Penn Kemp. It will also be available through the League, or online through playwrightsguild.ca. This panel is only open to Summit registrants. Visit poets.ca/conference to find out more information about registration and pricing. Miss Lou’s Room is located on the second floor of the Bill Boyle Artport, along the south side overlooking the Natrel Pond/Rink and the lake. See www.harbourfrontcentre.com/venues/misslousroom/


Kelly Jo Burke, “Why Ducks, Anyway?”

Cornelia Hoogland, “Red Dresses Hang from the Trees and Towers: Red and Rapunzel are Missing”

Penn Kemp, “I am translated: How does multimedia give form to a poem’s alternate expression?”

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

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

Moe Clark will be performing from her piece in WOMEN AND MULTIMEDIA.


Photo by Daniela Sneppova, cover of WOMEN AND MULTIMEDIA

Poem for Vimy Ridge

April 9th is Vimy Ridge Day, an official National Day of Remembrance of the Battle.
Vimy is also Canada’s symbol of commemoration for the First World War: 1914-1918.

“Poets and Poet Laureates from British Columbia to the Maritimes wrote heart‐felt poems expressing the thoughts and feelings of Canadians toward the bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers. For many, their poem was a personal tribute to a father, grandfather, uncle… or to a more recent fallen soldier.Their poems communicate the belief that the soldiers’ spirits will live on through the planting of the Vimy Oaks and that each tree will be a silent requiem for the past and a symbol of Canadians’ commitment to still stand on guard in the future.”

The poem below is dedicated to Sir Arthur Currie, my great-uncle.
After storming Vimy Ridge, he was appointed head of the Canadian Corps in June, 1917.

The Stand of Oak

Battle’s devastation cut down men and oaks,
leaving Vimy Ridge bare from ’16 till now.
But one veteran sent a few acorns to Canada

and raised a grove memento. Now these trees
will stand as metaphor for endurance, mingled
roots living on in lieu of the soldiers who fell.

Now our Canadian branches will be returning
home to be grafted on European oak saplings.
They’ll respond to wind in the crackling Fall.

These oaks will listen through trembling roots
to news that travels in the near neighbourwood:
subtle climate shiftings from drought to deluge.

The lobed leaves that open to embrace sun, to
soak in rain: they will know a longer time we
can only imagine, knowing history’s record.

This copse you plant now may not remember
a war a century past though it could realize its
own long span to last the whole millennium.

The oaks you plant on Vimy Ridge will not be
thinking of men today or ever: their work is in
attending to the rise from heartwood out to leaf.

These oaks may not thank you personally but
their presence is gratitude enough, is witness.
Thriving, they will return life to Vimy Ridge.

In the slow dream of trees may the men awake
who died here. May they be recalled by name
in their prime, rising as hope from desolation.

By Penn Kemp, London ON


Sir Arthur Currie



On the Road for National Poetry Month!

Upcoming Events for National Poetry Month 2016 and ON

Saturday, April 16, 2-4 p.m. The Garafraxa Café, 131 Garafraxa Street South (Highway 6), Durham ON N0G 1R0. National Poetry Month reading: “The Road” with Daniel Kolos and Liz Zetlin. See http://poets.ca/npm/. Contact: danielkolos123@gmail.com or Michelle and Kevin Bosse, 519-369-2175, garafraxacafe@gmail.com.  See http://poets.ca/npm/.

Thursday, April 21. Post a poem on #pocketpoem, poets.ca/pocketpoem

Thursday, April 28, 6:30-8:30 pm. WRITING YOUR WAY!. Writing workshop and reading.  Beacock Library, 1280 Huron St, London, Ontario N5Y 4M2, (519) 451-8140.  2016 Creative Age Festival. National Poetry Month. Penn’s reading/workshop will be “The Road, The Path, The Way Not Taken: Writing What If”. “You inspired so many writers last year that we would love to have you back again for the 2016 Creative Age Festival. Your Poetry is bound to inspire as always.” Contact: Pauline Duncan-Thrasher, Community-Library Liaison, pauline@beamazinglyyou.com. Free but you need to register:

Saturday, April 30. Authors for Indies Day, Oxford Book Shop, 262 Piccadilly Street, London, N6A 1S4. Contact: Hilary bookorderprocessing@oxfordbookshop.com. Tel: 519-438-8336.  www.oxfordbookshop.com, http://www.authorsforindies.com/.

Tuesday, May 3. Glendale High School, 37 Glendale Drive. Tillsonburg, ON N4G 1J6. TEL: 519-842-4207.  Contact: John Marriott <j.marriott@tvdsb.on.ca>. Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets. Poets in the Schools National Youth Arts Week.

Thursday, May 5, 6:30-8:30 pm. WRITING YOUR WAY!. Writing workshop and reading.   Beacock Library, 1280 Huron St, London, Ontario N5Y 4M2, (519) 451-8140.  2016 Creative Age Festival. http://poets.ca/npm/. Penn’s reading/workshop will be “The Road, The Path, The Way Not Taken: Writing What If”. Contact: Pauline Duncan-Thrasher, Community-Library Liaison, pauline@beamazinglyyou.com. Free but you need to register:

Friday, May 6. Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts, 795 Trafalgar St, London, ON N5Z 1E6, (519) 452-8300. Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets, National Youth Arts Week. Contact: Jennifer Chesnut, <feministsoulfire@gmail.com>.

Tuesday, May 24, 7 – 8:30 pm. Opening The Creative Aging Festival Showcase concert. Wolf Hall, 251 Dundas St. London ON. Contact: June Cole, diverse.arts@gmail.com. https://www.facebook.com/CreativeAgeLondon/photos/a.181607875346967.1073741828.181474082027013/545731032267981/?type=3&theater

Friday, June 17, 7:45-9 am. The anthology, Women & Multimedia, edited by Penn Kemp, will be launched at the breakfast business meeting of the Feminist Caucus of the League of Canadian Poets. Contributors Di Brandt, Terry Carter, Penn Kemp, Moe Clark, Jude Neale, and Cathy Petch will present our work then. The 2016 Canadian Writers’ Summit, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto ON, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8. http://poets.ca/feministcaucus/, http://www.canadianwriterssummit.com/english#/program/

Saturday, June 18, 4-5:30pm, 2016. Panel, “Women & Performance: Playwrights and Performance Poets”, with panelists from both Playwrights Guild Women’s Caucus and League Feminist Caucus members. Penn is panel coordinator and editor of the anthology to be launched at the same time. Sponsored by Playwrights Guild of Canada and the League of Canadian Poets. The 2016 Canadian Writers’ Summit, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8, http://poets.ca/feministcaucus/, canadianwriterssummit.com.

Penn @ school 2015
Photo: Westminster Secondary School, London

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: Ass’t Curator. 519-579-5860 x 230.
http://kwag.ca/en/connections/resources/kwag_newsletter_jan_apr_2016_web.pdf, p. 6



The Invocation

Please join The Circle Women’s Collective for this moving Ritual of Re-Membering – a ritual that moves us into grief and sadness and then lifts us out into hope and power for transformation and change.

When: Sunday, December 6th, 2015 @ 12pm
Where: Brescia Auditorium, Brescia University College, London ON. Contact thecirclewomenscollective@gmail.com