FOX HAUNTS is ready to trot!

FOX HAUNTS isn’t officially out till September, but foxes are sly and appear unexpectedly, those tricksters. Here’s a delicious first review by poet Stanley Fefferman: http://opusonereview.com/?p=4769!

Penn Kemp’s FOX HAUNTS reviewed by Stanley Fefferman

Penn Kemp. Fox Haunts. Aeolus House, 2018. 97 pp.

The way suburban garden fences are a line the fox crosses from the countryside to steal our chickens, is like the line fox, since time immemorial, has crossed from the countryside into our myths, into our dreams, into our literature and our language. Shenanigans is derived from the Gaelic word for fox. A skulk of foxes is the collective noun. Jimmie Hendrix sang of his “Foxy Lady.” And here is a stanza from Penn Kemp’s poem to Inari, the Shinto fox-god deity:

Fox girls dance beneath the twisted maple

calling their sister to tranform from mist

as beguiling women with red in their hair.

Fox Haunts, Penn Kemp’s 24th collection, is a meditation in 90 poems on a predator who is our closest neighbour, one who is getting closer all the time as it’s habitat yields to subdivisions. The longest section of Fox Haunts, entitled “Urban Fox,” consists of poems about foxes Kemp might have encountered: her writing can be elegant.

It’s true you walk on toes like cats

like a ballerina of the wildwood.

Kemp empathizes with the drama of the hunt, the inside as well as the outside of it.

 

Fox circles her prey, closing in

on her victim in ever tightening

gyres. Her fixed glare freezes

poor rabbit into terror so pure it

dissolves to acceptance, suspended

acquiescence, adrenalin overload.

Almost like peace. Soft as comfort,

this compliance in the fox’s grasp.

Just a single shriek before the

neck snaps.

At her best, Kemp’s narrative and poetry are transparent. She has variance in her voice: sometimes she addresses her images directly to the fox:” I come upon your prints on/muddy path, neatly, deliberately splayed.” Sometimes, she drops into a journalistic mode and addresses the reader directly in what sounds to me like chopped prose: “Like Canada Geese, Fox may/be adopting city life to avoid/ hunters, the tough slog of/country life. Clever fellow.” Only to follow that with a passage of the most startlingly direct poetry:

 

They look upon the easy prey of pets, soft

and vulnerable bichon frisés left outside

by themselves in the yard, those with no

defense but a petulant, startled bark —

before they are meat, carried off dangling

in the soft jaw of a mother triumphantly keen

on feeding her kits.

 

Kemp is ‘entranced’ with the world of “Wily wiry trickster tales,” and devotes a section to ‘Fox’ references in the writings of Taliesin, Ovid, in the legend of Samson, in other Hebrew Scriptures relating to Solomon and Ezekiel, in Aesop, W.B Yeats and St. Exupéry, Akiro Kurosawa and Alice Munro whose father raised foxes for fur on a farm where he also kept ” Old horses in the barn waiting/their turn to be fed, to be feed.” As for the night sky, Kemp puts fox in the constellation Canis Major and Canis Minor, These bits of Fox arcana bring into close focus the mythical resonance of that beast in the human imagination.

 

After having the pleasure of reading Fox Haunts, and of writing down these few thoughts, I look forward to more hours with the book, looking into the stories behind lines like:

 

Fetch Laelaps, a bitch commanded to catch all

she chases. Let her seize that Teumessian fox!

 

Fox Haunts is one those rare books that can become a companion.

ABOUT PENN KEMP.  She has been dubbed “a one-woman literary industry” as London, Ontario’s inaugural Poet Laureate and Western University’s Writer-in-Residence. Kemp was the League of Canadian Poets’ Spoken Word Artist, 2015. Her website is www.pennkemp.weebly.com

https://www.stanleyfefferman.com/blog/fox-haunts-by-penn-kemp-a-review-by-stanley-fefferman

This poem is in my forthcoming FOX HAUNTS which can now be ordered! https://www.amazon.com/Fox-Haunts-Penn-Kemp/dp/1987872142/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1525695775&sr=1-5

I’ll be launching FOX HAUNTS on September 9, 2018, 4-6 pm. Launch, Aeolus House poets: Ariane Blackman, Brian Cameron, Stanley Fefferman, Tom Hamilton, Penn Kemp and Colin Morton. Pressed (waffle house), 750 Gladstone Ave, Ottawa, ON K1R 6X5. (613) 680-9294. Contact: Allan, abriesmaster@outlook.com.

Sunday, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7-9 pm. Launch, Aeolus House poets: Ariane Blackman, Brian Cameron, Tom Hamilton, Penn Kemp and Sydney White. Supermarket Restaurant, 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto. Contact: Allan, abriesmaster@outlook.com.

 

Advertisements

How we are (in)formed!

Listening to http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/farewell-to-2016-robert-harris-on-albums-that-changed-your-life-2nd-annual-shut-up-i-m-thinking-word-game-1.3906841/the-music-that-changed-your-world-episode-1-1.3906953.

Robert Harris’s choices are interesting, and all too telling!

The delicious Rosalind Russell sings, “Just throw your knowledge in his face… that’s the second way to lose a man…” And then George Gaynes sings for “his gentle girl, his quiet girl…” from On the Town, 1949. “We need no words./ She sees— she knows… Where is that special girl/Who is soft, soft as snow/ Somewhere /Somewhere, my quiet girl”.

Bernstein’s lyrics enforce the notion of ‘a gentle, quiet’ girl who is “a different kind of girl” from the “sharp, intellectual kind” usually picked. And so stereotypes are deeply embedded from childhood on… On the Town heralds in the ‘50’s!

Oh how things have changed… or not!

https://no1lyrics.com/song/one-hundred-easy-ways-483321
http://lyrics.wikia.com/wiki/Leonard_Bernstein:A_Quiet_Girl

“It happens over and over
I pick the sharp intellectual kind
Why couldn’t this time be different
Why couldn’t she – only be
Another kind – A different kind of girl

I love a quiet girl
I love a gentle girl”

Ah, the songs were out of context…I stand corrected, though I still question Robert Harris’s choices:)! “It was Betty Comden and Adolf Green who wrote the lyrics, Not Leonard! and if you watch the play, the hero changes his mind about the unquiet girl and gets Ruth! The song ends up being almost satirical in its proper setting.” Good to hear. 

Penn Winnipeg bear

Photo: Heidi Greco

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. https://ckuw.ca/programs/detail/p.i.-new-poetry

Photo by Carmelo Militano, just after he has interviewed me on P.I., May 31, 2015, Winnipeg. https://ckuw.ca/programs/detail/p.i.-new-poetry

https://www.facebook.com/events/1019743298045749/
https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/creative-aging-readings-and-writing-workshops/., http://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-lies-ahead-creative-age-readings-writing-workshops-with-penn-kemp-tickets-16177439156?aff=erellivorg.

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. http://downtownwinnipegbiz.com/event/poetry-reading-penn-kemp/  ReadingWinnipeg

ArtAction_Nov12_sans.pdf

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 http://poets.ca/2015/04/01/golden-beret-2015-penn-kemp/. 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. https://ckuw.ca/programs/detail/p.i.-new-poetry

935254_10151571647650983_716242537_n

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 http://creativeagelondon.ca/ and http://www.facebook.com/CreativeAgeLondon. 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, getkathysmith@gmail.com.

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B8DOIfinOs.

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”. http://catalogue.londonpubliclibrary.ca/record=g1005385&searchscope=0&SORT2=R
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.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1019743298045749/
https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/creative-aging-readings-and-writing-workshops/., http://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-lies-ahead-creative-age-readings-writing-workshops-with-penn-kemp-tickets-16177439156?aff=erellivorg.

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, l.necakov-avalos@sympatico.ca. Sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and Toronto Arts Council, Metro Readings in Public Places.

Tuning in to change | The London Free Press

Tuning in to change | The London Free Press.

Campus station CHRW marks the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre with words and music

By James Reaney, The London Free Press

Twenty-five years after the murders in Montreal, some of the strongest voices of remembrance and calls for action are in London.

Across Canada, Saturday marks the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

Music and words — all day long — at Western’s 94.9 CHRW stand here for events around the London region. The campus radio station’s Saturday statement All Women’s Voices runs for 24 hours. All day. As it must.

“Our amazing female DJs will be informing and empowering all while playing some of the best female artists out there,” the station says in an admirable call to hearts and minds.

By Saturday morning, hours of programming will have visited music by women, gender culture, high school students and teachers share perspectives.

Still to come Saturday for your empowerment and solidarity are contributions by such Londoners as DJ MediaFrenzy, Words literary festival and Poetry Slam star Emma Blue, the city’s former poet laureate Penn Kemp, The Alcohollys and Tina Powell, who discusses missing and murdered women in the aboriginal community.

“The volunteers came to me with what they wanted to do — and I put a call out to the community for anybody else who wanted be involved,” says CHRW’s program director Allison Brown.

The noon-hour ceremony and Ritual of Re-Membering is at the Mother St. James Auditorium, Brescia University College is to be broadcast live. It honours the loss of the 14 women murdered 25 years ago at Ecole Polytechnique, and to all women who have lost their lives to gender-based violence. That’s when Kemp’s poem The Invocation will be heard…

Celebrating Ancient Egypt: HELWA!

Suite Ancient Eygpt cover

Helwa!: Experiencing Ancient Egypt ..

Gathering Voices, Penn’s Lit.-on-Air radio show on CHRW Radio Western, 94.9 FM, is heard on Tuesdays, 6:30 am and 6:30 pm.

Tonight, our next show is Helwa!: Experiencing Ancient Egypt. Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 6:30 – 7:00 pm. (R. November 25, 2014, 6:30-7:00 am).

Helwa! is also archived on

and can be heard any time!

Helwa! a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt, Part 1 by Penn Kemp with The Helwa Ensemble: musicians Mary Lynne Ashton and Panayiotis Giannarapis, sound artist Jocelyn Drainie, Egyptologist/poet Daniel Kolos and belly dancer Ishra Ishra Shirley Blanco. Together we trace the soul’s journey across the nocturnal sky to rebirth the next day: a classical Egyptian journey that the star goddess Nut took nightly. Recorded live at Aeolian Hall (August 2011) and mastered by John Magyar. Helwa! a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt (cd) will be available from Pendas, pendas@pennkemp.ca.

The chapbook Helwa! (Beautiful) is available for $6 and mailing from Pendas, 525 Canterbury Road, London ON N6G 2N5. Katerina Fretwell’s excellent review is up on ojs.lib.umanitoba.ca/index.php/prairie_fire/article/download/216/204.

Helwa cover

Suite Ancient Egypt is available for $50 from Pendas or from Mother Tongue Publishing Limited, 290 Fulford-Ganges Rd. Salt Spring Island BC V8K 2K6, www.mothertonguepublishing.com. Suite Ancient Egypt, pictured above, is a gorgeous handmade chapbook,

Pendas Productions, 525 Canterbury Road, London ON N6G 2N5, pendas@pennkemp.ca.

Here’s to All Souls’ day, el Dia de los Muertos!

Helwa!: a sound opera on Gathering VoicesSuite Ancient Eygpt cover

Welcome, ancestors.
What can you tell us from the unknown
and unknowable realm of the Dead?

To celebrate the ancestors, I invite you to listen to Helwa!
a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt
on
http://chrwradio.com/talk/gatheringvoices/20110129gatheringvoices.mp3.

Helwa is the Arabic word for beautiful.

Helwa! is featured next in Gathering Voices, my Lit.-on-Air radio show on CHRW Radio Western, 94.9 FM, London ON.  Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 6:30 – 7:00 pm. (R. November 11, 2014, 6:30-7:00 am).

Helwa! a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt, text and narration by me with The Helwa Ensemble: musicians Mary Lynne Ashton and Panayiotis Giannarapis, sound artist Jocelyn Drainie, Egyptologist/poet Daniel Kolos and belly dancer Ishra Ishra Shirley Blanco. Recorded live at Aeolian Hall and mastered by John Magyar.

Together we trace the soul’s journey
across the nocturnal sky
to rebirth the next day:
a classical Egyptian journey that
the star goddess Nut took nightly.

Join us…

Helwa! is archived on http://chrwradio.com/talk/gatheringvoices/20110129gatheringvoices.mp3 and can be heard at any time!

Helwa! a Sound Opera Experiencing Ancient Egypt (cd) will be available from Pendas, pendas@pennkemp.ca.  An earlier version of the Sound Opera with the incomparable Bill Gilliam is on my CD, Night Vision, is available now from Pendas for $15 plus postage,  Bill and I performed it at the Drake Hotel, Toronto, where it was recorded and mastered by John Magyar.

Helwa! as a chapbook is available for $6 from PigeonBike Press, London, http://about.me/pigeonbike or from me, pendas@pennkemp.ca.

Suite Ancient Egypt, pictured above, is a handmade chapbook  from Mother Tongue Publishing Limited, 290 Fulford-Ganges Rd. Salt Spring Island BC V8K 2K6 http://www.mothertonguepublishing.com, available for $50.  Also available from me.  It’s an earlier version of the long poem, exquisitely designed.

gatheringvoicesbanner

Ending one era does not preclude
the start of the Celtic New Year now.

Blessings as we enter the sacred season,

Penn