April is National Poetry Month. As in the past, London Open Mic will feature two poets, but this time it will also include its regular contingent of about 15 open mic readers. John Nyman and Penn Kemp will feature during the first hour, followed by a Q&A for both of them, and the open mic section after the intermission.
Penn: "I’m delighted to celebrate National Poetry Month through the League of Canadian Poets with London Open Mic and John Nyman at Mykonos. Our topic this year is, very appropriately, FOOD!"
FIFTY YEARS of Writing and Publishing in London… and Away
Activist poet, performer and playwright Penn Kemp is Creative Age London’s Writer-in-Residence. She is the inaugural Poet Laureate for London Ontario (2010-12), a Life Member of the League of Canadian Poets, and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal. For Creative Age London, Penn has curated a series of four free reading/workshops to be held Saturday mornings in May at Landon Library.
Penn’s poetry was first published fifty years ago in Western’s literary magazine, FOLIO, when she was an Honours English student. Before that, she was the editor of the Masonville Gazette and the Medway Magnet! Since her first book was published by Coach House Press in 1972, she has been pushing textual and aural boundaries, often in participatory performance work. Penn has published twenty-six books of poetry and drama, had six plays and ten CDs produced as well as several award-winning videopoems.
As Writer-in-Residence for Western, her project was the DVD, Luminous Entrance: a Sound Opera for Climate Change Action, Pendas Productions. For seven years, Penn has presented an eclectic literary show, Gathering Voices, on Radio Western: see http://chrwradio.ca/content/upcoming-episodes-gathering-voices. Her essays have been widely anthologized in such Canadian works as the League of Canadian Poets Feminist Caucus archives, Windsor Review: special Alice Munro issue; Untying The Apron; Basements and Attics, Closets and Cyberspace; and Poetry London’s Possessions. Having performed in festivals around the world, most recently in Britain, Brazil and India, Penn lives in the house she grew up in here in London, where she edits poetry for Pendas Productions with her husband Gavin Stairs. She has been heralded by the Writers’ Union as a “one woman literary industry”. Updates and poems are on http://mytown.ca/pennletter and https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/, https://pennkemp.wordpress.com/, linkedin.com/pennkemp,twitter.com/pennkemp.
Penn Kemp: Interview and Five Poems,
From London Open Mic, April, 2014
Five Poems on Food by Penn Kemp: