Episode 25: Poets in Collaboration

cover of PS by Penn Kemp & Sharon Thesen -- mauve color background, with two silhouettes of birds
View on Zencastr

Penn Kemp, the former poet laureate of London, Ontario, joins Joe and Mark to discuss collaboration and poetry.

They start with Penn’s roots in visual arts – her father was the well-regarded London painter Jim Kemp – and how it became poetry, not painting, that sparked her muse.

Though it’s often seen as a solitary activity, Penn has discovered the joy of collaborating with other poets who are also friends.

She worked with Harold Rhenish first, and then moved onto a project called P.S., with Sharon Thesen, published by Gap Riot Press.

The collection is a conversation, taken from letters they wrote one another over the course of a year.

Penn is a sound poet and Thesen is a “black mountain” poet, sometimes called projectivist poets. She goes on to read a sample of Thesen’s work and her own, so the listeners can get a sense of how the different poetry sounds.

Penn, Joe and Mark then get into a fascinating discussion about poetry, song lyrics, Leonard Cohen, Shakespeare and performance.

Support our Guest

Poet, performer and playwright Penn Kemp has been celebrated as a trailblazer since her first publication of poetry by Coach House (1972), a “poetic El Niño”, and a “one-woman literary industry”. She was London’s inaugural Poet Laureate (2010-13) and Western University’s Writer-in-Residence (2009-10). Her project was the DVD, Luminous Entrance: A Sound Opera for Climate Change Action, performed at Aeolian Hall, London. Chosen as the League of Canadian Poets’ Spoken Word Artist (2015), Kemp has long been a keen participant/activist in Canada’s cultural life, with more than thirty books of poetry, prose and drama; seven plays and ten CDs produced as well as award-winning videopoems.

You can get  Penn’s latest collection, INCREMENTALLY, as free e-book and album at Hem Press!

Then go check out Penn’s website so you can buy one of her collections — she’s happy to sign it for you too!

Learn more about Sharon Thesen at the poetry in canada website, and Harold Rhenish at his.

Penn Kemp sitting in front of a window with a dreamcatcher hanging in the sun
, ,

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.