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.
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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!