Penn Kemp

Penn Kemp, Canadian poet, playwright, novelist, shares the richness of her experience through her unique use of word, sound, imagery and symbolism. As a sound poet and workshop leader, Penn has performed in arts festivals around the world, giving readings and workshops, often as writer in residence.

Born in Strathroy, Ontario, and raised in London, Penn has spent much of her life in Ontario, including nine years on Toronto Island. However, an intrigue with ancient mythology has taken her on extensive journeys to Europe, North Africa, Mexico, South America and India. Ms. Kemp received an Honours degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Western Ontario (1966) and a high school teacher's certificate. She taught English for three years in Timmins and North York, till 1970. Since then, she has been an active participant in Ontario schools, performing her poetry and plays as well as giving class workshops for students and teachers. She has also read and given workshops at several hundred venues across the continent. In 1988, she was awarded an O.G.S. scholarship to complete her M.Ed. at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her 1989 thesis was on creativity: "Invenio: The Source of a Biography in Mythology."  

A Poem for Peace in Two Voices

Calm came clear
of cloud
early one morning           Calm come clear
before things started                of cloud

Calm came at noon           Calm come
A cardinal perched                clear
on black bough                     of cloud
in blazing sun.

Calm came at night           Calm come clear
stretching as cats do,                             of cloud
constant stretch and change.

Forsythia brightened           Calm come clear
as the house slept.             of cloud

Now calm come           Now calm come
in the face of             clear of
brawl                                        cloud

©2003, Penn Kemp