Penn Kemp​

Penn Kemp has participated in Canadian cultural life for more than 50 years, writing, editing, and publishing poetry, fiction and plays. Her first book of poetry, Bearing Down, was published by Coach House, 1972. She has since published 30 books of poetry, prose and drama, 7 plays and 10 CDs of spoken word. She has edited a number of anthologies by Canadian writers since editing IS 14, the first anthology of Canadian women writers (Coach House Press, 1973).

Most recently, with Richard-Yves Sitoski, Penn co-edited POEMS IN RESPONSE TO PERIL, an anthology of 48 Canadian poets responding to the war in Ukraine: Many of the poems are read online: We are delighted to present POEMS IN RESPONSE TO PERIL on November 5, with several stellar contributors reading poems from the anthology along with us.

The League of Canadian Poets acclaimed Penn as their 2015 Spoken Word Artist and she is the League’s 40th Life Member. From 2010-2013, this prolific writer was London’s inaugural Poet Laureate and at Western University, writer-in-residence, 2009-2010. She was presented with the inaugural Joe Rosenblatt Award for Innovative Creators. Her poem, “Cancel Culture” is in BEST CANADIAN POETRY 2023. Penn has an active presence online:, and Her news is up on and

Penn Kemp's reading is sponsored by the League of Canadian Poets and the Canada Council for the arts. Photo credit: Angelo Bucciarelli.

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Poems in Response to Peril: A Gathering of Poets for Ukraine

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