Jane Munro & Penn Kemp: In Conversation with Phil Glennie

November 15, 2020 at 1:00pm

The Words Festival is very pleased to present two of Canada's finest poets, Jane Munro & Penn Kemp! Our host for the afternoon will be Phil Glennie.

15 November 2:00 PM

Zoom Webinar

Griffin Poetry Prize-winner Jane Munro returns with new poems that are spacious with interiority, alive with a hard-earned lightness.

Waves carried a glass float—designed to hold up a fishing net—across the Pacific. Beached it safely. Someone’s breath is inside it. In Glass Float, her seventh collection, award-winning poet Jane Munro considers the widening of horizons that border and shape our lives, the familiarity and mystery of conscious experience, and the deepening awareness that comes with a dedicated practice such as yoga. This book is about connections: mind and body; self and others; physical and metaphysical; art and nature; west and east, north and south. In “Convexities,” the book’s opening poem, Munro quotes the grandfather who taught her to paint: “art is suggestion; art is not representation.” No concavities, he said. Only the “little hummocks” that her pencil outlined as she did contour drawings. Munro’s deft suggestion, her tracing of convexities, conveys underlying complexities, not by explication but by looking with eyes and heart open to where mysteries almost surface.

London's Penn Kemp will join Munro to read from and discuss her new book of poems centred around the Thames River.

Rivers are often used in mythology to represent boundaries; to cross the river is to transform. The poems in River Revery reflect the river Thames as it winds through the city of London, Ontario. Because the Thames forks into two streams at the city’s core, it was called Askunessippi, “the antlered river,” by the original Algonquin inhabitants. For Indigenous communities, it is Deshkan Ziibiing. In re-naming the river the Thames, English settlers colonized forbidding new territory as an imitation of ‘home,’ rather than embracing the vibrancy of the river as it is. A distillation of ecological concern is a current necessity in River Revery. Such inspiration in poetry is one source for right action since the Thames waters our gardens, real and imaginary.

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