Penn Kemp’s full Acknowledgements for Barbaric Cultural Practice

Several of the poems in Barbaric Cultural Practice were provoked into being by political events; hence, the title. As an aging activist, I confront by words such issues as climate change and overwhelmingly new technologies. The poems juxtapose the stress of urban life as compared to nature’s round. The poems deal, for example, with the effect of computers on our psyche and with the imprint of electronic media upon perception, consciousness and dream life. Barbaric Cultural Practice pays tribute to our dear Mother World’s enchantments as well as her upheavals. Poetry is my response to the unprecedented complexities of our time.

I’m deeply grateful for family and friends’ encouragement en route and ongoing during the evolution of these poems. The list is long and extends back decades.

The cover painting, Transporting, is by my beloved friend, Anne Anglin. It is her vivid interpretation of an equally vivid dream I had.

Special thanks to Allan Briesmaster, my editor and publisher of Barbaric Cultural Practice. A fine poet himself, he is the ideal editor, encouraging, engaging, and always astute. Thanks as well to my dear poet friends, Katerina Fretwell, Leona Graham, Susan McCaslin, and most especially to Susan McMaster, for their keen eyes and ears and discerning comments. Thanks to J. R. (Tim) Struthers, for suggesting the title, “The Hart of London.” And to Catherine Ross, my literary executrix!

Gavin Stairs included some of these poems in artbooks, republishing earlier works through our little company, Pendas Productions. I have posted poems on

Several of these poems or lines therein have been published in my books: Binding Twine (Ragweed Press), Trance Form (Soft Press), Some Talk Magic (Ergo Productions), Throo (Moonstone Press), ANIMUS (Caitlin Press), as well as two chapbooks: Eidolons (White Pine Press) and from Dream Sequins (Lyrical Myrical Press).


Poetry needs to be heard as well as read, so I have concentrated in recent years on audio renditions and videopoems in collaboration with Bill Gilliam, John Magyar, Dennis Siren, and Gavin Stairs:

Three of these poems were performed and recorded at Aeolian Hall, London Ontario, for my DVD, Luminous Entrance: a sound opera for climate change action (Pendas Productions). “Facing the Epicentre” was part of the performance of Luminous Entrance at London’s Aeolian Hall with Anne Anglin, Ruth Douthwright, Brenda McMorrow, Robert Menegoni, and me. Video by Dennis Siren, recorded by John Magyar:

More of these poems can be heard on my CD, From The Lunar Plexus, thanks to Bill Gilliam, John Magyar and Gavin Stairs. It is available from Pendas Productions,

The last poem of Barbaric Cultural Practice, sung by Brenda McMorrow, was the theme song for my radio show, Gathering Voices, on CHRW FM, Radio Western, London: and
“From an Upstairs Window, Winter” (revised here as “Blow by Blow”) and “Altar Ego” appear in composer Bill Gilliam’s DVD Memory Vision, These poems are also included in Dennis Siren’s Five Eerie Pieces: Visual, Sound and Music Envisionings of five short poems by Penn in collaboration with multimedia artists who are inspired by and interpret Penn’s poetry.
“Night Orchestra” and “Flux, Flash, Flood” can be heard on “Night Orchestra” is sampled and synthesized by Bill Gilliam on http://youtube/tX-tOHRleH0. It is also up on, with thanks to Edward Pickersgill, as well as The Poetry Jar,
“Night Orchestra,” “Sin Tax,” “Cogito Ergo Sum,” “Electrical Events,” and “Bass On The Grass” can be heard on Torture and Triumph, CD & magazine, scars publications collection, “Bass on the Grass” can also be heard on

“Man Date” is up on,

Several of the poems in Barbaric Cultural Practice were provoked into being by political events. Others were commissioned. “Ode to Tim Two Bits” was first performed at London’s Aeolian Hall and then for “Community Activism For Urban Change” in the Speaker Series at The Arts Project, London, and again for National Poetry Month when the subject was Food. It was written up on
“In Celebration Forest” was commissioned by ReForest London. It can be heard on…/09/…/londons-poetry-activists-out-to-change-the-world.html.
The story was chosen as Metro’s most memorable feature of 2013:


Versions of most of the poems were first published in magazines, literary journals and newspapers. I would like to thank the editors of all the literary magazines that support Canadian writing. The London Free Press and Metro News (London) have been most supportive in publishing occasional poems over the last decade. I would like to thank all those editors who support and promote Canadian writing. The League of Canadian Poets has supported most of the readings where these poems were performed. A Toronto Arts Council grant gave me much appreciated time to write.

Where you may have read these poems, in other incarnations:

“Tomorrow’s Memoir.” Prairie Fire Magazine, forthcoming.

“Trans Verse,” “Berlin, 1945.” CWS/cf. Women’s Human Rights, 31.3/32.1, forthcoming.

“For Persephone.” The Dark Ones, 2016.
“Celebrating Tree in Souwesto,” “The Hart of London.” Another London Anthology, harmonia press, Sept. 2016

Seven poems are in Danse Macabre: An Online Literary Magazine #99, Pictures of Life, Eletkepek, July 2016.
“Solstice” is Danse Macabre du Jour,

“Given a Line.”CV2. Contemporary Verse 2.V.38.3, Winter 2016.

“Frau Goebbels.” February 5, 2016 Issue.

“Walking on the Moon.” Cordite/Arc.,
“Grazing the Face of Climate Change,” “Gender Bias Even Among the Elements,” “Middle March and Beyond.” Canadian Woman Studies: Women and Water, Vol. 30, Nos. 2, 3. Inanna Publications,
“Heart to Art,” “Too Close for Comfort.” Goddess Pages, Issue #27: Summer 2015.
“Five Poems on Food.”–featured-poets–musicians/penn-kemp-featuring-with-john-nyman-at-london-open-mic-april-1st-bio-and-poems
“Die Versify.” Revolver.,
“In Our Back Yard.” 2014
“Ode to Tim TwoBitsWhopper.”
“Walking on the Moon.” Cordite/Arc. December 2014.,

“The Hart of London.” Alice Munro: A Souwesto Celebration issue of The Windsor Review, John B. Lee and J.R. (Tim) Struthers, co-editors
“Paraclete.” National Poetry Month Blog,
“Naturalized, the Dream Spreads into my Back Yard.” “Recurring Dream Theme, Reflecting Mimesis.” The Boneshaker Anthology: 2010-2013, Teksteditions.
“Rise and Shine!” Semi Permanent Death, Pigeon Bike: Print Issue, Summer 2012.
“Reflecting Mimesis” and “All Things Considered.” Poem du Jour, April 16, 2012. Danse Macabre,
“Naturalized the Dream Spreads into My Back Yard.” The Toronto Quarterly.
“Recurring Dream Theme Reflecting Mimesis.” Art by Steven McCabe.
“Night Vision, Following Cave of Forgotten Dreams.” Danse Macabre #49,!_dm-58-skin/poetry
“Reflecting Mimesis” and “All Things Considered.” April 2012. Danse Macabre, Poem du Jour. “Reflecting Mimesis” and “All things Considered.”
“Regarding What Is Given.” Ygdrasil: A Journal of the Poetic Arts. VOL XIX, Issue 7, Number 219.
“An Ounce of Essential.”,
“Facing the Epicentre.”
“Fare Trade.”—featured-poets–musicians/penn-kemp-featuring-with-john-nyman-at-london-open-mic-april-1st-bio-and-poems,;
“In Place of Persephone.”
“Smog Alert,” “Hymn to Hormone.”
“Arms and the Boy.”, June 2006

“Walking on the Moon in Moulay Ibrahim.”

“Heart to Heart.”

“Arms And The Boy,” “Altar Ego.” A Time of Trial: Beyond the Terror of 9/11, CD ROM, Hidden Brook Press, 2002

“Altar Ego.” An International Anthology of Poetry, A Time of Trial: Beyond the Terror of 9/11, Hidden Brook Press, 2002

“Disarming Le Revenant.” lichen literary journal, 2001

“Culture Shock and Smooth Return.” Great Lakes logia, anthology, the Great Lakes Project, Joe Blades, ed., Broken Jaw Press, 2001

“From an Upstairs Window.” Winter, Vernissage, National Art Gallery, Ottawa, 2001

“Two Lips.” The Capilano Review 2: 33, 2001

“From the Lunar Plexus.” Graffito, the poetry poster, 2001

“Found Poem: Parks Are For People.” “Disarming Le Revenant.”lichen literary journal,, 2001

“Culture Shock and Smooth Return.” Great Lakes logia, anthology, the Great Lakes Project, Joe Blades, ed., Broken Jaw Press, 2001

“Night Orchestra.” Arc #44 The 99-Year Century Canada’s Poets at the Millennium, 2000

“Notes from The Lunar Plexus.” Contemporary Verse 2: edge/wise: Part 11, Canadian Women’s Writing at Century’s End.

“After The Swirl Of Dust, The Flailing Hoof.” The Café Review’s Canadian Poetry Issue, Volume 11, 2000

“Disarming Le Revenant,” “Electrical Events,” “Cogito Ergo Sum.” Seeds 3, 2000

“Flux, Flash Flood.” Challenges of THE CHANGE, 2000, Torture and Triumph, CD & magazine, scars publications collection

“Berlin.” CWS Canadian Woman Studies cahiers de la femme Cws/cf . “Women and Justice” (Volume 10, #1)

“Selected Isolation.” Vernissage and Nature Rearranged, National Art Gallery, Ottawa, 1999

“Bass On The Grass.” Kairos 11 FEMALE SEXUALITY, Hamilton, 1999

“Night Orchestra,” “Through the Forty-Ninth Door,” “Out On A Limb.” Arc, 1996

“Arms and the Boy.” Canadian Chamber of Contemporary Poetry, G.P. Hammell, ed., 1994

“An Ounce of Essential.” Arc #29, 1992