ABOUT Robin Kemp

Robin Kemp was born in New Orleans on Mardi Gras Day. A former print journalist and CNN newswriter, she holds degrees in English and creative writing from Georgia State and the University of New Orleans, and is finishing her Ph.D. at Georgia State, where she teaches writing. Her poetry has appeared in New Orleans Review, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Texas Review, and elsewhere, and has been anthologized in Rites of Spring (Pecan Grove Press), Maple Leaf Rag III (Portals Press), and Letters from the World: Poems from the WOM-PO Listserv (Red Hen Press). She lives outside Atlanta until she can get closer to the water.

 

 

Pecan Grove Press

This Pagan Heaven
by Robin Kemp

ISBN: 978-1-931247-63-4  $8

“There are powerful messages in
the music of This Pagan Heaven.
The measured notes of sonnets
carry the songs of love’s complications, rewards, and the inevitable downbeat of loss. Soulful dirges rise from the tragic streets of a drowned New Orleans. Kemp’s poems move through strict forms into jazzy improvisations without missing a beat or striking false notes. A distinguished company of women poets has been testing traditional forms and Kemp enters their number with this heartfelt work, clearly underscored by her craft and intelligence.”
             —Eloise Klein Healy

“In This Pagan Heaven, Robin Kemp displays her ability to present a powerful and
persuasive voice that maintains authenticity and authority, whether the poem is written in traditional form or free verse. In love sonnets, a political pantoum, an
extended free-verse sequence and other poems about the effects of Hurricane Katrina on her home city of New Orleans, as well as various compelling pieces on additional topics, Kemp’s lovely lines address personal or public concerns in language demonstrat- ing both formal skill and a convincing conversational ease,
resulting in poetry readers will find energetic and engaging.”
              —Edward Byrne, Valparaiso Poetry Review

Newsbrat Hooky
                                           for Jim Kemp

Cigarette-sweet pinups on cork-walled cutting room booths,
the acetone smell of film fresh from the tank, strips cut,
then taped together, spooled onto yellow rings
or reel-to-reel on battleship-gray steel,
stacked in flat, textured cans (coveted toys
that thundered with marbles, downpoured coins or keys),
deadweight teletypes, impossibly perched on stilts,
engraved in all-caps: U.P.I., ASSOCIATED PRESS,
their thin gold tinsel fencing cheap pulp scrolls,
insistent in their chack-chack-chack, commanding
DINGDINGDING! and solemn pause—
then chack-chack-chack, an urgent rip-and run.
Dad commanded hot-smelling Motorola radios,
the crackling scanners’ cacophonic wall
of urgent news and all emergencies, knew everything
before it happened, passed it on to me: the dirty words,
Joe’s Bar, the crooked local pols, the key to the city.
You, too, would want to stay home sick from school,
to beg to go with Dad, to rip and run,
to answer radios, to tell the world the truth,
to take the first typewriter not in use.

Pecan Grove Press Logo

Copyright © Pecan Grove Press,
1997-2003
For further information contact
H. Palmer Hall.
Web architecture by
Internet Navigating

Most recent revision
November 11, 2003

Submission Guidelines
Chapbook Contest
About the Editors
Ordering Information
The Writers Who Make the Presses
Student Writers from St. Mary's University
Poetry Events in San Antonio
San Antonio Poetry Links: Places to Publish
Other Links of Interest