JAN KEMP was born in
Hamilton in 1949. She returned to New Zealand in 1999 after 25 years
as an expatriate, teaching English-as-a-foreign-language and writing
and performing her work in Australia and the Pacific, Canada, Malaysia,
Hong Kong, Singapore and finally Germany, where she studied German
and Italian literature at the University of Frankfurt. Her latest
publications are The Skys Enormous Jug: Love Poems Old &
New (Puriri Press, May 2001) and Only One Angel (University
of Otago Press, December 2001.) She took part in the WOW Tour 2002
to the Waikato and is participating in the New Zealand Poetry Societys
Northern Lights tour of the northern South Island in early May 2002
and in the Going West Festival in September.
Of Elephant Riding
she says: There we were, walking along a footpath in New Delhi
when, amongst all the traffic, along came an elephant. I couldnt
resist asking if I could have a ride on it well, what would
you do if an elephant, unladen, came alongside? Both the mahout and
the elephant were most obliging he made her kneel down for
me to get up onto her back. And, of course, we offered to pay him
and I did so admire her, a working creature with such a gentle spirit.
The hardest word to find was an adjective to describe her trunk!