The New Zealand-born poet, Jan Kemp, came to prominence in the late sixties / early seventies in Auckland, first publishing and performing with the FREED group. The only woman poet in the anthology “The Young New Zealand Poets” (ed. Baysting, Heinemann, 1973), in 1979 she toured NZ for 6 weeks with Alistair Campbell, Sam Hunt and Hone Tuwhare on the 4 Poets’ Tour. Following a stay in Malaysia where she attended the Asean Writers’ Festival in Kuala Lumpur in 1977, and having represented NZ at the South Pacific Festival for the Arts in Papua New Guinea in 1980, she moved on to Hong Kong and then Singapore. From 1974 onwards, she was expatriate for 25 years, teaching English and creative writing at various universities until she moved to Germany in 1994 where she studied further. Back in NZ from 1999-2007 she founded and created the Aotearoa NZ Poetry Sound Archive, until she and her husband returned to lived outside Frankfurt in 2007. Since then she has taken part in many conferences and readings in Europe, including in London, Florence and Menton.
She holds both a B.A.and an M.A. (Hons) in English from the University of Auckland, a Diploma in Teaching, the R.S.A. Certificate in T.E.F.L., and the PNDS (Prüfung zum Nachweis Deutschesprachkenntnisse, (Certificate of German Proficiency) as well as a Zwischenprüfung im Hauptfach Germanistik (Magister), (Intermediate Examination after 4 of 8 semesters for a Masters degree in German & Italian).
    Selected publications:

Against the Softness of Woman, Caveman Press, Dunedin, 1976 (vol. of poems) [0/P]

Diamonds and Gravel, Hampson Hunt, Wellington, 1979 (vol. of poems) [0/P]

The Other Hemisphere, Three Continents Press, Washington DC, & Butterfly Bks, Sydney, NSW, 1991 (vol. of poems in two editions) [available from this website]

The Sky’s Enormous Jug – love poems old & new, Puriri Press, Auckland, 2001 (vol. of poems) [available from this website]

Only One Angel, University of Otago Press, Dunedin, 2001 (vol. of poems) [available from this website]

Voicetracks, Auckland: Puriri Press, Kronberg im Taunus: tranzlit, 2012, 72pp, ISBN 978-0-908943-38-8

Dante’s Heaven, Puriri Press, Auckland, 2006 (vol. of poems) [available from this website]

Dantes Himmel: Gedichte aus Neuseeland (englisch-deutsch), Verlag André Thiele, Mainz, 2012

Dante’s Heaven – Il Cielo di Dante, translated and edited  by Aldo Magagnino / Traduzione a cura di Aldo Magagnino, Poggio Imperiale, Edizioni del Poggio, 2016

Dante Down Under – Gedichte aus Aotearoa / Neuseeland englisch-deutsch. ‹bersetzt von Dieter Riemenschneider, Kronberg im Taunus, Tranzlit, 2017, ISBN 978-3-9815116-2-8

Ginkgo / The Cook, the ‘Consul’ & the Crazyman, [two novellas], Kronberg im Taunus, Tranzlit, 2019, ISBN 918-3-9815116-5-9

Atemspiralen – Kurzgeschichten / Spirals of Breath – Short Stories. ‹bersetzung Klaus Hofmann, Kronberg im Taunus, Tranzlit, 2019, ISBN 978-3-9811516-4-2

Black Ice & the Love Planet – Poems 2012-2019 / Glatteis & der Planet der Liebe – Gedichte 2012-2019, [English / German], Translation / ‹bersetzung Susanne Opfermann & Helmbrecht Breinig, Kronberg im Taunus, Tranzlit , ISBN 978-3-9815116-6-6 2020

Tripstones – a selection of poems, Auckland, Puriri Press Keepsake Edition, 2020, ISBN 978-0-908943-51-7

Tripstones – a selection of poems, a scanned replica of the above edition, Kronberg im Taunus, Tranzlit, 2021, ISBN 978-3-9815116-8-0



Jan Kemp reading her poems, The Poetry Archive, UK, 2007 (CD & online texts & recordings) – [available from The Poetry Archive]

Editorial work:

NZ Poets Read their Work / NZ Poets Read Their Work for Children, Waiata Recordings, Auckland, 1974
Co-collector and editor (with Jonathan Lamb & Alan Smythe) of the Waiata Archive of 41 NZ poets reading their work and of the 3LP record set Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004
Founding director & collector (with co-director & editor Jack Ross) of the recordings on C and supporting electronic texts of 171 NZ poets reading their own work lodged in University of Auckland Library Special Collections and the Alexander Turnbull Library at the National Library of New Zealand, Wellington
Classic New Zealand Poets in Performance, Auckland University Press, 2006, (with co-editor Jack Ross), a 150 page book with 2 CDs of classic NZ poets reading
Contemporary New Zealand Poets in Performance, Auckland University Press, 2007, (with co-editor Jack Ross), a 150 page book with 2 CDs of contemporary NZ poets reading
New New Zealand Poets in Performance, Auckland University Press, 2008 (with editor Jack Ross), a 150 page book with 2 CDs of new NZ poets reading

    Poetry Readings/Tours:

1979 - Four Poets’ NZ Tour – 6 week tour with Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, Sam Hunt & Hone Tuwhare
1980 - NZ poet at the South Pacific Festival of Arts Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
2002 - NZ Book Council ‘Words on Wheels’ Waikato Tour with Michael King, Peter Wells, Kate Duignan, Eirlys Hunter and Bob Kerr
2002 - NZ Poetry Society ‘Northern Lights’ Tour with Lynda Chanwai-Earle and Glenn Colquhoun
1976 - 2009 Countless readings in NZ, Canada, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore; as well as in Europe: in Belgium, Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, Sweden and France

    Membership & Delegation:

from 1974
Member, NZSA (PEN New Zealand Inc); 1979 - 1980 Secretary, Auckland Branch;
NZ delegate 53rd PEN International Congress, Lugano, Switzerland, 1987;
NZ delegate 72nd PEN International Congress, Berlin, Germany (with Philip Temple), 2006

from 2008
Member, PEN-Germany

    Member, Rilke Gesellschaft, Schweiz    

Member, Katherine Mansfield Society


Literary Awards, Grants & Residencies:

1976 - N.Z. Literary Fund Grant to Caveman Press for Against the Softness of Woman
1979 - N.Z. Literary Fund Writer's Bursary for Diamonds and Gravel
1991 - PEN-Stout Mini Writing Fellowship, Stout Centre, Victoria University of Wellington
2000 - Creative New Zealand Writer’s Grant to begin work on Dante’s Heaven
2003 - Creative New Zealand Audience Development Grant to make the Aotearoa New NewZealand Poetry Sound Archive: (See sampler on Taonga)
2006 - Le Chateau de Lavigny, Lavigny, Switzerland 3 week Writer in Residence 5th session (see


June 2005 - Awarded New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to literature


Links to Other Websites:

YouTube/ Vimeo:   (Deutsch/English)  (Deutsch)   (Deutsch/English)

Other: (in Deutsch und Englisch mit Text-PDFs)