The Mink War, Gene Kemp's first narrative poem, tells how the animal inhabitants of Whitsman's Wood are forced to band together and do battle with an army of mink on the run. Its verse is at once energetic and colourful and demonstrates the versatility of her skill as a writer.
As Gillian Cross has said: 'Gene Kemp has addressed a wide range of readers in a variety of genres. She has proved herself to be inventive and imaginative; she is a very funny writer who writes with a passionate concern for dignity and justice; there is a large space in her work for the underprivileged and the marginalized, and a grittiness in their representation which refuses any reader temptation to sentimentalize them.'
Gene Kemp has established herself as one of the most inventive and imaginative of British children's writers. She was born in 1926 and grew up in Staffordshire. After studying at Exeter University she taught, married and had three children. She is best-known for her Cricklepit School stories, including The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler, a winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Children's Rights Award, Charlie Lewis Plays for Time, which was runner-up for the Whitbread Award in 1985, and Just Ferret, which was a runner-up for the Smarties Award in 1990. In addition, she has written The Clock Tower Ghost, Jason Bodger and the Priory Ghost (short stories) and a poetry anthology. She also writes for TV and radio. In 1984 she was awarded an honorary degree for her books, which have been translated into numerous languages. She lives in Devon.