New book by Philip Kenney

The Writer's Crucible Meditations on Emotion, Being and Creativity

Phil Kenney

Philip Kenney is a practicing psychotherapist in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two sons. He is the author of the novel, Radiance, and a collection of poetry entitled, Where Roses Bloom.

Radiance Testimonials

Although often nostalgic, the book never romanticizes the morbidity on its pages. Its short sentences and subtle repetitions build into crescendos of poetry and flourishes of magical realism. A beautifully written, slow-paced reflection on a 20th-century family.

Kirkus Reviews


This remarkable first novel, which is both thought-provoking and lyrical, is a joy to read.† Itís many facets range from the multi-generational story of a family, to coming of age in the Ď60s, to the biography of a lovely woman, and so much more.† Itís satisfyingly complex yet completely accessible.† The author ponders with us the age-old questions that are part of the human experience, and gives us glimpses of possibilities that come as close to the answers as Iíve found, while grounding the prose in the struggles and delights of everyday life that we can each identify with.† Psyches are laid bare in a frank, stingingly honest way, yet with a compassion and care that is touching and tender.† This book weaves a rich tapestry that Iíll enjoy reading again, and perhaps yet again; it deserves a place on the bookshelf of every thoughtful library.

Nancy Wolf, Author and Editor


Radiance takes the reader on a multigenerational Magical Mystery Tour with the Brennan family through the turbulent years of mid-20th century U.S.A.† Utilizing equal parts stark tragedy and rollicking comedy, Phil Kenney tells a sensitive, soul-searching tale nestled in the context of family interactions and societal struggles.† The authorís flowing poetic style as well as his generous but penetrating elucidation of family dynamics make for a pleasure to read and a profound visceral experience.† Perhaps the best that can be said about a novel is that it leaves the person who has finished reading it not quite the same person as the one who began reading it.† That was my experience with Radiance.† This novel is truly deserving of a broad readership.

Dr. Gary Smith, Psychiatrist and Artist


This is an eloquent and powerful piece of writing.† The entire arc of the story seems right as Phil Kenney weaves together heart-breaking scenes with a dying mother, spiritual quests in California, and the loss of a brother, all of it elaborated by an exposition of the times by way of such cultural icons as Dagwood Bumstead and Perry Mason.† Throughout the novel, the language is strong, vivid, and poetic. There is a Castaneda-like, hallucinatory quality to the last half of the book when an amazingly rich, multi-generational, mystical, and profound personal journey through time and space is elaborated on with the utmost of care. †I whole-heartedly recommend this book.

Rob Bibler, Artist and former chair of the Chemeketa Community College Art Department


This literary, poetic and openhearted novel is a tribute to the magic of where we come from, who we love, and ultimately, who we are. Radiance is a compelling exploration of the emotions and spiritual mystery at the heart of family and personal experience. Phil is able to bring the reader into an intimacy of individual and family dynamics that is only possible due to his deep understanding of psychological life from his own experience as a psychotherapist and patient, his spiritual mastery, and from the courage to explore the unknown territories of our family and personal shadow. This moving, beautiful, open-hearted book celebrates the wonders and joys of life.

Dr. Larry Christensen, Psychoanalyst and Director of the Portland Zen Center


copyright © 2012-2018 Phil Kenney, All Rights Reserved.

Web design by Rareheron Web Design, Portland, OR