Also writes as: K. ; B. Ed. ; Ixion ; The Prodigal
Born: Established: 1865 Maryborough ; Died: 1932 Brisbane
Francis Kenna was the second son of Joseph Kenna and Ellen Fleming, who had migrated from County Kildare, Ireland, in 1864. After his education at the state school, Maryborough, Kenna qualified as a teacher in the Education Department. He joined the Lands Department and was working in the old Post and Telegraph Department in 1884. At different times he edited the Queensland Worker, the Bowen Times, the Clarion, the Brisbane Sun, the Charters Towers Telegraph, the Bangalow Herald and the Logan and Albert Bulletin, now the Gold Coast Bulletin. He contributed many poems and short stories to Australian journals, particularly The Bulletin and The Boomerang. Towards the end of his life he also conducted the weekly 'Sidelights' column in the Brisbane Courier, and during this time wrote hundreds of small poems and humorous items on current political issues, off-beat news items, and the events of daily life - in a similar fashion to C.J. Dennis (q.v.) at the Melbourne Herald. He edited the Queensland Authors and Artists' Xmas Magazine (1926), issued by the Queensland Authors and Artists Association of which he was the founder.
His poetry sometimes reflected his concern for the oppressed working class and he served as the Labor Member of the Legislative Assembly for Bowen, 1898-1908. He formed a lifelong friendship with Lietenant-Governor Jimmy Blair. Kenna has been represented in the Antipodean, edited by George Essex Evans (q.v.) and J. T. Ryan (q.v.), 1893-1894, and The Golden North, 1923.
Kenna married Edith Stamp in 1907 and they had two sons, Vernon and Herbert.