Karen Dennison

Poet and artist

Leave a comment

Freedom Poems – launched on National Poetry Day by Poetrywivenhoe

“This collection of new poetry by Essex poets celebrates Poetrywivenhoe’s 10th anniversary… The subject of ‘freedom’ follows the theme of this year’s National Poetry Day”. Great to get my hands on my copy, full of fab poems, and with a beautiful cover by artist Ella Johnston and design by Dunlin Press. Now available from the Wivenhoe Bookshop.


From the judges’ (Nancy Hughes and Alex Toms) comments

Freedom is woven tightly into the fabric of some of these poems – not always overtly, rather breathing quietly under the words, creating that magic we aspire to as readers and writers of poetry…

We trust you will find plenty to connect with in what follows – humour, imagery, sexiness, poignancy, pain, harshness, pace, adventures, reflections, mind-tickling cleverness of language, and freedom of creative spirit…







Leave a comment

Launch event – join us at the Poetry Cafe

Against the Grain Poetry Press

We are pleased to announce that we will be launching Against the Grain Poetry Press with Anna Kisby’s pamphlet All the Naked Daughters. Join us at the Poetry Cafe in London 4th November at 6pm for readings from Anna and other guest readers. Line up to follow shortly. Let us know if you can make it on our Facebook event page.

Anna Kisby Back Cover

View original post


Against the Grain Poetry Press

Against the Grain logoAgainst the Grain Poetry Press is a new, innovative small independent poetry publisher dedicated to publishing challenging, well-crafted poetry.

Our aim is to produce beautiful works of art, with high production values and an edgy appeal, that are both provocative and moving.

We want our poets to be seen and heard, print starkly designed high-quality pamphlets and run launch events and signings.

The beat of our drum is our own and we strive to select strong, fresh, diverse voices.

We are very pleased to announce our commissioned poet, Anna Kisby, whose collection will launch the press.

We have also been reading all the fabulous submissions for next year and will be announcing the results soon.

Abegail Morley
Karen Dennison
Jessica Mookherjee

Leave a comment

Stone’s Throw is making a splash!

A collaboration between Colchester’s Poetry Society Stanza Group, Mosaic, and local artists, resulted in a book called Stone’s Throw. The project was co-ordinated and organised by Sheena Clover, Mosaic’s chair, and I had the pleasure of designing and putting the book together. The book contains the work of nineteen partnerships – a poet and an artist were paired up and each responded to the other’s work resulting in a rich and varied selection of poems and artworks. It was launched as part of Essex Book Festival on Saturday 11th March at Colchester’s Minories art gallery to a packed room, together with an exhibition of the poems and artworks. The exhibition continues until Sunday 19th March and is well worth a visit.


Front cover image is of an art quilt stitched by Sara Impey (photographed by Michael Wicks) from which the book also takes its name

Leave a comment

The Swell by Jessica Mookherjee – reviewed by Karen Dennison

The Poetry Shed

dustjacket-theswellThe Swell, a pamphlet of fifteen poems, by Jessica Mookherjee is published by Telltale Press and beautifully produced with a stunning cover illustration by Hannah Clare. Bengali by heritage, Jessica was brought up in South Wales and many of the poems reflect on a life between two cultures.

This collection begins with Snapshot where the speaker grapples with a childhood in which her parents are disappointed at not having had a boy. Whilst trying to console them in ways only a child can she also hides her own conflicting emotions – ‘no evidence that I tried not to slip and break my neck’.

Red explores the speaker growing up, questioning convention, cleverly weaving the colour red through the poem, including the red tikka on her mother’s forehead that ‘looked like someone had shot her’ and evoking images of blood. By the end of the poem she’s in a failing…

View original post 472 more words

1 Comment

Losing Summer

Losing Summer

Loss sleeps on the lawn, curls
on the wicker chair, creeps
across sunlit grass,

scatters a buttercup path,
a loosely-woven
chain of thoughts;

leads to a place
where memories are filtered
as if through glass.

White clematis drowse, droop
like handkerchiefs. Heat
sedates grief, drips

on the agave leaves
that shadow-spike
the flagstone;

silvers the patio with trails,
sinks in moss. Sky swims,
aches with loss.


Karen Dennison

Published in Poetry Salzburg Review, No.29

Leave a comment

ornith-ology has landed..

ornith-ology the poetry of birds is a celebratory anthology produced by Poetry Wivenhoe in association with Mosaic and I was delighted to be asked to design the cover and put the book together. It was a pleasure working with Pam Job (Poetry Wivenhoe) and Judith Wolton (Mosaic).

It was edited by Tim Cunningham, a poet who divides his time between Essex and Ireland and who has published six poetry collections. Tim selected thirty poems submitted by poets from the two groups. Also included are several illustrations from artists practising locally (Richard Allen, Charlotte Bernays, Sheena Clover, Karen Dennison and Janie Grote).


“This delightful anthology has something for everyone who loves birds and language. Not deliberately thematic, it looks at identifying features, habitats, feeding habits, migration, birds free and ‘pets’, environment, folklore and anecdotes, even romance. Essentially, it is a celebration of how ubiquitous birds enhance our lives. Open any page and you will hear birdsong and a flutter of feathers.” Tim Cunningham

Copies will be available at £7 at the official launch at Poetry Wivenhoe on Thursday 24th November 2016 when the editor will be talking about the process of editing the anthology and will be reading some of his own poems. Also available from Pam Job pamjob@tiscali.co.uk.