Karen Dennison

Poet and artist



Cover artwork by Julia Watson

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Free-fall is a continuation of the chain of responses in the Book of Sand and Blueshift pamphlets. It begins with a poem in response to Blueshift’s final piece, Disappointment, by Sam Smith. This poem was given to an artist to respond to, whose artwork was given to a different poet to respond to and so on, resulting in a sequential series of poetry and art. Ekphrasis, where one medium of art responds to another, sits at the heart of all three pamphlets.

Poems by Oz Hardwick, Pam Thompson, Karen Dennison, Rosie Sandler, Alex Toms, Caroline Davies, Kerry Hammerton.

Artworks by Hannah Willow, Tara Pandey, Lois Cordelia, Sam Smith, Julia Watson, Heidi Jukes, Karen Dennison.


32 Lois Cordelia Reveal the Secret Night

Lois Cordelia – Reveal the Secret Night in response to my poem This Tree


He fixed her by the ankles
to the ground.
But how to turn
a wild thing from its nature?

Her feet grew gnarled
and knotted,
toes curled under,
rooted into soil
soft as rotting leaves.

She stretched skyward,
scattered arms’ burdens
like falling fruit:
became moon’s dark face,
unlit against the star-gauze sky.

She left earth so far behind
she could tame planets,
juggle meteors,
poke curious fingers
into the whirl and swill of black holes.

At night, he closes curtains
on her essence:
fire and wind and air:
elements he can’t control,
some fairy tale of water mixed with beans,
a ladder to the sky he’ll never climb.

Rosie Sandler
(in response to Lois Cordelia)