Karen Dennison

Poet and artist


Counting Rain (Indigo Dreams 2011) ISBN 1907401695 £7.99

Karen Dennison’s first collection, Counting Rain, is a quiet and moving series of poems, in which the most recurrent theme is the loss of childhood, and the way it lodges in the memory. ‘Here’ she writes, ‘are the rooms of our childhood,/ the walls where we wrote our names.’ This is a skilful, perfectly disarming series of pieces, in which disquiet and tension lie just beneath the surface, held there carefully while the writer investigates moments of loss, love, discovery – the whole collection is like a stealthy and imaginative search for the way the past and present impact upon one another. Its timing and its imagery are exceptionally exact: this is a life that we recognise, in which the writer uses her own experience to make us think about our own. It’s wonderful – a genuine journey, trodden and re-trodden, one that’s a privilege to share. Bill Greenwell

Karen Dennison’s poems explore both the vastness of space and the intimacy of what passes between people in the cycle of birth, death, and what happens in between. She has a scientist’s concern for precision, but a poet’s ear for lyric. Her poems are direct and powerfully emotional in their desire to seek a pattern in chaos and to wake the ghosts of memory. An exciting debut. Tamar Yoseloff

Dennison’s poems bristle with disquiet and transformation. Her images leap off the page and look you right in the eye. Helen Ivory

poetrywivenhoe 2011

Karen has three poems in poetrywivenhoe 2011.

This collection features a selection of the most outstanding entries and winners from the 2011 Wivenhoe Poetry Prize. The competition, jointly organised by poetrywivenhoe and the Wivenhoe Bookshop, was judged by award-winning poet Andre Mangeot, and a selection of entries and winning poems was chosen by the book editors, Pam Job, Peter Kennedy, Petra McQueen, and Joan Taylor, for inclusion in the anthology.

Estuary: A Confluence of Art & Poetry

Preview book

Karen has a poem in this collaboration between 26 artists and 57 poets from around the world. This full colour book creates an estuary of images and words, art and poetry flowing together. Preview book.

Heart Shoots

Heart Shoots is an anthology to aid the work of Macmillan Cancer Support, edited by Ronnie Goodyer and published by Indigo Dreams. Karen’s poem Your name is included.

From the City to the Saltings


Karen’s poem Sleight of Hand is included in the Essex Poetry Festival Anthology 2013.

so too have the doves gone

sm_dovescoverReflections on the theme of conflict. Edited by Stephen Boyce, Pam Job & Judith Wolton with images by students of the Fine Art Department at Colchester Institute.

The inspiration for this Anthology arose from the editors’ connection to the Wilfred Owen Memorial in Ors, Northern France, designed by British artist Simon Patterson. “Our hope and intention is twofold: that this Anthology will make a contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of The Great War, 1914-18, and will fulfil the original inspiration behind the creation of the Wilfred Owen Memorial, that it should celebrate poetry.” Karen has two poems in this anthology.

The Memory of Water by Abegail Morley

TMOW matt 72

Poems in this pamphlet were inspired by Abegail Morley’s residency at Scotney Castle in Kent; cover image and inside photographs by Karen.


The Chronicles of Eve

c-of-eve-cover-copyThe Chronicles of Eve, from Paper Swans Press, is an anthology of poetry about women. “The poems, from new and established writers, observe and explore the many facets of womanhood, what it really is to be a woman.” Karen has two poems in this anthology.