Karen Jane Cannon is a poet, novelist and nature writer. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Southampton, researching poetry and place. Her book-in-progress Wild Sight, exploring landscape and visual impairment, was longlisted for the Nan Shepherd Prize in 2021, and was awarded a Society of Authors Foundation Grant in 2022. Karen was the winner of The Poetry Society’s Hamish Canham Prize in 2022, commended for the Hippocrates prize for Poetry and Medicine, 2021, shortlisted for The Bridport Prize, 2019, a finalist in the Mslexia Poetry Competition, 2017, and was commended for the Flambard Poetry Prize in 2014.

Karen has published two poetry pamphlets–The Curfew Bell (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2021) and Emergency Mints (Paper Swans Press, 2018).


The Salterns, her latest pamphlet, is due to be published by Nine Pens Press in 2024.

Karen’s poems have been published widely in  literary journals and anthologies in the UK and USA, including Magma, Acumen, Envoi, Mslexia, Poetry News, Orbis, Obsessed with Pipework, The Interpreter’s House, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Popshot.

Karen’s novel Powder Monkey (as Karen Sainsbury) was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2002 and Phoenix in 2003.

Karen is also an award-winning radio playwright. She has an MA with distinction in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she lectured for three years. She was Roving Writer in Residence for Somerset Libraries in 2003, an initiative funded by The Arts Council. She lives in the New Forest National Park.

Karen is creator of