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Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For

poetry by Marjorie Maddox
photography by Karen Elias

Print (softcover) $22.95  


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In Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For, a cracked, heart-shaped stone inspired poet Marjorie Maddox and artist Karen Elias to collaborate in creating nuanced portrayals of love, obsession, grief, joy, loneliness, anger, protest, and hope. Looking backward to memories and forward to our responsibility for the earth, their individual visions combine to create an expansive understanding of our beautiful, complicated world, a world constantly reimagined through the persistence of our fragile, courageous hearts.  

POETRY / General

ISBN: 978-1-956056-06-8 (print; softcover; perfect bound)

LCCN: 2021946487

Copyright 2022; released March 2022

60 pages; 21 full-color photographs


Marjorie Maddox and Karen Elias are engaged in an exciting, mutually inspiring project, combining poetry and photography in creative collaboration. Their work has been exhibited at The Station Gallery (Lock Haven, Pennsylvania). Additional collaborations have appeared in such literary, arts, or medical humanities journals as About Place: Works of Resistance and Resilience, Cold Mountain Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Other Journal, Glint, Masque & Spectacle, Open: Journal of Arts and Letters, and Ars Medica.

Winner of America Magazine’s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published eleven collections of poetry—including Transplant, Transport, Transubstantiation (Yellowglen Prize); True, False, None of the Above (Illumination Book Award Medalist); Local News from Someplace Else, Perpendicular As I (Sandstone Book Award)—the story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite Press); children and young adult books—Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises; I’m Feeling Blue, Too!; Rules of the Game: Baseball Poems; and A Crossing of Zebras: Animal Packs in Poetry—Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor with Jerry Wemple, Penn State University Press); Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry (assistant editor); and 650 stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies. Her newest collection, Begin with a Question, is forthcoming from Paraclete Press in 2022.



After teaching college English for forty years, Karen Elias is now an artist/activist, using photography to record the fragility of the natural world and raise awareness about climate change. Her work is in private collections, has been exhibited in several galleries, and has won numerous awards. She is a board member of the Clinton County Arts Council where she serves as membership chair and curator of the annual juried photography exhibit.


“It is often said that taking photos teaches us to see, and here, Karen shows us that love is everywhere if we just open our eyes. Marjorie’s thoughtful, heartfelt poems take all our grief over darkness and loss and expose it back to the light.”
Lorette C. Luzajic, artis and writer; editor of The Ekphrastic Review

“Via an original and provocative tapestry of contemplative prose and intimate imagery, these two artists take both reader and viewer on a journey laced with personal experiences that ring true with the song of universality. This sojourn reminds us it is possible to witness the Cosmos in a drop of pond water or in the surface texture of a weathered fragment of granite. The wonderfully reductive nature of both word and picture herein remind us that less is most often more, that the unadorned will sometimes bring us to that place where greater realizations dwell. In this realm the poet and photographer have combined talents and successfully set a stage for quiet contemplations that are both worldly and private. Opening one's heart is indeed an act of bravery and love.”
Greg Mort, internationally recognized artist with work in many prominent private and public collections, including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the White House

“What enchantment to discover the heart—that most ancient of symbols—in the strikingly fresh and poignant depictions of these exquisite poems and photographs. The pages of this collection fall open to so many of our stories, both individual and collective. The hearts invoked from fairy tales that beat deep in our psyches are joined here by heart transplants, by the national tragedy of George Floyd’s heart stopped by cruelty, by hearts quarantined in windows, and by a cracked stone heart mourning the Earth. These poems and photographs inspire and reflect one another, magically creating the lub-dub of a single heart beating. Reading Heart Speaks, Is Spoken For, we hear our own hearts speaking and being spoken for.”
Judith Sornberger, author of Angel Chimes: Poems of Advent and Christmas

Articles and Reviews

Review, Scintilla, April 12, 2023


Interview with Anna Cotton, June 7, 2022

Pamela R. Anderson-Bartholet, Review, South 85 Journal, March 2022

Janet McCann, Review, Mom Egg Review, May 18, 2022

Living within the Art: a Poet and Photographer Discuss Their Collaboration-Marjorie Maddox and Karen Elias, The Ekphrastic Review, March 28, 2022

Glynn Young, Marjorie Maddox Hafer Publishes Two Poetry Collections in Two Days, Tweetspeak, March 2022.

Interview on WVIA Public Media, March 31, 2022


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