Marjorie Maddox/Karen Elias

Elias and Maddox are engaged in a mutually inspiring project, combining poetry and photography in creative collaboration. Their work has been exhibited at The Station Gallery (Lock Haven, PA). Additional collaborations have appeared in such literary, arts, or medical humanities journals as Cold Mountain Review, The Ekphrastic Review, The Other Journal, and Ars Medica.

Heart, Lichen, Stone/Heart Holding On

Heart Holding On by Karen Elias

This is what they know:
the dip into frigid;
the shadowed shelter of cave;
the beauty of decay at dusk, at dawn;
the tattooed rays of one more orbit
of earth around a sun that says, “Hold on,
hold on, hold on.” And they want to,
and they do, and they will, lingering
a little longer beneath the open branches
of forest, beside the cool stream of hope,
waiting for you, for me, for whoever
stumbles first down the long path
calling their names.


About the collaborators:
Winner of America Magazine’s 2019 Foley Poetry Prize and Professor of English and Creative Writing at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 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 short story collection What She Was Saying (Fomite); children’s books; Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (co-editor); Presence (assistant editor); and 550+ stories, essays, and poems in journals and anthologies.

After teaching college English for 40 years, Dr. 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.

Image: Heart Holding On by Karen Elias (USA). Fine art photograph (Contemporary). No technical information specified. No date specified. By permission.