Guest Feature – Karen Mooney

Today I am pleased to invite Karen Mooney, a fellow poet published by the awesome The Hedgehog Poetry Press, over to chat about her conversational pamphlet, Penned In, which is a collaborative project with another Hedgehog Poetry Press poet – the lovely Gaynor also lovingly known as Lady Kane. Without further ado, I’ll pass you over to Karen.

Inspiration for Penned In


Karen Mooney

Thank you, Patricia, for the opportunity to provide an insight into Penned In which is a joint pamphlet of pandemic poetry with my friend, Gaynor Kane.

I think we’ve all struggled with our emotions during this unique period and have reassessed our priorities. Life has a way of focussing the mind, although it usually comes to us from individual challenges.  ‘We’re all in this together’ is widely used, it is the title of one of the poems, but experiences vary significantly depending on personal circumstance. 

Like many, I experienced initial fear which was exacerbated when, as Chair of a Patient Group, I sat in on a Zoom meeting with some GPs at the initial stages of this pandemic. It was a rude awakening.  I gained a sense of how threatening the virus could be and of the courage shown by the medical profession in how they were adapting to the threat to support and protect their patients.  We owe them so much.

Needless to say, sleepless nights ensued together with admiration for those looking out for us and anger at the inequality that many have suffered.  I was fortunate to be able to stay at home whilst Gaynor headed to her work each day, but we, along with some other writers, kept in touch, sharing concerns and experiences.  Some of those thoughts gradually trickled onto the page and Penned In, which is how we all felt, took shape.  It reflects on the everyday issues faced by many: the struggle to write, social media, inequality, learning in lockdown, sleeplessness, the re-emergence of nature, feelings of being controlled, caring for elderly parents, the birth of a baby, nursing and embrace. 

It was Gaynor’s idea to submit our efforts to The Hedgehog Poetry Press, and we were both delighted when Editor, Mark Davidson, accepted it.  Gaynor’s an old hand at this publishing business with a Stickleback, Memory Forest pamphlet and her full collection, Venus In Pink Marble under her belt but this is the first time that my name appears on the cover of a book.   In fact, that was the only thing we argued about as I wanted her name to appear first; she’s not referred to as Lady Kane for nothing!


I’m sure you’ll all agree that was a wonderful insight from Karen into Penned In. And what’s more all profits from signed copies ordered here will be donated to Action Cancer, Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity.  Both of Karen’s and Gaynor’s lives have been touched by cancer, and they are mindful many cancer patients, and their families will have faced additional pressures during this pandemic.


I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate Karen Mooney and Gaynor Kane on the publication of of Penned In and for donating to such a worthy cause.

Links to Social Media

Facebook – Karen

Facebook – Gaynor

Twitter – Karen

Twitter – Gaynor              


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