She was educated at New College, Syracuse University, and the University of Houston.
Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including The Best American Poetry, and The Pushcart Prize XXVII.
She has taught at several universities, including the University of Alabama, University of Pittsburgh, University of Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago. She currently lives in Missoula, and teaches in the MFA writing program at the University of Montana-Missoula.
Karen Volkman is one of the most talented poets in America today. Her poems are rife with startle and surprise, but the unexpected images and phrases always feel apt...they are never attempts at novelty for novelty's sake, but rather the elements of what Auden called a secondary world. The poems are strange, distant and intimate in the manner of dreams, and also like dreams in their clarity and focus: we may not know what the events and objects "mean," but we feel their reality no less intensely.
American poetry is crazy about the prose poem. Even more than your drippings of Billy Collins or beefsteaks of Albert Goldbarth, the prose poem, big or little, is showing its twisted ass all over the dance floor. As if doing the literary equivalent of that spazz-dance of Elaine's from Seinfeld were a good thing, the prose poem insists upon its significance by becoming the it form in contemporary poetry. If only its convolutions & permutations were of Pootie Tang proportions. Sure, there are some prose poets I might keep from clubbing with my cane but each and every one will get it sooner or later.