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For starters, as I read about her bio, I found that the Toronto based Karen Solie was born in 1966 in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan. Over her short years, Karen has worked in several professions such as a farm hand, an espresso jerk (not as funny as it sounds), a groundskeeper, a newspaper photographer/writer, research and English teacher. Just by reading this list, I was already quite impressed by Mrs. Solie. As I read on, I discovered that she had a large number of her poems published in Canadian journals including The Fiddlehand, The Malahat Review, Event, Indiana Review, ARC, and Other Voices. Personally, I have NEVER even heard about any of these journals, but that probably has to do with the fact that I’m not much into Canadian poetry. But when I think about it, being published anywhere is a big step to me. Putting your name out there and making something of yourself is always good.

Through reading about her in a National Post article, I found that Karen Solie’s work is often described as the “man-made world” versus the natural world. She seems to over analyse every situation and connect it with something totally unthinkable and irrelevant. For example she referenced a construction site to “… the nose-down backhoe resembles someone fallen asleep in a library’. I thought that was pretty crazy. I think these references are what make her poetry so gripping. Maybe it’s because she just makes you think more than you should about simple things until they are so complex, not even she can understand them. Her poems have also been known to have a distinct, strong, personal voice in her poems.

She published the Short Haul Engine in 2oo1, which won the 2002 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, Modern and Normal in 2005, which was shortlisted for the 2006 Trillium Book Award, and Pigeon in 2009, which was the winner of the 2010 Canadian Griffen Poetry Prize, Pat Lowther Award and Trillium Book Award for Poetry.


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