Karen Chase lives in Western Massachusetts where she writes and paints. Her poems, stories and essays have appeared in many magazines, including The Gettysburg Review, The New Yorker, The New Republic and Southwest Review. She is the author of two collections of poems, Kazimierz Square and BEAR, as well as Jamali-Kamali, a book-length homoerotic poem which takes place in Mughal India. Her book, Land of Stone, tells the story of her work with a silent young man in a psychiatric hospital where she was the Hospital Poet. Polio Boulevard, a memoir, came out in 2014, followed by FDR on His Houseboat: The Larooco Log, 1924-1926. History is Embarrassing, a collection of essays, is forthcoming in 2024. Two Tales: Jamali Kamali and ZundelState, a hybrid work of poetry, is forthcoming in 2025. To see Chase’s paintings, visit karenchaseart.com.
Her work has been widely anthologized, including poems in The Norton Introduction To Poetry, Thus Spake The Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader edited by Andrei Codrescu, and Poetry 180 edited by Billy Collins.
Among her honors, she was the Visiting Writer at the FDR Homestead, a Fellow at The MacDowell Colony, The Sanskriti Foundation, and at The Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. She has been the recipient of numerous grants, including several from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry and The Rockefeller Foundation. For over a decade, Chase was the Poet-in-Residence at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, teaching poetry writing to severely disturbed psychiatric patients. She then founded and ran the Camel River Writing Center and has twice served on the resident faculty of The Robert Frost Place. Currently, she is a trustee of The Amy Clampitt Fund, whose mission is to benefit poetry and the literary arts.