Karen Babine was born and raised in the Lakes Country of Hubbard County, Minnesota. She hopped I-94 west to Spokane to do a Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction at Eastern Washington University. After seven years of teaching at Bowling Green State University, she again headed west, this time to Lincoln, Nebraska for a Ph.D. in English. She currently lives and writes in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Her most recent book, Water and What We Know, is a collection of essays about life in Minnesota. They take readers from the wilderness surrounding Lake Superior, to the headwaters of the Mississippi at Itasca State Park, to the pages of her own Minnesota family’s history. “Renee E. D’Aoust, writing for the Los Angeles Review of Books, says “Throughout the book, Babine articulates a contemporary ethics of place that affirms ecologist [and fellow midwesterner] Aldo Leopold’s conservationist goals.”
Her work has appeared widely, from Slag Glass City to River Teeth to Fugue, Weber: The Contemporary West, Sycamore Review, and more. “Deadwood” won the Martin O. Lewis Prize from Weber: The Contemporary West in 2007; “An Island Triptych” was selected as a Notable in the 2014 Best American Essays. Right now she’s finishing her next project, a collection of essays on her beloved city of Galway, Ireland.
Find more at karenbabine.com
Interview with Prairie Public Radio: