An oral history tradition, contemplative practices, love of the natural world (especially trees) and clowning provide a scaffolding for Karen Luke Jackson’s work. Whether crafting a poem, teaching a class, or serving as an Anam Cara, Karen searches for life-giving “role/soul” connections and helps others do the same. Stories, she says, provide an opening. They allow us to explore the core of our human experience and capture snippets of sacred mystery in everyday life.
An award-winning poet, Karen’s work has appeared in numerous journals including Ruminate, One, Friends Journal, Christian Feminism Today, TOWN Magazine, Kakalak, Great Smokies Review, and several anthologies. Karen is also the author of two poetry collections, The View Ever Changing exploring the power of place and family relationships and GRIT chronicling her sister’s life as Clancey the Clown. She is currently working on a memoir that spans six generations of a South Georgia family.
Karen holds a bachelor's degree in history from Valdosta State University, a master's in education from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a doctorate in education from North Carolina State University. She has served as executive director of two nonprofits, worked and taught in higher education, and for the past twenty years been a facilitator with the Center for Courage & Renewal. In that capacity, she has led workshops and retreats for groups throughout the Southeast, including a monastic community, clergy and hospital chaplains, Duke University’s advanced leadership program for nonprofits, churches, environmental activists, and interfaith groups.
Being a grandmother and living in a cottage adjoining a goat pasture in Western North Carolina are two of Karen’s greatest joys. When she’s not writing or companioning people on their spiritual journeys, she enjoys sitting on a porch nestled between pines and listening to bird song.