Karen Benke has inspired children—and even a few adults—in the art of creative writing for over twenty years as a Poet in the Schools, writing coach, and visiting author. She specializes in leading on-the-spot creative writing workshops and has been known to get even the most reluctant writer to reach for a pen. Her poetry has appeared in many anthologies and national literary journals (Ploughshares, Rattle, Hawaii Pacific Review, Poetry Daily), and her books have been featured in FamilyFun magazine, San Francisco Book Review, Kids’ Book Review (Australia), and elsewhere. The recipient of two teaching grants from Poets & Writers and residencies from Djerassi Resident Artists Program and Hedgebrook, she runs The Writers Nest and lives north of the Golden Gate Bridge with her teenage son, magic cat, Clive, and rescue dog, Rasco Roon. Visit her virtually at www.karenbenke.com.
Books & Audio
Adventures in Letter Writing
Put down that smartphone and pick up a pen! Texting and e-mailing may have taken over our correspondence, but this snail mail–loving book is ready to change that. Open to any page and you’ll be encouraged to embrace the cross-outs,… Read More
Adventures in Creative Writing to Stretch and Surprise Your One-of-a-Kind Mind
Invite your jittery mind into quiet slips of timed or untimed writing experiments that are designed to encourage your timid heart to forge forgotten feelings and entice your shy-self to make friends with emerging emotions. With a bounty of prompts… Read More
Adventures in Creative Writing
Here are the ideas, experiments, and inspiration to unfold your imagination and get your writing to flow off the page! This is the everything-you-need guide to spark new poems and unstick old stories, including lists of big, small, gross-out, and… Read More
Karen Benke has been a life coach and creative writing guide for the young and young-at-heart since 1996. She is a California Poet in the Schools whose poems have been published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines, including Rattle, Ploughshares, Poetry East, Hawaii Pacific Review, Common Ground Review, Pilgrimage, Poetry Daily, and elsewhere. A recipient of grants and residences from Poets & Writers, the Marin Arts Council, Hedgebrook, and the Djerassi Foundation, she lives north of the Golden Gate Bridge with her family and a cat named Clive.
Videos & More
In this video, Karen introduces her new book—inspired by her students—Rip the Page!: Adventures in Creative Writing. The book includes wordplay, open-ended writing experiments, encouragement from writers and poets, and enough blank pages to let a child's words roam.