KAREN ENGELMANN

LATE BLOOMERS TAKE HEART

 

It takes a very long time. Writing has been patiently waiting for my full attention since adolescence, when I wrote terrible poetry in secret and read John Donne. But literature and writing were thrown over for the seemingly cooler, more immediately gratifying visual arts and

I received a BFA (Drawing/Design) from the University of Iowa
in Iowa City.

 

I worked for many years as an illustrator/graphic designer, first in Sweden (the newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet and IKEA), then in New York City (Macy’s, Sotheby’s, and freelance.) Having children somehow revived my buried desire to write — not great timing to say the least — and I inched closer to it when I could, attending my first writer’s conference and starting to work in book design, most notably with Seth Godin Productions.

 

I designed numerous titles, and published a few projects of my own, including Ornaments: Twelve Tales of Christmas (Smithmark, NY, 1998), Visions of Angels (Stuart, Tabori & Chang, NY, 1998) and The Baby Box (Rizzoli, NY, 2000.)

 

Eventually, writing emerged as a full-blown passion, beginning with more terrible poetry written in secret, classes, seminars, a dozen versions of a drawer book, and eventually the MFA Creative Writing program at Goddard College.

 

The Stockholm Octavo began as my MFA thesis and is my first (published) novel. Keep writing.

Many thanks to the American Scandinavian Society for honoring me with their Cultural Grant Award for 2011. The grant was used for a research trip to Sweden. Above: timepiece from Lund Cathedral.