Born in Moose Jaw, Solie grew up on the family farm in southwest Saskatchewan. Over the years, she has worked as a farm hand, an espresso jerk, a groundskeeper, a newspaper reporter/photographer, an academic research assistant, and an English teacher. She currently resides in Toronto, Ontario.
Karen Solie's poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in numerous North American journals, including GeistThe Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Event, Indiana Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Other Voices, and The Capilano Review. She has also had her poetry published in the anthologies Breathing Fire (1995), Hammer and Tongs (1999), and Introductions: Poets Present Poets (2001). One of her short stories was featured in The Journey Prize Anthology 12 (2000). Solie's poem "Prayers for the Sick" won 2nd place in ARC Magazine's 2008 Poem of the Year Contest.
Solie was one of the judges for the 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize, judged the 2012 Walrus Poetry Prize, and was a judge for the Poetry In Voice Canadian high school poetry recitation competition.