|Alma mater||Seattle University
University of Michigan
Karyna first became popular as a performance poet in the poetry slam scene in the late 1990s, regularly performing at the Electric Lounge and South by Southwest. She was a member of the 1998 and 1999 National Poetry Slam teams representing the Austin Poetry Slam. Two of her signature pieces from that time ("Fat Artists" and "Thong Underwear Poem") are included on the compilation CD Tina's Fine-Ass Lingerie.
In 2000, Karyna moved to Seattle to study musical theatre at Cornish College of the Arts. In 2002, she coached the Seattle poetry slam team to a spot on the NPS finals stage. She was a Seattle team member in 2003  and an Ann Arbor team member in 2007. Her spoken-word is featured in Rhapsodists, a documentary film about women performance poets.
Karyna graduated from the creative writing program at Seattle University and received her MFA from the University of Michigan where she received the Cornwell Fellowship in Poetry, the Moveen Residency in Ireland, and the Hopwood Award in Poetry. Upon graduation she was selected by Tony Hoagland as a Helen Zell Postgraduate Fellow in Poetry at the University of Michigan.
Her first book, I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and will be published by Sarabande Books in 2009. Karyna is also the author of three chapbooks, Scorpionica (New Michigan Press, 2007), Alabama Steve (Destructible Heart Press, 2008), and Small Shrines (Cinematheque Press, 2011).
Her work has appeared in many journals, both in print and online, including Gulf Coast, FENCE, Ninth Letter, LIT, Another Chicago Magazine, Indiana Review, Denver Quarterly, Octopus, Willow Springs and Verse.
She taught writing and literature at Concordia University in Austin, TX, and is currently a Ph.D. candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston.
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