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 Geist, The 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 second 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. In 2014, she was named as a trustee to the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry.
Her collection The Road in Is Not the Same Road Out was published in 2015.
Her newest poetry book, The Caiplie Caves, was published in 2019.
- Short Haul Engine (2001) - winner of the 2002 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, shortlisted for the 2002 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, the Gerald Lampert Award, and the ReLit Award
- Modern and Normal (2005) - shortlisted for the 2006 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, longlisted for the 2006 ReLit Award
- Pigeon (2009) - winner of the 2010 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize, Pat Lowther Award and Trillium Book Award for Poetry
- The Living Option (2013)
- The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out (2015)
- The Caiplie Caves (2019)
- A sharing economy, Granta #141: Special Canada, 2017, pp 114 – 115
- "The 50 most anticipated books of 2015 (the first half, anyway)". The Globe and Mail, January 2, 2015.
- "André Alexis wins Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize". The Globe and Mail, November 3, 2015.
- "20 works of Canadian poetry to check out in spring 2019". CBC Books, January 25, 2019.
- Conversation with Karen Solie by The Poetry Extension