Karen Parrish is a poet and grief group facilitator with the Lower Mainland Grief Recovery Society. She holds a certificate in fine art techniques from Emily Carr University and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Syracuse University; she graduated cum laude in English and American Literature and Languages from Harvard University.
In October 2019 she ceased being a partner in a lifelong relationship and became a single person navigating disbelief, confusion, and deep sorrow. In her loss she turned to literature, and as a poet, she looked to poetry to make sense of suffering, undertaking a daily ritual of walking in Pacific Spirit Park, and writing haikus on her iPhone.
Karen Parrish will edit to publishable size more than 1,500 grief haikus while in residence at Historic Joy Kogawa House from October 1 to November 30, 2023, and will present two public programs during the residency:
1. Not Just Seventeen Syllables: Expressing Grief Through Haiku
How writing haiku can help in navigating grief’s strong emotions, how the small form can help express the largest of feelings. Participants may bring their own grief haikus to share and discuss with the group and we will write grief haikus as well.
To be held Sunday, October 15, 2023, 3:00 to 4:30pm, in the living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House.
2. Two Sides of the Heart’s Coin: Beauty and Transformation in Grief Poetry
In this workshop we will explore poems that illustrate this duality of grief by showing how trauma, disbelief, and sadness can balance with a new creative engagement with the world and a heightened compassion for self and others.
To be held Sunday, November 19, 2023, 3:00 to 4:30pm, in the living room at Historic Joy Kogawa House.
Events will be held in-person or on Zoom as health guidelines allow.