Introducing betterArts Resident Jaime Karnes

Jaime Karnes is a writer originally from Burlington, Vt, visiting us for one month through the betterArts residency program at Better Farm to work on her first historical novel.

"Growing up in Vermont," she told us, "I have a deep connection to and appreciation for communities that work together for a more sustainable lifestyle."

Jaime teaches through New Jersey Institute of Technology, the Gotham Writers Workshop, and Rutgers University; and has in the past covered everything from brand development for the Urban Cowgirl to working as the fiction editor-at-large for Harvard's Utopian. She lives in the East Village of New York City.

Her novel is set in mid-20th century Quebec and is told from the collective point of view of 11- to 13-year-old orphans. The book follows the children through the years known as "The Great Darkness"; when orphans, due to collusion in the Catholic Church, were transferred to psychiatric and insane asylums under orders of Premier Maurice Duplessis. Almost 100,000 orphans over a period of 3- years experienced unconscionable abuse. Of those people, approximately 1,000 Duplessis Orphans are still alive today.

Jaime's research is complete for the novel and she started work on the first draft at the MacDowell Colony last summer. She's continuing her work on it this summer, and will perform a reading from the book before the conclusion of her residency in mid-July. Stay tuned for more information on that event! A warm welcome to Jaime as she joins the ranks here for what we're sure will be a great, productive month.

For more information about the betterArts residency program, click here.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.