Author photo Houppert, Karen_TANIA KARPEKINAKAREN HOUPPERT was the Editor of Baltimore City Paper and a contributing writer for The Washington Post magazine. She freelances for many magazines, covering social and political issues.

A former staff writer for The Village Voice for nearly ten years, she has won several awards for her coverage of gender politics, including a National Women’s Political Caucus Award and a 2003 Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page Award. She was an ASME National Magazine Award finalist, twice and has won numerous fellowships, grants and residencies including a 2013 John Jay/H.F. Guggenheim Reporting Fellow, a 2012 John Jay Public Welfare Reporting Fellow, a 2008 Kaiser Media Fellow, multiple Nation Institute Investigative grants, a 2011 Council on Contemporary Families Media Award for Print, a 2010 Lucy Grealy memorial writing grant, a Casey Journalism fellowship, a MacDowell Colony residency, two Mabou Mines artist residencies, and a New York State Council on the Arts grant. While serving as Editor of Baltimore City Paper her staff won 20 awards in 2016 alone from the Maryland, DC, Delaware Press Association.

Houppert’s reporting has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsday, The Nation, Slate, Salon, Mother Jones, The Village Voice, Ms, Glamour, Mademoiselle, Redbook, Self, and Parenting.

She is the author of three nonfiction books, a contributor to five, and co-author of the Obie-award winning play “Boys in the Basement” based on her trial coverage of the real-life rape in Glen Ridge, New Jersey—as well as several other plays.

Her first book, The Curse: Confronting the Last Unmentionable Taboo, Menstruation (pub Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1999) is an investigation of the sanitary protection industry and an exploration of the cultural history of menstruation. Houppert’s second book, Home Fires Burning: Married to the Military—for Better or Worse (pub Ballantine, 2005) chronicles a year in the life of various military wives whose husbands are deployed in the Middle East to see how feminism has and has not kept pace with military family policy. Her most recent book, Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People’s Justice takes the pulse of the public defense system 50 years after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright.

Houppert has her MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, taught in the graduate journalism program at NYU, and was an assistant professor at Morgan State University. She is currently the Associate Director of the MA in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Contact: or (207) 749-3783