I am currently a work-at-home dad and freelance writer based in Roslindale, a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts (USA), where I live with my wife Courtney Feeley Karp and our 6-year-old daughter. I also run an online, independent bookstore called Rozzie Bound.
I was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where I attended public schools from kindergarten through high school. My father, the freelance writer Walter Karp, passed away after my Freshman year at LaGuardia High School of the Arts (the ‘Fame’ school). When I was a senior, I co-founded a student newspaper called The Free Spirit that we dedicated to my father’s memory. When school administrators told us we could not distribute the paper on school grounds, we successfully asserted our First Amendment rights with assistance from the Center for Constitutional Rights and the New York Civil Liberties Union.
After earning a B.A. in history at Columbia, I moved to Boston to study public interest law at Northeastern University School of Law. In 2003, I started a non-profit organization, the Civic Education Project, which promoted constitutional literacy and youth civic engagement. Our main program, the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project (co-founded by current U.S. Rep. Jamin Raskin), taught constitutional law in Boston high schools using landmark cases involving student rights. I also designed curriculum, including a new high school civics course for the Boston Public Schools developed in collaboration with youth from the Hyde Square Task Force and a project-based Law & Justice Curriculum developed by the Education Development Center.
From 2012-14, I headed the Alternative Diploma Program at UTEC, which helped students in Lowell, Massachusetts overcome significant barriers to their education. ADP engaged students through project-based learning, youth voice in decision-making, Restorative Justice/Circles, and best practices in youth development. There is a wonderful, short film about ADP by Cameron Zohoori, Beyond the Mask: the Alternative Diploma Program at UTEC.
In June 2014, our daughter was was born over three months prematurely and required a great deal of medical support. When she finally came home after five months in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, I stepped down from my job at UTEC to become a stay-at-home dad. It was at this time that I began to write on a regular basis and, over the next few years, writing became a vitally important part of my life.
When our daughter started school in 2017, I decided to pursue work as a freelance writer. I began contributing a column to the Dorchester Reporter, an independently owned, weekly newspaper. I am currently writing a serial novel called The Future will be Cooperative, developing a YA book proposal, and slowly working on a memoir about the parallel, traumatic experiences of losing my dad and becoming a dad. It’s working title is The Unbroken Circle.