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Karen Celestan manages community relations and policy in government affairs for Tulane University. She is an adjunct instructor of English at Southern University at New Orleans.
Celestan is the co-author of "unfinished blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man" with Harold Battiste, Jr. (Historic New Orleans Collection, 2010). The Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. (BCALA) presented the 2011 Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation to "unfinished blues" for excellence in scholarship.
She was senior director of university communications for Dillard University, publications and media coordinator for Festival Productions, Inc. of New Orleans (which produces the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and produced The Essence Music Festival), and a copy editor for The Times-Picayune (New Orleans) the Louisiana Weekly, and the NABJ Journal (National Association of Black Journalists). A former journalist, her work has appeared in a number of publications, including The Times-Picayune, Gambit Newsweekly, The Louisiana Weekly, and the Niagara Gazette (Niagara Falls, New York). Celestan served as president of the New Orleans Association of Black Journalists (two terms). She was a member of the NOMMO Literary Society (New Orleans), a creative writing workshop for African-American writers led by Kalamu ya Salaam. Her creative work has appeared in several literary magazines and poetry collections.
Celestan is a graduate of the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in communications and English, and Queens University of Charlotte (North Carolina) with a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing. She is the owner of Mosaic Literary, LLC.