. . . all experience is an arch wherethrough gleams th' untraveled world whose margin fades forever and forever when I move . . . --Alfred Lord Tennyson
THE HEALING SEED AND THE CREATIVE LIFE
Laura Hope-Gill is a writer, a poet, an architectural historian, a film-maker, a teacher, and a traveler. She directs the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Asheville and serves as the writer-in-residence at Great Tree Zen Temple. With a deep knowledge of creative alchemy, she endeavors to improve the state of the world through reflection, teaching, and art.
Laura was born in Barrie, Ontario, Canada and raised in Canada, Britain, and the United States. She traveled in Europe, the Caribbean, China, and Australia, writing her way around the world. Poetry was her first love, beginning in childhood when she recognized "making a wish" was a magical use of words she wanted to capture. Being diagnosed with late-onset deafness prompted her movement into Creative Nonfiction, which she has used to bring her to equilibrium in disability. In 2009 she published The Soul Tree, a collection of lyric poems about the Blue Ridge Parkway. In 2010 and 2011, she published the architectural histories of Asheville, Look Up Asheville Collections I and II. Between 2012 and now, she has developed the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative, an M.A. in Writing program at the Asheville campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University. She lives in Asheville with her daughter and their six animals.
Awards and Accomplishments
She is an honorary member of the National Association of Poetry Therapists, Writer-in-Residence at Great Tree Zen Women's Temple, and a board member of The Thomas Wolfe Society. She is the recipient of The Okra Pick from the SoutheasternIndependent Booksellers Association, The Harlan Gradin Award for Excellence in Public Humanities Programming from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a 2010 North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship, and twice recipient of the McDaniel Lewis Historian of the Year Award. In 2015 she served on a committee of physicians, nurses, and patient advocates to develop The Narrative Playbook for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published the history of The Jubilee! Community Church, The Main Thing.
Scholarship and Commitment
In 2010 the term Geopoetics came to her mind, and, doubting she was the first come up with it, Laura googled the term while her then small daughter played with other children at the South Carolina Aquarium. She connected with the Scottish Center for Geopoetics on Luing. The union has provided a name and field for her worldview, which incorporates the soul's experience with the world's, as one exploration we embark upon in creative work. In 2013 while teaching a course on Creative Nonfiction, she discovered the Program for Narrative Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. A would-be fourth-generation physician, had poetry and painting not swept her from the sciences, Laura was drawn to the merging of language and the body. After achieving advanced training at Columbia from the generous and inspiring faculty, she launched the Certificate in Narrative Medicine program at Lenoir-Rhyne. Resonant with Geopoetics, Narrative Medicine brings the interior and exterior worlds of health and healing, sickness and dying and disability together. Confluence is the constant of her scholarship and creative work: bringing worlds together is her passion.
THE ALCHEMY VIDEOS
IN 2008, LAURA COLLABORATED WITH FILM-MAKERS DEBRA ROBERTS AND RICK AGUAR TO CREATE A SERIES OF SHORT VIDEOS IN WHICH SHE SPEAKS ABOUT WHAT ALCHEMY IS. DRAWING ON TAOIST AND HERMETIC TRADITIONS, THE VIDEOS BRING TO LIGHT JUST WHAT IS MEANT WHEN WE SAY "ALCHEMICAL" AND CLARIFY THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ALCHEMY AND THE CREATIVE PROCESS.
Laura Hope-Gill is a writer, a poet, an architectural historian, a film-maker, a teacher, and a traveler. She directs the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Asheville and serves as the writer-in-residence at Great Tree Zen Temple. With a deep knowledge of creative alchemy, she endeavors to improve the state of the world through reflection and art.