Essayist, Poet, Teacher, Narrator, Storyteller
"Beauty and Justice are always in mortal danger and will vanish utterly from this world if we do not actively shepherd them." Dr. Chris Adrian, M.D., MDiv. Columbia University Program for Narrative Medicine Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
I direct the Writing Program at Lenoir-Rhyne Center for Graduate Studies. I engineer the program to address the world's need for narrative, for storytellers and story-listeners in every field. Most recently, I launched Narrative Medicine in Western North Carolina, bringing the systematized practice of narrative training from Dr. Rita Charon and the team at Columbia University to physicians and healers in Asheville, North Carolina. With my students in the graduate writing program at Lenoir-Rhyne in Asheville, I am constantly exploring the singularity, the versatility, the profound inter-relativity of story and storytelling.
The act of telling a story invites our fullest attention to our humanity. There are no hiding places in such tellings, as the stories demand a wholeness, something we might have lost along the way and are now invited to retrieve so that we may begin to tell the truth of something, even of something that has not happened to us.
In 2008 I founded the multicultural poetry and storytelling festival Asheville Wordfest, which I continue to direct. I am the poet laureate of the Blue Ridge Parkway and an NC Arts Fellow for my writings on late-deafness what what deafness teaches me about listening.
Currently, I am developing The Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative at
Lenoir-Rhyne University. Here, I seek to build narrative quality across the disciplines from climate to medicine.
With growing partnerships with Science Communicators of North Carolina, with Columbia
University College of Physicians and Surgeons Program for Narrative
Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine and Institute
for the Humanities, as well as The City of Asheville, the Narrative Center is an exciting space where language connects the silos.
This work connects to my life-long work in Creative Process. Creative cognition and associative reasoning hold yet untapped medicine. All my work hovers around the heart and soul of things.
As a teacher, I work with students at all skill-levels in all settings. I am gifted at opening writing up in people, in creating safe places where people can speak, share, and discover.
Contact me regarding readings, talks, and workshops. Fee range is $850 to $2500.
For one-on-one engagements in writing and storytelling, fees vary.
Throughout this website, view the short videos featuring Laura speaking about one of her many fascinations, alchemy, as it pertains to writing and everyday life.