Laura Hope-Gill, MFA   

Asheville, North Carolina, USA


Educator, Innovator, Program Director, Creative Advocate

Master of Fine Arts, Poetry from Warren Wilson MFA for Writers North Carolina Arts

            Fellow, Creative Nonfiction, 2010

Director of Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative M.A. in Writing at Lenoir-Rhyne

University, Asheville, North Carolina, 2012-Present

Director of Narrative Healthcare Program, 2013-present

Advanced Training in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University Narrative Medicine

 Program, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Founder/Director of Asheville Wordfest Poetry and Story Festival, 2008-Present

Poet Laureate of Blue Ridge Parkway, named by National Parks Service and Blue Ridge

 Parkway Foundation, 2010-Present

Award-winning historian for architectural history, 2010, 2011

First recipient of North Carolina Humanities Council Harlan Gradin Award for Excellence

            in Public Humanities Programming, 2010

Founding coordinator of Social Enterprise Hub of Asheville, 2010

Board Member of Our Voice Center for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention



MAHEC; Western Carolina Medical Society; Daoist Traditions; Ballad Health; Wake Forest Stories, Health, and Healing Initiative; Columbia University Program in Narrative Medicine (sibling programs, as per Dr. Rita Charon), Charles George V.A. (recording of WWII vet stories for medical files), North Carolina Humanities Council.




Founding Director of Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative at Lenoir-Rhyne University.


Instructor at Great Smokies Writing Program at University of North Carolina. 2008-2012

Marketing Director and Editor at Grateful Steps Publishing House 2008-2011

English and Drama Instructor at Christ School for Boys 1998-2008



Master of Fine Arts in Poetry, Warren Wilson College, Black Mountain, North Carolina, 1995-1998

Bachelor of Arts, English, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, 1987-1991




The Soul Tree: Poems and Photographs of the Southern Appalachians. Grateful Steps. Asheville, 2008.

Look Up Asheville: A Journey Through Architecture Vol. 1. Grateful Steps. Asheville, 2010.

Look Up Asheville: A Journey Through Architecture Vol. 2. Grateful Steps. Asheville, 2011.

Narrative Healthcare Playbook, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, (co-author) 2015


13th Moon Vol. XIX 1&2    “Bible Story”
“Noah’s Daughter-5”
“The Mythological Personals”
“Girl on the Beach”

Bayou Issue 45, 2005  “Hunger”

Briar Cliff Review Vol. 17, 2005  “Ireland”

Cape Rock Spring 2006   “Reading Niagara”

Carquinez Poetry Review Issue 4, 2006  “The Deaf Girl at the Moulin Rouge”

Chattahoochee Review Winter 2007  “Naming the Blue”

Cincinnati Review Vol. 3 Summer 2006   “Lipreader”

Cold Mountain Review Vol. 28, 2000  “Dream with Donatello”

Hampden-Sydney Review Winter 2007 “Falling Through a Bridge Into the Aare River, Interlaken, 1988”

Illuminations August 2006    “The Deaf Ex”

Laurel Review Summer 2005  “Trap”

Mindprints Vol. VII 2007   “Lawn Chair Asana”

Madison Review Fall 2006    “A Farewell to the Piano”

North Carolina Literary Review 2007  “The Miscarried”

Phantasmagoria Vol 5, 2   “Grace 1986”

Poet Lore Vol. 100, 1⁄2   “Moonlight Sonata”

Primavera “Northland”

Owen Wister Review  “The Death Card”

Rivendell Vol. 4  “ From Your Driveway I See Mount Pisgah”

South Carolina Review Spring 2006, Vol. 38 Issue 2  “Siesta Key Sestina”

Spillway Number 12, 2005   “Lipreader”
“The Deaf Girl at the Moulin Rouge”

Xavier Review Vol. 26, 1⁄2, 2006  “Tasmania” and “The Brothers”

xConnect Vol. XII   “Mother Napping at the Lake,” “3:22”



Apalachee Review Vol. 56 2006 “The White Mercedes”

Bellevue Literary Review Vol. 8, No. 2, Fall 2008 “Hal-9000, J.S. Bach, and the Personal Physics of Going Deaf.”

Cairn Vol. 39 2005 “Savion”

Diner Vol. 7 2007  “Le Petit Catachisme des Indiens, 1863”

Fugue No. 30, Winter 2005   “The Fifth Fiance: An Opera Without Parts”

The Rambler  “The Quiet

Arts and Letters  “Decrescendo”

Parabola “Digital Silence”

War, Literature, and the Arts, Vol. 20, Issue ½,  “Psalm 51”

Blue Mesa Review Issue #20 “Stabat Mater”

River Oak Review “Sequentia”

River’s Edge “Night Bloom” “The Sheet” “The Rock”


 June 2010  “River Bend and the Lullabies: the Love Stories that Made Me” WNC Woman

April 2009 “Nicole and Katie: a Letter to 11-Year Old Girls.” WNC Woman

August 2011 “Witness to a Lost City: Andrea Clark and Twilight of a Neighborhood” WNC Woman

July 2012 “Everywhere at Once” WNC Magazine

October 2015 “Angel, Come Home Again” WNC Magazine


About Laura Hope-Gill

“Trinity Episcopal Restores Historic Stained Glass.” Asheville Citizen-Times. September 4, 2016

“Historic Tillinghast Stained Glass Under Restoration.” Mountain Xpress. August 25, 2016.


“River Bend” Obsession: Sestina in the 21st Century. Carolyn Beard Whitlow and  Marilyn Krisl, editors. University Press of New England, 2014. Through a Glass Darkly: A Deafness Diagnosis. Women's narratives of health disruption and illness               Within and across their life stories. Forthcoming.

Piano Recordings

Collaboration on piano with Roef Vertov and the Retro Legion Band. Recording forthcoming. 2017



Identified 1918 stained-glass windows, believed to have been destroyed in 1950s, by Mary Tillinghast still in place at Trinity Episcopal Church. Credited with discovery by Stained Glass Guild of the United States. 2011.

Galway Kinnell’s attendance at Black Mountain College summer session of 1947 and its impact on the poet’s dedication to Civil Rights. Black Mountain College desegregated in 1946 and was host to an early Freedom Riders’ tour, the only non-black institution to welcome the bus just weeks before Kinnell’s session. I am looking into how the young poets from Rhode Island realized the impact of Jim Crow laws during his first trip to the South. Current project.


Recent Presentations

“Healing in Poetry.” MAHEC at Kanuga Conference Center, May 25, 2010.

“The Alchemical Opus in Poetry.” Depth Psychology Conference, Amelia Island, Florida, September 30-October 2, 2011.

Asheville Architecture: A Century of Waking, Sleeping, and Waking Again, Diana Wortham Theater, November 10, 2011

“A Narrative Medicine Close Reading.” Future of Medicine Conference. Lenoir-Rhyne University with AHEC. Hickory, NC. November 10, 2014.

“A Narrative Medicine Close Reading.” Future of Medicine Conference. Lenoir-Rhyne University with AHEC. Hickory, NC. November 28, 2015.

Carl Sandburg House Reading at Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center. May 7, 2016

Hell’s Hot Breath: Galway Kinnell at Black Mountain College, a storytelling and short film. Re-Viewing Black Mountain College Conference. UNCA. September 25-27, 2016.

Hell’s Hot Breath: Short Film and Discussion. THE BLOCK off Biltmore. Asheville. December 19, 2016.

Asheville Architecture: A Social Narrative. Mars Hill College Road Scholars. August 15, 22, October 10, 2016.

An Overview of Narrative in Health: Wake Forest School of Medicine: Stories, Health, and Healing Initiative. February 8, 2016.

“The Dark Messiah: Thomas Wolfe’s Witness to Fascism.” Thomas Wolfe Memorial. Asheville, NC. February 11, 2016.

“Writing Beyond Rape.” Our Voice NC Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Program. August 20, 2016.

“Highland to Highland: A Geopoetic Journey.” International Conference on Geopoetics: Expressing the Earth. Seil, Scotland, June 2017.

The Healing Power of Stories: Annual Meeting, Health Union, Philadelphia, PA, March 17, 2018.

“The Violin,” Take Your Story to the Stage presentation. Black Mountain Center for the Arts, Black Mountain, NC. December 5, 2018.

“Teacher of the Year,” 531 Storytelling, THE BLOCK off Biltmore, Asheville, NC, September 3, 2018.

“Skiing off the Alps,” 531 Storytelling, THE BLOCK off Biltmore, Asheville, NC, October 8, 2018





The creative process is so very different from our other ways of thinking. Quiet and hesitant, it can easily go neglected and unheard. Yet, when we allow ourselves to tend it, it can renew our lives. 

In my own writing practice, I am often astonished by the ways creativity unearths me. The more deeply I engage it, the more I discover about myself and the way I inhabit the world and it inhabits me. 


I often think a non-creative life would be much easier, less fluid, more predictable. I believe also it would be far less meaningful.





A time does come when the work sprouts forth in surprising forms. Smatterings of poetry come together to form a concept which can form a book.

An opportunity presents itself to take on the authorship of a story. A time does come to speak of what one wonders about and discovery more wonder in the response. 

A feeling of having run out of purpose or energy can beset. At this time, that quiet voice begins to talk again, and we begin to write.

This breaking open of the seed, this breaking open of the soil happens over and again, often many times in a season, sometimes once in a life. 

Gently born, the work loves to grow to where others can witness. 



Creativity is a healing force. 
From own our depths we can reach into the depths of others. 
In doing so, we join them. In engaging our own stories, rather than ignoring and suppressing them, we discover the strength we have to tell and welcome witness. 
We also discover we had a need for others we could not sooner detect. 
Discovering our vulnerability we discover this common experience among all humanity. 
In doing so, we become more human. It resurrects what is good in us.






Seed Full






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