Laura Apol is an associate professor of teacher education at Michigan State University, where she specializes in children’s and adolescent literature and creative writing. Laura teaches undergraduates and graduate students in face-to-face, international, and online environments, and she is a 1999-2000 Lilly Fellow as well as a recipient of an MSU Teacher-Scholar award in 2003. Since arriving at MSU, she has taught in or taken students on international programs in Thailand, France, England, Australia, China, Tanzania and Indonesia.
Dr. Apol has published scholarly articles on historical children’s literature, the intersection between children’s literature and literary theory, the pedagogy of children’s literature (in elementary, secondary and university classrooms), and international children’s literature; she has also published articles on facilitating creative writing among children and adults. Her poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies, and she regularly leads community workshops for writers of all ages and abilities.
She is the co-author of a collection of William Stafford’s poetry for young readers (Learning to Live in the World: Earth Poems by William Stafford, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1995, Winner of a Hungry Mind Books of Distinction Award). Her own poetry has been published in three full-length collections: Falling Into Grace (Dordt College Press, 1998), Crossing the Ladder of Sun (Michigan State University Press, 2004, Winner of the Oklahoma Book Award), and Requiem, Rwanda (Michigan State University Press, 2015), drawn from her work in Rwanda using writing to facilitate healing among survivors of the 1994 genocide. Her poems about Rwanda are translated into Kinyarwanda in her collection, Emwe N’imvura Irabyibuka (Even the Rain Remembers; Mudacumura Press, in press). She is currently completing a novel-in-poems for adolescents entitled, Tutsi, based on the story of one genocide survivor; and she has recently finished her fourth collection of poems: An Ear for the Flame.
In addition, Dr. Apol’s poetry appears in numerous poetry anthologies and literary journals (including The Hudson Review, Sistersong, NewPlains Review, Medical Literary Messenger, and Washington Square Review), and she is recognized through numerous poetry prizes: winner of the 2015 ArtPrize Anthology competition for her poem, “In the Vineyards of Teramo;” third place in 2015 The Golden Quill contest for her poem “Second Sight;” First Honorable Mention in the 2015 Pat Schneider poetry contest for her poem, “Mother, Smoking.” Her chapbook, Celestial Bodies, is the winner of the Overleaf Chapbook Manuscript Competition and will appear in 2016.