Laura J. Apol
Associate Professor, Michigan State University
Laura Apol’s areas of specialization are children’s and adolescent literature, literary theory, gender studies, and creative writing. Her research on historical children’s literature has appeared in Children’s Literature, The Children’s Literature Association Quarterly and The Lion and the Unicorn; her work on the pedagogy of children’s literature and the intersection between children’s literature and literary theory is published in The New Advocate, English Journal, The Journal of Children’s Literature, The Journal of Literacy Research, and The ALAN Review. Her articles on the history of poetry for children and research on the teaching of poetry to preservice teachers have appeared in English Education and as book chapters (including The Handbook for Children’s and Young Adult Literature); and her articles on facilitating creative writing in classrooms have appeared in English Journal, English Quarterly, and Language Arts.
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.
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.