Laura McCullough earned her Masters Degree from Goddard College & is a poet, essayist, and memoirist whose books include the forthcoming Dumb Beautiful Beast (Black Lawrence Press), The Wild Night Dress, selected by Billy Collins in the Miller Williams Poetry Contest, University of Arkansas Press, Jersey Mercy (BLP), Rigger Death & Hoist Another (BLP), Panic (winner of the Kinereth Gensler Award, Alice James Books), Speech Acts (BLP), What Men Want (XOXOX Press), & The Dancing Bear. Her poems & prose have appeared in Best American Poetry, Georgia Review, American Poetry Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Harvard Review, The Writer’s Chronicle, Guernica, Cimarron Review, The Southern Review, Gulf Coast, Pank, Hotel America, Prairie Schooner, & many other journals and magazines. She has had scholarships or fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Nebraska Summer Writers Conference, Sewanee Writers Conference, the Vermont Studio Center, the Virginia Center for the Arts, & has been a Dodge Poetry Festival poet, a Florida Writers Circuit poet, & a Decatur Book Festival poet. She has been awarded two NJ State Arts Council Fellowships, one in poetry & one in prose.
In addition to her creative work, Laura is a scholar in her field & has edited two anthologies, A Sense of Regard: essays on poetry and race (Georgia University Press) & The Room and the World: essays on Stephen Dunn (University of Syracuse Press). She is a full professor at Brookdale Community College, where she founded the Creative Writing Program & the Visiting Writers Series, has taught at Stockton University and Ramapo College, & is on the faculty of the Sierra Nevada low-res MFA where she teaches poetry and critical theory.
Laura uses her skills as a narrative intuitive to coach people in writing & life issues, using a variety of methods including proprioceptive writing, sound meditation, & other healing modalities to assist people in their writing projects & also to use writing for self development, ancestral wound clearing, & post-traumatic growth. She believes in the relationship between reading, writing, & thinking, but also the soul & the heart--words & concepts hard to define but deeply felt & necessary to connect to. She embraces low- & high-tech methods for developing students’ & mentees’ interior lives & their ability to think critically, thoughtfully, & heartfully to communicate their stories & art to others.
She believes that narrative & “storification” are core aspects of the human condition & focuses on the mytho-poetic tradition & how narrative can help us co-create a future with more positivity. Laura is also working on non-fiction, personal transformation projects in Safe & Well Classroom practices, Teaching the Student as a Whole-being in the Age of Anxiety, Trauma & ACE’s informed college curriculum, & writing about Living and Loving as an Empath, & she lectures and talks about these issues to groups.
In addition to mentoring & coaching, Laura gives group workshops & sessions using Singing Bowls & offers one on one personal growth & transformation sound bath sessions connecting narrative & sound to clear personal blockages.
Laura has spent time running a small organic farm & raising endangered breeds of domestic farm animals (she spent one summer learning draft horse plowing), being in intentional artistic communities, running arts & literary events, publishing literary magazines, & making art individually and in community. She is parent to five children, three by biology & two by adoption. Her dog, Flannery (yes, named after the author), & cat, Beauty (she was found in the parking lot of a beauty salon), are both rescues. Two of Laura’s favorite books are Hugo’s Les Miserables & David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Two favorite musical artists are Bruce Springsteen & the Icelandic band Sigor Ros. She does yoga & has a daily mindfulness & meditative practice. She can be found at the ocean or near the closest body of water & loves any green open space or a good woods.
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