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Laura Van Prooyen’s most recent collection of poetry Frances of the Wider Field (Lily Poetry Review Books 2021) was a Finalist for both the Texas Institute of Letters Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry and the Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards. She is also author of Our House Was on Fire, nominated by Philip Levine, awarded the McGovern Prize (Ashland Poetry Press 2015), and Inkblot and Altar (Pecan Grove Press 2006) and is co-author, with Gretchen Bernabei, of Text Structures from Poetry—a book of writing lessons for grades 4-12 (Corwin Literacy 2020).

Laura has over 25 years experience teaching poetry and writing in a variety of academic settings including: Miami University of Ohio, Dominican University, Henry Ford Academy: The Alameda School for Art + Design, Chicago Public Schools, Del Valle High School, and University of Illinois at Chicago. She also facilitated therapeutic writing sessions for soldiers with PTSD in an Intensive Outpatient Program for three years at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Having been raised in a tight-knit Dutch community just outside of Chicago, Van Prooyen now lives in San Antonio, TX. She earned a B.A. at Purdue University, an M.A. at The University of Illinois at Chicago, and an M.F.A. in Poetry at Warren Wilson College. Laura serves as the Managing Editor of The Cortland Review, works with Community Building Art Works, teaching free online writing workshops for healthcare providers and military families, and is the founder of Next Page Press.

Laura performs work from Frances of the Wider Field with Agarita Chamber Players