Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference

OCTOBER 12-14, 2023 in Tempe, AZ

REGISTER to attend
Laura will be part of this conference, offering a workshop and panel discussion 

Poetic Record: FREE ONLINE Resilience Workshop for Healthcare Workers

Every Tuesday: 6:00-7:00 p.m. Central Time. No experience required.


Poetic Record: Resilience Workshop for Healthcare is a FREE ONLINE workshop blending poetry, community + the science of resilience. Each week, Laura selects a poem and together participants read, respond, write, and can choose to share.  Countless studies and decades of research reveal the link between expressive writing and health. Writing provides a private space for individuals to reinforce positive experiences, display gratitude, and explore and articulate painful truths. During this pandemic, healthcare workers face not only the very real danger of COVID-19, but also increased risk of primary and secondary trauma, moral injury, compassion fatigue, and burnout. Read the blog feature about the workshop in Veteran’s VAntage Point.

FREE ONLINE:  Writing Workshop for Blue Star Military Families


Alternating Thursdays 2:30-3:30 p.m. Central Time. No experience necessary.

Writing Workshop for Military, Veterans, Caregivers & Spouses. At the heart of community is communication and at the heart of communication is knowing what you contain. Art helps us better understand what we hold within ourselves and allows us to better express that to the people around us. Join us.

Writing Under the Influence:
Generative, Single-Author Workshops via Zoom
with Laura Van Prooyen

Watch for upcoming offerings.

For five weeks, we read in community and write in response together. In this generative workshop, we read poems aloud together for the first hour and in the second hour we write independently. You will receive supplemental materials weekly, including a mix of writing prompts, essays, interviews, and links for further reading. In our final meeting we will celebrate and share from our newly generated work.

The workshop is designed for us to become intimately familiar with the work of a single poet, and to see how their work changed throughout their life. By reading aloud, we open both eye and ear to appreciate the poem’s craft. Writing in community honors the creative process as we generate and share drafts of original work inspired by a particular poet.

Past Single-Author Workshops via Zoom:  Larry Levis, Louise Glück (early work + last three books), Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Adelia Prado

Virtual or In-Person Writing Workshops

Are you looking for an engaging experience for your group? Laura works with all ages and all levels, designing workshops based on your needs. Workshops can be generative, discussion-based, or designed toward a specific goal, such as developing a book-length collection.

Workshops also available for expressive writing toward healing and wellness (for veterans, active-service members, trauma survivors, retirement communities, and other interested groups).

Suggested pricing based on workshop design and needs. To start that discussion, Email Laura.

“Laura Van Prooyen has taught the Martha Spoor Young Writers’ Workshop each summer for the last six years. I am impressed by the quality of the workshop when I see the students in action during the session and in the writing they read at the culminating reception. As an audience, we are always moved by their pieces and by the joy they obviously experienced in the workshop with Laura. These middle-school students really connect with her. They feel safe to explore themselves in both playful and significant ways. The workshop is a great success!”

Frank E. Alfaro, Ed. D., Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services
Alamo Heights ISD, Alamo Heights, TX

Workshops for Teachers

Teacher Training in Reading and Writing Poetry: Grades 6-12

Laura individually designs workshops for schools, districts, and regional education service centers. Suggested pricing based on workshop design and needs. To start that discussion, Email Laura.

“Laura facilitates an intimate, creative online space where people can immerse themselves in the language of one particularly masterful poet by reading aloud and listening to their body of work. The background materials she provides as a supplement to each class are carefully curated and intellectually stimulating. She gives ample time for writing and sharing at the end of each class, and her prompts often generate compelling results. Laura’s generous spirit works beautifully with her chosen method of facilitating these workshops. I look forward to taking another workshop with Laura!”

Kelly Anderson, participant in Zoom Poetry Workshops focused on the work of Larry Levis, Louise Glück, and Brigit Pegeen Kelly 

“I look forward to this time out of my week to focus on myself and process what I experience with my patients and my own life.”

Participants in Poetic Record: Resilience Workshop for Healthcare Workers

“I didn’t expect to write so much or feel so relieved writing what I did.”

Participant in Poetic Record: Resilience Workshop for Healthcare Workers

“I work in an Intensive Outpatient Program with service members who have a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) diagnosis. Laura joined our group and lead the narrative component of the treatment process. Laura’s goal, from the beginning, was not to transform these wounded warriors into writers; rather, she offered them a creative way to express emotions related to the trauma of war they’ve been trying to avoid for years. Her work with the soldiers was successful beyond all expectations. During each six-week cohort, the patients eagerly anticipated her weekly session. This is a tough group to penetrate, but Laura, using a simple approach, helped these heroes express and release their emotions through writing.”

Roy Gissendanner, Psychology Technician
Intensive Outpatient Program, Clinic of Behavioral Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center


“The perfect workshop! I am ‘wowed’ by Text Structures from Poetry, the steps we went through, and the strategies I am walking away with. My brain is running with ideas for my students. You inspired me to dig deeply and write about issues I thought were gone.”

Michelle Russo, 12th Grade English Teacher, Cornerstone Christian Schools