Laura Hope-Gill, MFA, directs the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative at Lenoir-Rhyne University, which houses both an M.A. in Writing Program and a Narrative Healthcare Certificate Program. She grew up immersed in stories, either about Ireland or China and now runs a festival devoted to integrating story into journalism, public health, community development, healthcare, and climate change (www.avlwordfest.com
). In 2010 and 2011, she attended Narrative Medicine training (weekend workshops) at Columbia University Program in Narrative Medicine. In 2012, she was invited by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to co-author The Narrative Playbook, working alongside doctors, nurses, administrators, and patient advocates. She co-launched one of six nationwide pilot Narrative Healthcare programs at her local V.A., the Charles George V.A. as well as an ongoing poetry program for veterans. Her workshops and lectures have opened doors for narrative at Wake Forest School of Medicine, Johnson City V.A., and she enjoys being one of a number of narrative healthcare advocates in North Carolina. Her poems, creative nonfiction, and fiction have appeared in Parabola, Bellevue Literary Journal, Missouri Review, and others. Her collection of poems The Soul Tree gained her the title, Poet Laureate of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and she has authored two architectural histories of Asheville, North Carolina. She lives with her family of four humans, four dogs, a cat, and a large rabbit in Asheville.