In her new collection of poetry, Crossing the Ladder of Sun, Laura Apol explores the ordinary moments of life—watching her daughter, picking blueberries, sharing confidences with friends, arriving and leaving, and driving, always driving—and transforms them into the extraordinary. This book is rich with the lyrical found in what is considered the mundane as it portrays the multiple roles of a woman’s life—mother, daughter, lover, ex-wife, friend. Apol’s highly personal poems reflect a caring and compassion that transcends loneliness and heartache.
A Fine Yellow Dust
Laura Apol Michigan State University Press, 2021 Library of Congress PS3601.P64F56 2021 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
In late April 2017, Laura Apol’s twenty-six-year-old daughter, Hanna, took her own life. Apol had long believed in the therapeutic possibilities of writing, having conducted workshops on writing-for-healing for more than a decade. Yet after Hanna’s death, she had her own therapeutic writing to do, turning her anguish, disbelief, and love into poems that map the first year of loss. This collection is the result of that writing, giving voice to grief as it is lived, moment by moment, memory by memory, event by event. While most writing about loss does so from a distance, Apol chooses instead to write from inside those days and months and seasons, allowing readers to experience alongside the poet the moments, the questions, and the deep longings that shape the first grief-year.
Nothing but the Blood
Laura Apol Michigan State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PS3601.P64A6 2018 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
This collection is made up of poems that explore the evolution of belief, living in the body, daughter-mother and mother-daughter interactions, the celebration and failure of a longterm relationship, and the loss of friends and colleagues. Coming as they do at mid-life, the poems understand, appreciate, and often push back against the weight of both history and expectation.
Laura Apol Michigan State University Press, 2015 Library of Congress PS3601.P64A6 2015 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
A marvelous, moving new collection of poems, Requiem, Rwanda has its roots in 2006, when Laura Apol made her first trip to Rwanda. Apol’s initial goal was to develop, in conjunction with Rwandan and American colleagues, a project using narrative writing to facilitate healing among young survivors of the 1994 genocide. During the time she spent leading workshops, Apol felt moved to write her own poems, and after the writing-for-healing project ended, she returned to Rwanda several times to continue her creative work. The legacy of the genocide—on the people, on the land itself—makes its presence felt in many of the poems. The poems are also accounts of Apol’s relationships with and understandings of people post-genocide—where their stories go, how they reenter their lives, and how a country that has been deeply wounded by its history continues on. These poems don’t shy away from exploring the complications of being a white woman, a Westerner, and a witness in this setting: Apol relates her sense of compassion, privilege, horror, guilt, voyeurism, obligation, and love. This new collection is a rich testimonial to the strength of a nation and its people. The collection includes a closing essay, "Writer as a Witness."