Laurel Nakanishi is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Nicaragua. She is the author of the award-winning chapbook, Manoa|Makai, and her poetry and essays have appeared in national magazines, such as: Orion, Gulf Coast, Fourth Genre, Black Warrior Review, Bayou, and the Montana Natural History Magazine, among others. She has received grants from Wells Fargo, the US embassy in Nicaragua, the Carreno Memorial Fund, O, Miami poetry festival, and the Greta Wrolstad Foundation.
Laurel has presented her writing at the International Poetry Festival in Granada, Barry University, Montana Festival of the Book, Reading Queer Miami, and the University of British Columbia.
Laurel has taught poetry writing to children in Hawaii, Nicaragua, Montana, and Miami. In 2012, she founded a community arts organization in Nicaragua, NicaArts, which she continues to direct. In 2015, she founded O, Miami’s Sunroom community poetry program, where she now serves as program coordinator.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Laurel received her B.A. at Lewis & Clark College, M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Montana, and her M.F.A in creative non-fiction from Florida International University.