Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Laurel Nakanishi received her B.A. from Lewis & Clark College and M.F.A. from the University of Montana. She is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Nicaragua, and the founder of Nica Arts, a community-based literacy project in the town of El Castillo. She is the author of the prize-winning chapbook, Manoa Makai, and her poems have appeared in Black Warrior Review, Bayou Magazine, and Third Coast Magazine, among other publications. She currently teaches poetry with O, Miami’s Sunroom program and studies nonfiction at Florida International University.