Laura Vrana

Vrana Headshot

Laura Vrana | Assistant Professor

Specializes in African American literature and poetry.

HUMB 254  |  460-6502  |

On leave 2022/23: Emory University Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry Fellowship in Poetics


  • "Leyla McCalla’s Lyrical Tributes to Langston Hughes." The Langston Hughes Review 29.1 (2023): 29-50.
  • "Colloquial Circulations: The Poetry Society of America’s Poetry in Motion Public Transportation Project." College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies 49.2 (Spring 2022): 202-27.
  • "Genre Experiments: Thylias Moss's Slave Moth and the Poetic Neo-Slave Narrative." MELUS: The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 46.2 (Summer 2021): 111-30. Winner of the 2022 MELUS Katherine Newman Best Essay Award
  • "'An experiment in archive': Robin Coste Lewis's Voyage of the Sable Venus and Contemporary Black Female Poets' Conceptual Epistemologies." Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 40.1 (Spring 2021): 69-94.
  • "Gwendolyn Brooks' Last Quatrain: The Ballad Form and African American Anti-Lynching Poems." Journal of Ethnic American Literature 8 (Spring 2018): 7-28.
  • "'soundtrack for a generational shift': Music and Innovation in Evie Shockley's the new black." Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora 41.1/41.2 (Spring 2016): 389-404.

Book Chapters

  • "Institutions and Innovations in African American Poetry of the 1980s." Cambridge African American Literature in Transition, 1980-1990. Volume editors: Rich Blint, Quentin Miller, and Cassander Smith. Series editor: Joycelyn Moody. New York: Cambridge UP, 2023. 36-55.
  • "Anti-Lynching Poetry and the Poetics of Protest." Cambridge African American Literature in Transition, 1900-1910. Volume editor: Shirley Moody-Turner. Series editor: Joycelyn Moody. New York: Cambridge UP, 2021. 262-72.
  • "Denormativizing Elegy: Historical and Transnational Journeying in Black Lives Matter Poetics." Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era. Editors: Emily Ruth Rutter, Sequoia Maner, and darlene anita scott. New York: Routledge, 2019. 35-50.

Other Publications

  • Review, Emily Ruth Rutter's Black Celebrity: Contemporary Representations of Postbellum Athletes and Artists (U of Delaware P, 2021). MELUS: The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 47.3 (Fall 2022): 202-204.
  • "The Visibility of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man." Black Lit Network Remarkable Receptions Podcast episode. Summer 2022. Funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation & coordinated by the University of Kansas Project on the History of Black Writing. Available on: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Buzzsprout.
  • Biographical entry, Duriel E. Harris. Dictionary of Literary Biography vol. 392: Twenty-First-Century African American Poets. New York: Gale Research, 2023. 98-108.
  • Amanda Johnston, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Inventing Forms of Motherhood." The Fight and the Fiddle: A Quarterly Journal of the Furious Flower Poetry Center 5.3 (Spring 2022). Editor: Lauren K. Alleyne.
  • Review, Conversations with Dana Gioia, ed. John Zheng (U of Mississippi P, 2021). Arkansas Review: A Journal of Delta Studies 52.3 (Dec. 2021): 229-31.
  • "Criticism and the Justification of Modernism." Review, Evan Kindley's Poet-Critics and the Administration of Culture (Harvard UP, 2017). Journal of Modern Literature 43.4 (Summer 2020): 190-7.
  • "On Brenda Marie Osbey, 'whom we have every right to love.'" Review essay, Summoning Our Saints: The Poetry and Prose of Brenda Marie Osbey (Lexington Books, 2019). The Langston Hughes Review 262. (2020): 203-215.
  • "Wandering with the Lost in Elaine Terranova's Perdido." Review, Elaine Terranova's Perdido (Grid Books, 2018): Valley Voices: A Literary Review 19.1 (Spring 2019): 52-4.
  • Review, Emily Ruth Rutter's Invisible Ball of Dreams: Representations of Baseball Behind the Color Line (UP of Mississippi, 2018). Studies in American Culture (Fall 2019).
  • "An Interview with Nathaniel Mackey" (with Abram Foley, Aldon Lynn Nielsen, and Susan Cooke Weeber. ASAP/Journal 1.2 (June 2016): 183-98.
  • Review, Anthony Reed's Freedom Time: The Poetics and Politics of Black Experimental WritingCollege Language Association Journal 56.4 (June 2015): 363-6.