Laura Simms
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Laura Simms is an internationally acclaimed storyteller, writer, educator, and advocate engaged in individual and community transformation. She is a senior teacher of Shambhala Buddhist meditation. Her newest performance, Mercy into the World, is about the power of compassion (Barbicon, London, Oslo University, and Arthur Mauro Peace and Justice Center in Manitoba, 2008). She is a contributing editor for Parabola magazine, and her essays on myth, imagination, and presence appear in many journals. Her newest book is Under the Currant Leaves.

At present, Simms works with humanitarian organizations in Nepal, Sierra Leone, Austria, New Orleans, and Winnipeg, using contemplative storytelling for healing with youth and refugee women, and building peace. She directs The Lionís Roar project to save a zoo and a community in Romania. Currently the recipient of a Brimstone Award for Engaged Storytelling, she is also co-faculty for the New Generation Environmental Project with Terry Tempest Williams.

Simms is an advocate for children affected by war, and works with Gillian Huebner at Search for Common Ground on the Story Project. She is the mother of Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone.