We are very pleased to share the news that Claudia Castro Luna, a prominent Seattle poet and teacher, has been appointed the fifth Washington State Poet Laureate by Governor Jay Inslee.

Castro Luna fled war-torn El Salvador for the United States at the age of 14 with her family. She went on to earn an MFA in poetry and an MA in urban planning. After working as a K-12 teacher, she became Seattle’s first Civic Poet, a position appointed by the mayor. In that position, Castro Luna won acclaim for her Seattle Poetic Grid, an online interactive map showcasing poems about different locations around the city. The grid even landed her an interview on PBS NewsHour. She is also the author of the poetry chapbook This City and the collection Killing Marías.

Castro Luna’s term will run from February 1, 2018, to January 31, 2020. She will succeed Tod Marshall, the current poet laureate. Prior to Marshall, Elizabeth Austen (2014–2016), Kathleen Flenniken (2012–2014), and Sam Green (2007–2009) held the position.

The Washington State Poet Laureate program is jointly sponsored by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA).

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photo bu Timothy Aguero

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Congratulations!

November 1, 2017

Artist Trust has announced its 2017 award winners, including Grants for Artist Projects, Arts Innovator Award, Conductive Garboil Grant, Fellowship, and Twining Humber Award. Have a look at the complete list and congratulate your friends!

Poet Laureate

August 24, 2017

In case you missed it, Washington’s magazine, 1889, published a fine article about poet laureate Tod Marshall, “Tod Marshall, Washington’s Poetry Road Warrior.” In addition to photos and video footage, it offers a look at the scope of Marshall’s commitment to the job… and the big shoes the next poet laureate will have to fill, come 2018.

watch for it…

June 27, 2017

We have it on good authority that Washington State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall is working on a series of readings for Washington 129.

We’ll post them here when dates are confirmed, but meanwhile, check out the review of Washington 129 by Dennis Held in The Spokesman-Review.

a sure sign of summer

June 5, 2017

Although technically it’s not yet summer, making plans to attend LiTFUSE is a sure sign that the season is right around the corner. The annual Tieton, Washington, event is definitely a landmark on the poetry map and a rewarding way to spend three days in September. This year’s faculty and schedule are now available for your perusal and registration is open for the September 22-24, 2017, gathering. Go!

meet and retreat

April 17, 2017

Here are a number of conferences, retreats and other events in the greater Cascadia area (and beyond) that merit some planning for the coming months (all 2017).

For readings and other events, see the Calendar page.

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Launch party

April 7, 2017

The public is cordially invited to a special reading to celebrate National Poetry Month and the launch of State Poet Laureate Tod Marshall’s state-wide poetry anthology, WA129, which includes a poet for each year of Washington statehood.

The event will feature live music from The Bushwick Book Club of Seattle. Light refreshments will be served. Readings and recitations from anthology contributors, Tod Marshall, and special guests.

Thursday, April 13, 2017, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The State Reception Room, 3rd floor, Legislative Building
State Capitol Campus, Olympia

The event is free and open to the public but RSVPs are requested at Humanities Washington.

More on Facebook and Washington 129.

WA129 is a project of the Washington State Poet Laureate Program, funded by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission. The anthology is designed and published by Sage Hill Press, Spokane.

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