This Is The Place

This Is The Place, book coverHome is a loaded word, a complex idea: it’s a place that can be comforting, difficult, nourishing, war-torn, or political. In this breathtaking, thought-provoking collection, 30 women writers explore the theme in personal essays about neighbors, marriage, kids, sentimental objects, homelessness, domestic violence, solitude, immigration, gentrification, geography, and more. Contributors–including Amanda Petrusich, Naomi Jackson, Jane Wong, and Jennifer Finney Boylan–lend a diverse range of voices to this subject that remains at the core of our national conversations. What makes a home? What do equality, safety, and politics have to do with it? And why is it so important to us to feel like we belong? Engaging, insightful, and full of hope, This is the Place will make you laugh, cry, and think hard about home, wherever you may find it. Edited by Margot Khan.

Order your copy from the Hachette Book Group.

This City

“From the very first poem in Luna’s new chapbook, This City, readers understand that Luna has obviously written the book in her role as a Civic Poet, by which I mean she engages with the idea of Seattle. This is a celebration of the city, but it is also an investigation, a work of criticism, and an exhortation to be a better city.”  -Paul Constant, The Seattle Review of Books

Read the full review at The Seattle Review of Books.

This City

Killing Marías

Find it now at Two Sylvias Press.

“In this epic poetry collection Killing Marías, Claudia Castro Luna, both poetically and physically, settles spaces that were unclaimed by Latinas. Her inscription of the disappeared women of Juárez is a live cartographic image of struggle and spiritual survival. Castro Luna does not allow for these dead women to lack agency; they nourish us and the earth, and they speak with their bodies, literally, positioning themselves as recovered entities with agency, in the poet’s skilled narrativizing hands.”  – Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Ph.D., author of A Most Improbable Life and The Runaway Poems: A Manual of Love

 

Seattle Poetic Grid

a map of seattle showing dots for locations where poets have written a poemSeattle Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna, launches a poetry map of the city. Seattle Poetic Grid (http://www.seattlepoeticgrid.com) is an interactive poetic cartography of the city and a culmination of Castro Luna’s two-year Civic Poet residency. The Grid brings Seattle’s poetic side to light. The project is intended to remain as a living testament of the city, and includes a link for those who would like to make their poetic contributions.

Many of the poems were collected during Castro Luna’s “The Poet Is In” program, a residency project with Seattle Public Library where she held drop-in poetry writing sessions at various libraries around the city. Aside from English there are poems in Spanish, Arabic and Japanese. There is a wide spectrum of voices and experiences represented, from youth poets and elementary school writers, to senior citizens and renowned poets like Denise Levertov, Theodore Roethke and Richard Hugo.

“The idea behind the map is to capture a sense of place through the poetic voices of Seattle residents. The poems come from citizens across every corner of the city, from individuals brand new to writing to some who are well established and beloved poets,” says Castro Luna.

(from Seattle.Gov Art Beat, written by Erika Lindsey)

Selected Press

Seattle’s Civic Poet Has Made a Poetic Map of the City, Amber Cortes. The Stranger SLOG. Jun 28, 2017.

Urban Planner Turned Poet Maps Seattle’s Story, Josh Cohen. Next City. July 5, 2017.

Seattle Symphony Project

In February 2017, Claudia Castro Luna collaborated with Seattle Symphony and Mary’s Place on a project in response to Seattle’s State of Emergency Declaration on Homelessness.

Selected Press

Seattle Symphony brings homelessness inside the concert hall, Jason Victor Serinus. The Seattle Times. Jan 29, 2017.

Listening to Every Voice: Ives, Art, Poetry, and the Homeless (podcast). Classical KING FM. Feb 1, 2017.

Can the Arts Address Seattle’s Homelessness Crisis in a Meaningful Way? Seattle Symphony Is Trying, Rich Smith. The Stranger. Feb 1, 2017.

 

Writer’s Resist at Town Hall

From Town Hall Seattle: On Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, as part of a nationwide series of readings celebrating American ideals of freedom and equality, 14 writers read excerpts from their own work and the writings of other American thinkers concerned with freedom of speech, such as MLK, himself, Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Paine, Angela Y. Davis, James Welch, Susan Sontag, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez and Adrienne Rich.

Claudia Castro Luna is at 27:40

Emerald City Blues

Emerald City Blues

 

Sky favors no one grey upon grey or ocean blue

Lovers and homeless wake up under it wet with dew

The model city we imagine and how to renew

 

Night after night old man his curtains drew

Then in one day his house razed and cat at the window too

Sky favors no one grey upon grey or royal blue

 

All over where there was a structure now there’s two

With fallen buildings, memories of who we are wither and slew

The fair city we dream of, or the one we misconstrue

 

Corner barber poets keep faith, comb newspapers through

New trends motivate, then again, crows weep a déjà vu

Sky favors no one grey upon grey or summer blue

 

Change leads to change till the day when we ask, we are who?

And what of our hearts to unlock the impact of each adieu?

The city we imagine, and the one we are, can be true

 

In future’s rearview mirror, we knew what we knew

Those who lose are many, those who win are few

Sky favors no one grey upon grey or blissful blue

The city we aspire to be, or the one we may rue

 

Think of Santos

Read at El Centro de la Raza, on Dia de los Muertos, November 2nd 2015, to commemorate the death of 12 year old Santos Rodriguez.

Think of Santos

— In memory of Santos Rodriguez

Since not anger, not prayers, nor protests

The clock can stop and prevent the bullet

Fired by a half man and his coward hand

And no brotherly love nor mother’s tears

Life into his lifeless body may inject

We who live yet must Santo’s life recall

His narrow shoulders, the milk of his teeth

Remember his tomorrows in each day

In children smiling on their way to school

Cherish and protect the things he didn’t get

When you say his name he lives inside you

Inside me live his truth, his hopes, his dread

So as the moon calls tides from her distant perch

So may one day soon Santos and Justice merge.

 

To learn more about Santos Rodriguez go to:  http://cipotabajolaluna.blogspot.com