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Claudia Castro Luna

As the news and facts from Corona Virus accrued, I have found myself restless, at moments rudderless given the uncertainty and lack of clarity all around. 

The social separation necessary to spread contagion has also brought on an emotional destabilizing effect. I realized that I must not be the only person feeling confused, isolated, worried, in these uncertain times. 

In this spirit I’ve created Poems to Lean On, a space where we can share with each other poems to offer fortitude, hope, resilience, humor. The poems are posted in english on the WA Poet Laureate website (link above) and in Spanish at Poemas Para La Cuarentena, a collaboration with the local organization Seattle Escribe.

The idea is to share a link to a poem and in two or three lines convey what about this particular poem resonates with you, tell how it moves you.

It is at liminal times that we most lean on poetry: weddings, births, inaugurations, graduations, funerals. Times of transitions, times of change, times thick with emotion. This is such a time. Please send your chosen poem with a link (unless it is your own poem you would like to share) and your two to three line explanation to poet@humanities.org. 

Be well!
– Claudia Castro Luna


Claudia Castro Luna is Washington State Poet Laureate (2018-2021). She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet, from 2015-2017 and is the author of the Pushcart nominated and Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) also shortlisted for WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry and This City, (Floating Bridge Press). She is also the creator of the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. Castro Luna is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, the recipient of individual artist grants from King County 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, and a 2014 Jack Straw fellow. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981.

She has an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have been featured in PBS Newshour, KQED San Francisco, KUOW Seattle and have appeared in Poetry Northwest, La Bloga, Dialogo and Psychological Perspectives among others. Her non-fiction work can be read in several anthologies, among them This Is The Place: Women Writing About Home, (Seal Press) Claudia is currently working on a memoir, Like Water to Drink, about her experience escaping the civil war in El Salvador. Living in English and Spanish, she writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.

Claudia standing between book shelves - black & white