My neighbor knocked on the door a few minutes to offer me a bag of ripe Italian plums from her generous tree. As we chatted, standing respectfully six feet apart from each other, I felt my heart fill with gratitude at her presence and gesture, at the years we have lived side by side, at the plum tree that summer after summer fulfills its mission to our delight. These days of COVID-19, of political turmoil and ecological uncertainty I am quick to feel appreciation no matter how small a gesture of kindness or however fleeting a moment of beauty I behold.
I am grateful too for my writing life. Two of my poems and an essay are part of exciting book releases in late August and September AND my own book One River, A Thousand Voices is for now available at Elliott Bay Books here in Seattle and online through Chin Music Press. The sales through the press will benefit Columbia Riverkeeper and the official book party will be on September 23rd, 2020 (sign up here). Below is information regarding each of these new releases.
Alone Together, Love, Grief and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19, Edited by Jennifer Haupt
Seismic, Seattle: City of Literature, Edited by Kristen Millares Young
One River, A Thousand Voices by Claudia Castro Luna
– 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.