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Claudia Castro Luna’s Killing Marias inspires Emmy Win for the Seattle Times – Christine Clarridge

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Claudia Castro Luna sitting at a table listening.

Cipota Under the Moon

Now available from Elliot Bay Books.

Cipota Under the Moon, book cover.“In Cipota under the Moon, Claudia Castro Luna scores a series of poems as an ode to the Salvadoran immigrant experience in the United States. The poems are wrought with memories of the 1980s civil war and rich with observations from recent returns to her native country. Castro Luna draws a parallel between the ruthlessness of the war and the violence endured by communities of color in US cities; she shows how children are often the silent, unseen victims of state-sanctioned and urban violence. In lush prose poems, musical tankas, and free verse, Castro Luna affirms that the desire for light and life outweighs the darkness of poverty, violence, and war. Cipota under the Moon is a testament to the men, women, and children who bet on life at all costs and now make their home in another language, in another place, which they, by their presence, change every day.”

Bookseller Rick Simonson from the esteemed Elliott Bay Book Company says:

“Claudia Castro Luna’s stunning book of poems, Cipota Under the Moon, is one of re-remembering and reckoning. Poems arch back to a Salvadoran childhood and adolescence marked by blossoming, coming-into-being beauty – and wrenching, shattering terror – the two often intertwined, and come forward to a present decades later, palpable aftershocks of trauma and forced displacement still being lived. This book bravely meets those aftershocks, an intimate poetic voice recalling and realizing, violence and cruelty, with fierce tenderness. What Amy Hempel, paraphrasing an Arab proverb says: ‘When danger approaches, sing to it.’ With radiant voice, this book sings – to it all.”

 

“Claudia Castro Luna’s stunning book of poems, Cipota Under the Moon, is one of

re-remembering and reckoning. Poems arch back to a Salvadoran childhood and adolescence marked by blossoming, coming-into-being beauty – and wrenching, shattering terror – the two often intertwined, and come forward to a present decades later, palpable aftershocks of trauma and forced displacement still being lived. This book bravely meets those aftershocks, an intimate poetic voice recalling and realizing, violence and cruelty, with fierce tenderness. What Amy Hempel, paraphrasing an Arab proverb says: ‘When danger approaches, sing to it.’ With radiant voice, this book sings – to it all.”

 

Ni Una Más

Conversation about seeking justice for femicide in Mexico through poetry, journalism and law with poet Claudia Castro Luna, lawyer Norma Ledezma Ortega and Seattle Times journalists Corinne Chin and Erika Schultz. See The Seattle Times project here.

Ni Una Mas

Seismic: Seattle, City of Literature

Seismic: Seattle, City of Literature Book Cover

Edited by Kristen Millares Young

Seattle was designated a UNESCO City of Literature in 2017 and has been working as part of the international network since then. Seismic is a collection that asks writers to consider what the designation means for our city and how literature might be an agent of change.

This collection, a living portrait that recognizes Seattle’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature, was made possible with the support of Seattle City of Literature, The Seattle Public Library Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the Amazon Literary Partnership, The Seattle Public Library, and the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation.

More info here, and sign up here for the release party on 09/15/2020.

One River, Many Voices

Available now from Chin Music Press. The sales through the press will benefit Columbia Riverkeeper.

One River, Many Voices celebrates the Columbia River’s energy, beauty and power. It honors the resilience of Native peoples who for millenia have lived along its banks and at this historical juncture with climate change, it is a call to consider our personal role as stewards of the natural world.

Claudia holding the accordion style fold out book.

Washington Poetic Routes

Map of WashingtonWashington Poetic Routes is a digital poetry-mapping project that explores Washington’s rich geographical terrain, both in terms of landscape and in terms of the human relationships that unfold across the State.

Geography is inescapable. We are bound to the places we inhabit, the terrain we call home. My hope is that through writing and reading poems that tell of the places we call home written by Washingtonians of all ages and locations, we can learn a little bit more about our cities, towns, mountains, rivers, know a little more about our birds and fish, learn about the stories that define a particular place, read from a fifth grader what it is like to live in a place where eventide means ladders left leaning on apple tree orchards awaiting tomorrow’s harvest.

Selected Press

A Living Map of Washington State Poetry, by David Haldeman, April 11, 2019

Audio & Podcasts

  • The words that hold our souls inside them – KUOW
  • Indivisible Podcast
  • Original Lines Podcast at Two Ponies Press
  • London Review of Books – Vanishing Points: Contemporary Writing From El Salvador
  • ‘Am I not an immigrant?’ Echoes of Sojourner Truth in this Seattleite’s poem – KUOW
  • ‘We Eat War:’ Seattle Poet Tastes History In Her Native Country’s National Dish
    – KPLU
  • Meet Seattle’s First Civic Poet – KUOW
  • Seattle Public Library
  • Jack Straw Literary Podcasts

Claudia Castro Luna at the microphone.

Spirited Stone Lessons from Kubotas Garden

By Jamie Ford, Gemina Garland Lewis, Thaisa Way

Spirited Stone Lessons from Kubotas Garden book cover.

Foreword by American Book Award Winner Charles Johnson. Introduction by Thaisa Way, PhD. Short story by New York Times Best Selling Author, Jamie Ford Academics, novelists, poets, and garden enthusiasts examine the legacy of immigrant and nurseryman Fujitaro Kubota, whose unique gardens transformed Seattle’s regional landscape in the 20th century. A self-taught gardener, Kubota built a thriving landscape business, eventually assembling 20 acres in south Seattle that he shaped into a beautiful and enduring Japanese garden. Today, this public park serves one of Washington’s most diverse zip codes. An innovator and artist, Kubota created the first “drive-through” garden to capitalize on America’s love for the automobile. While incarcerated at Minidoka prison camp during World War II, Kubota also created a memorable garden in the desert. To Kubota, everything has spirit. Rocks and stones pulsed with life, he said, and that energy is still apparent in his gardens today. Photographs by Gemina Garland-Lewis and Nathan Wirth are interwoven with original poetry by Samuel Green, Claudio Castro-Luna, and others to make this a unique book where every page presents a different view of into Kubota’s garden.

Available for sale from Powell’s Books.