Claudia Castro Luna - Portrait

Claudia Castro Luna

Claudia Castro Luna is an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellow (2019), WA State Poet Laureate (2018 – 2021) and Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet (2015-2018). She is the author of Cipota Under the Moon, One River, A Thousand Voices, Killing Marias, and the chapbook This City . Her most recent non-fiction is in There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis. Born in El Salvador, Castro Luna arrived in the United States in 1981. Living in English and Spanish, she writes and teaches in Seattle on unceded Duwamish lands.

2024 Jack Straw Alumni Poetry Series:

“The pulsing heart of an entire people beats inside this beautiful and fierce poetry collection. In Cipota Under the Moon, Claudia Castro Luna finds moments of wonder and intimacy inside the great epic of war, revolution, exile, and hope that is Salvadoran history. This book is an essential addition to the canon of Central American literature in the U.S.”
–Héctor Toba

Visions of Gladness

I wish my grandmother’s ghost
would gladden every day my slumber

her stardust halo, her luminous face—
by now I know fear both cages and unbinds.

Sometimes I hear her laughter
spiraling toward me like a kindly twister.

Fall in, she says, become not the rosary,
one bead in front of the other—

girl, woman, wife, mother, widow—
become pomegranate seeds instead

each jewel bursting forth from her own papery case
whirling in her own blood, by her own light charged.

She says this, and this is why on my altar, as she taught me,
there is rue, incense, light, and water in a cup.

2014 Writers Program

Sound Clips
  • Claudia Castro Luna - Portrait
    To Say Goodbye – Claudia Castro Luna
Education Projects

Seattle World School: Holiday Moments 2014 READ MORE >

Immigration Portraits: Voices from Denny 2015 READ MORE >

Historias del Vecindario: Poesía de Denny 2016 READ MORE >

Porque Venimos de Todo: Poesía de Denny 2017 READ MORE >

Este Árbol Soy Yo: Poesía de Denny 2018 READ MORE >