Arts / Faith and Humanities / People of SU

Poet Laureate

Written by Mike Thee

January 17, 2018

students studying at the Quad in the Spring

Washington's top poet Claudia Castro Luna is teaching in MRC this quarter.

Washington State’s incoming top poet is teaching at SU this quarter.

“Matteo Ricci College is delighted to welcome Claudia Castro Luna, educator and Washington State's next Poet Laureate, to the MRC faculty,” the college recently shared on its Facebook page. “She will be joining us in Winter Quarter to teach Humanities 1510 (Composition, Language, and the Arts) for the first-year students. Welcome, Prof. Castro Luna!”

Appointed by Governor Jay Inslee, Castro Luna is the fifth poet laureate in state history.

She officially begins her two-year term as the state’s top poet on Feb. 1. 

Castro Luna recently completed her two years as Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet. Her bio, which appears on the city’s Office of Arts and Culture site, reads: 

Claudia Castro Luna’s muse is the city, from little libraries and food trucks to the green tunnels of Lincoln Park. Claudia left her native El Salvador at the age of 14 escaping the Civil War with her family. Resilient to the low expectations of high school counselors, she went on to study Anthropology and French at the University of California Irvine and earned an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA. Fluent in German, she is a K-12 certified teacher with a passion for arts education and teaching immigrants. In 2012 she earned an MFA in poetry from Mills College. She was a 2014 Jack Straw fellow and is a recent recipient of a King County 4Culture grant. Her poems have appeared in Milvia Street, The Womanist, Riverbabble, and forthcoming in the Taos Journal of Poetry and Art. She has been a featured reader for the Berkeley Poetry Festival and for NPR-affiliate KALW. Claudia is also writing a memoir, an excerpt of which appears in the 2014 Jack Straw Writers’ Anthology. Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.