Claudia Castro Luna receives prestigious poetry fellowship

April 24, 2019

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Claudia Castro Luna, a faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences who is currently serving as the Washington State Poet Laureate, is one of 13 poets laureate to receive a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. 

Made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the fellowships recognize the laureates’ literary merit and support civic programs which will take place over the coming year. With her fellowship, Castro Luna will establish programs along the Columbia River that address the landscape and natural resources. At a combined $1,050,000, the fellowships are believed to be the largest awards provided to poets in the U.S. at any one time by a charitable organization. 

Prior to being named Washington’s fifth Poet Laureate, Castro Luna served as Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet. She is author of the Pushcart-nominated Killing Marias: A Poem for Multiple Voices (Two Sylvias Press) and This City, (Floating Bridge Press) and the creator of the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. She is also a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, a 2014 Jack Straw fellow, the recipient of a King County 4Culture grant and an individual artist grant from Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. 

Born in El Salvador, Castro Luna came to the United States in 1981. She has an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate and an MFA in poetry.