As the first immigrant and woman of color to assume the role, Castro Luna will be advocating for poetry during a particularly fraught period for both the humanities (the current administration proposed eliminating the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities last year) and immigrant populations, who are confronting uncertainty in the face of travel bans and heated rhetoric.
Castro Luna fled war-torn El Salvador for the United States at the age of 14 with her family, and went on to earn an MFA in poetry and an MA in urban planning. After working as a K-12 teacher, she became Seattle’s first Civic Poet, a position appointed by the mayor. In that position, Castro Luna won acclaim for her Seattle Poetic Grid, an online interactive map of showcasing poems about different locations around the city. The grid landed her an interview on PBS NewsHour. She is also the author of the poetry chapbook This City and the collection Killing Marías.
Sponsored by Friends of the Lopez Island Library, Humanities Washington, and the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA).