SAL is delighted to partner with Warby Parker to present a free poetry reading at Warby Parker Capitol Hill. This celebration features 2016/17 Youth Poet Laureate, Maven Gardner; members of the 2018/19 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Cohort, Maia Ruth Pody, Alex Newsom, and Kiyoshi Sakauye; Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna; and Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Reneé.
About the Readers:
Youth Poet Laureate readers will include Maven Gardner, Maia Ruth Pody, Kiyoshi Sakauye, and Alex Newsom. Maven Gardner (who uses the pronouns they/them) was the 2016/17 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate, and their poetry collection, Blood Melody was released by Penmanship Books in 2017. Their community advocacy includes work with the Mockingbird Society and New Horizon Ministries, organizations that support youth experiencing homelessness and work towards systemic change. Maia Ruth Pody, Alex Newsom, and Kiyoshi Sakauye are members of the 2018/19 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate (YPL) Cohort.
Claudia Castro Luna is the current Washington State Poet Laureate, and she served as Seattle Civic Poet from 2015-2017. She is the author of the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press), which was shortlisted for the WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry, and This City (Floating Bridge Press). She is also the creator of the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. Castro Luna is a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, a 2014 Jack Straw fellow, the recipient of individual artist grants from King County 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture. Born in El Salvador, she came to the United States in 1981. She has an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate, and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, La Bloga, Dialogo and Psychological Perspectives, among others. Her non-fiction work can be read in several anthologies, among them, This Is The Place: Women Writing About Home (Seal Press). Claudia is currently working on a memoir, Like Water to Drink, about her experience escaping the civil war in El Salvador.
Anastacia-Reneé, the current Seattle Civic Poet, is a multi-genre writer, educator, and interdisciplinary artist. She is recipient of the 2018 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist award for Washington artists (Artist Trust), 2017 Artist of the Year and former 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House. She is the author of five books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.), (Gramma Press), 26 (Dancing Girl Press), Kiss Me Doll Face (Gramma Press) and Answer(Me) (Winged City Chapbooks, Argus Press). She has received writing fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust, Jack Straw, Ragdale, Mineral School and Hypatia in the Woods. She teaches poetry, creative writing and “How to be an Effective Ally,” workshops at Hugo House, libraries, universities, and high schools.
About the YPL Program: A joint program between WITS and Urban Word NYC—with support from Northwest Folklife, Poetry Northwest, and the Academy of American Poets—the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate Program aims to identify youth writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, poetry and performance, human relations, diversity, and education across Seattle. SAL, WITS, and our other partners recognize that youth voices and community engagement are vital for empowering young people to effect positive changes in their communities and beyond.