Henry Art Gallery
Saturday, November 16, 2019, 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Watershed: A Poetry Workshop with Claudia Castro Luna

On the occasion of In Plain Sight and its exhibition of Oscar Tuazon’s “Water School”—an architectural installation designed to be a hub for discussion about local water issues and environmental justice—we welcome Washington State Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna for a poetry workshop inspired by and in honor of water. 

Watershed” refers to land areas that channel rainfall and snowmelt to creeks, streams, and rivers, and eventually to outflow points such as reservoirs, bays, and oceans. It also indicates a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs (“watershed event,” “watershed moment”). The term thus captures the transformative relationship of water’s motions along its adjacent lands, as well as indicates a momentous shift in thinking or being in culture and history. Poets, with their flow of words channeled by lines, turn minds and movements, too. In this poetry workshop, Castro Luna invites writers of all ages and levels to explore the waters that flow and churn inside each of us. Like watersheds leave marks on the terrains they traverse, so do feelings, memories, dreams, questions, leave traces inside our bodies. Come experiment with words, reflect upon water’s shape, movement, power, the way it manifests in nature and in the liquid geography of our own bodies.

Participants will have the option to leave their finished poems for temporary display within the Water School installation.    


Claudia Castro Luna is Washington State’s Poet Laureate. She served as Seattle’s Civic Poet from 2015-2017 and is the author of the Pushcart nominated and Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) also shortlisted for 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 the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship, the recipient of individual artist grants from King County 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture, a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, and a 2014 Jack Straw fellow, 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 been featured in PBS Newshour, KQED San Francisco, KUOW Seattle and 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. Living in English and Spanish, she writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.

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