TOPPENISH, Wash. — Claudia Castro Luna, the Washington state poet laureate, will lead a workshop Saturday at the Yakama Nation Cultural Center Library. 

The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 1 p.m. at the cultural center, 100 Spiel-Yi Loop.

Since taking the two-year position in February 2018, Castro Luna has traveled through the state to build awareness and appreciation of poetry through public readings, workshops, lectures and presentations in geographically diverse areas.

The Seattle poet and teacher is the fifth poet laureate in the state and the first person of color to hold the title.

Originally from El Salvador, Castro Luna’s family fled to the U.S. in 1981, according to her website biography. She has master’s degrees in urban planning and fine arts, and served as a classroom teacher before becoming Seattle’s first Civic Poet in 2015.

She is also the author of “This City,” a poetry chapbook, and is the creator of the Seattle Poetic Grid, a digital, interactive map where users can read poems about places in Seattle by clicking the corresponding place on the map.

The poems were written by Seattle residents in various languages, including Spanish and Japanese.

Her poetry collection "Killing Marias: A Poem for Multiple Voices" centers on the missing and murdered women of the northern Mexican region of Ciudad Juárez. It's estimated several hundred women and girls, many indigenous, have died violently in the area since 1993.

The poet laureate is sponsored by Humanities Washington and The Washington State Arts Commission/ArtsWA, with the support of Gov. Jay Inslee. See the full website of the poet laureate here.

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