Seattle's first Civic Poet is now Washington State's newest Poet Laureate

Humanities Washington announced the news today:

Humanities Washington and the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) are excited to announce that Claudia Castro Luna, a prominent Seattle poet and teacher, has been appointed the fifth Washington State Poet Laureate by Governor Jay Inslee.

Castro Luna takes over from current state Poet Laureate Tod Marshall on March 1st of next year. Marshall has been a tireless advocate for poetry in Washington state, but if anyone can keep up with Marshall's pace, it's Castro Luna. Humanities Washington points out the importance of her tenure:

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 early this year) and immigrant populations, who are confronting uncertainty in the face of travel bans and heated rhetoric.

In her recent role as Seattle's first Civic Poet, Castro Luna created the Seattle Poetic Grid, a map of Seattle told in poetry. I can't wait to see what she does for Washington state during her two-year tenure as Poet Laureate.