Kim Stafford with Claudia Castro Luna
As the world goes, this evening’s singer does not come from that afar, though it is by virtual means that esteemed Oregon poet Kim Stafford ventures this way this evening - to be joined in conversation with Seattle poet Claudia Castro Luna. The author of numerous books of poetry, memoir, works on writing and craft, and a teacher of note, as well, Kim Stafford is here this evening with his newest book of poems, Singer Come From Afar (Red Hen Press).
“Poetry began as song, and in the lyrics of Kim Stafford we still hear the singing. A keen listener to voices human and wild, he writes of prisoners and refugees, toads and wrens, warriors and peacemakers, orcas and rivers. His guiding impulse is compassion. He urges us to defy ‘the camp of anger’ through acts of kindness. He assures us that Nature holds no grudges. Even ‘in the era of stormy weather,’ bees gather nectar, birds weave nests, seeds sprout, and new life emerges. Here is a bard of small creatures and gentle gestures who believes that art can help heal the wounds we’ve inflicted on Earth, our fellow species, and one another, and that conviction shines through every page of this big-hearted book.”—Scott Russell Sanders.
Kim Stafford has also been vital in the literary infrastructure of the Northwest and beyond - he is founding director of the Northwest Writing Institute at Lewis & Clark College, co-founded the annual Fishtrap Writers Gathering, and frequently teaches at Hugo House.
Claudia Castro Luna, as many here know, is the author of the poetry books, This City, Killing Marías, and One River, A Thousand Voices. She also has prose writing in the forthcoming anthology, There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love (Vintage Books), for which she’ll be appearing in a virtual Elliott Bay reading with Sasha LaPointe and Honoreé Fanonne Jeffers on May 14. She was Seattle’s first Civic Poet and is concluding a second term as Washington State Poet Laureate.