Response Magazine

Washington state poet laureate leads workshop for Seattle Pacific community

“Finding home” was the theme of a January workshop led by Washington state Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna with Seattle Pacific students and residents of Tent City 3 (hosted on campus through the winter).

The workshop was part of the SPU Library’s Creative Conversations series to share scholarly and creative works in progress.

Exploring the concept of home, Castro Luna led the attendees through exercises where they recalled specific details — from cooking smells to the size of furniture — that made up their early experiences of home. Using poems from Gregory Orr and Emily Dickinson as examples, participants evoked their memories of home, some of which became prose or poetry.

“Having such a high-profile visitor energized this community of both the housed and the homeless,” says event host and poet Mischa Willett, an instructor in SPU’s Writing Program. “It helped broaden our concept of home, which could be a person or even a meal.”

Castro Luna will serve as the state’s poet laureate until 2020. She previously served as the city of Seattle’s civic poet from 2015 to 2017.

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