Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Reneé has invited an incredible line-up of local writers—poets and non-poets alike—to join her for what promises to be a wonderful evening of poetry.
Anastacia-Reneé is Civic Poet of Seattle and former 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House. She is a hybrid genre writer, workshop facilitator and multivalent performance artist. She is the author of four books: Forget It (Black Radish Books), (v.), (Gramma Press), Answer(Me) (Argus Press), and 26 (Dancing Girl Press) and her poetry, prose and fiction have been published widely.
Lily Baumgart is Seattle’s 2017/18 youth poet laureate. She has been writing ever since she could spell. Before being the youth poet laureate, Baumgart was in the finalists cohort for the 2016/17 YPL season. She also was a part of the inaugural Jack Straw Young Writers Program 2015/16. She believes that writing is forever changing the lives of writers and readers. Her favorite part of writing is being able to teach poetry to people and learn from those she works with; for her, poetry is a constant state of growth. She has read and taught around the Seattle area and has a forthcoming book through Penmanship Books in May of 2018.
Claudia Castro Luna served as Seattle’s first Civic Poet from 2015-2017 and is the author of two collections of poetry: Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) and This City (Floating Bridge Press). Claudia is a Hedgebrook and VONA alumna, the recipient of a King County 4Culture grant and a Jack Straw Fellow. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981. She now lives in English and Spanish and writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.
Sonora Jha is the author of the novel, Foreign (Random House India) and is a professor of journalism at Seattle University. She was formerly a chief of bureau with The Times of India and a journalist in Singapore. Her recent political essays have appeared in The New York Times, Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly and The Globalist. She is the Prose Writer-in-Residence at Richard Hugo House, where she is finishing work on a memoir and a second novel. She was recently awarded the 2017 Barry Lopez Fellowship at Playa Summer Lake, Oregon. She promotes and supports other writers in her work as the Board President of Hedgebrook, a global literary non-profit.
Jekeva Phillips is a performer, writer, and patron of the arts. She is the founder and Editor in Chief of Word Lit Zine, a lit quarterly for PNW readers and writers; owner of Paradise Lost Publishing; and director of Bibliophilia: A Storytelling Festival. You may have seen Jekeva performing improv as a member of CSz Seattle- Home of ComedySportz, travelling through space with Where No Man Has Gone Before, or twirling in aerial fabrics at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts. And because all of that is not enough, she is currently hard at work on a novel. Les Amants: Lovers and Other Strangers, a narrative collection of confessional poems following two fated souls, is her first published book.
Lena Khalaf Tuffaha is a poet, writer, and translator. She is the winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize for Arab in Newsland, and the author of Water & Salt, a book of poems from Red Hen Press published in April 2017. She is currently Poet-in-Residence at Open Books: A Poem Emporium.