Seattle-based poets Eugenia Toledo and Claudia Castro Luna will be joined by visiting poet Francisco Aragón to read their poetry. A colloquium on the role of Spanish and translation in their work will follow, moderated by poet and translator Carolyne Wright.
A San Francisco native, Francisco Aragón is the son of Nicaraguan immigrants. Upon his return to the U.S. in 1998 after a decade in Spain, Aragón completed graduate degrees in creative writing from UC Davis and the University of Notre Dame. In 2003 he joined the faculty of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, where he established Letras Latinas. In 2017, he was a finalist for Split This Rock’s Freedom Plow Award for poetry and activism. A CantoMundo fellow and a member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop, he is the author of two books: Puerta del Sol and Glow of Our Sweat, as well as editor of the anthology: The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry. His work as a translator includes rendering into English (from the Spanish) the poetry of Francisco X. Alarcón, Federico García Lorca, Gerardo Diego, and Rubén Darío. He is currently completing a third book, After Rubén.
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.
Eugenia Toledo was born in Temuco, in the South of Chile, and grew up in the same neighborhood as Pablo Neruda. She completed higher degrees in Spanish, and came to the U.S. for doctoral studies after her university instructorship was terminated following the 1973 military coup. She received an M.A. in Latin American Literature and a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from the University of Washington, and settled in Seattle to teach and write. She has published texts and manuals for adult education in Chile; a study of the Spanish writer Fray Luis de León; three books of poetry in Spanish, Arquitectura de ausencias (Architecture of Absences), Editorial Torremozas, España; Tempo de metales y volcanes (Time of Metals and Volcanoes), Editorial 400 Elefantes, Nicaragua; and Casa de Máquinas (House of Machines), 400 Elefantes; and a chapbook, Leaf of Glass, which won an Artella contest. At Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, Toledo has taught poetry writing in Spanish, and with Carolyne Wright, team-taught a course on Pablo Neruda. A bilingual manuscript of poems, Trazas de mapa, trazas de sangre / Map Traces, Blood Traces, written after Toledo’s travels in Chile in 2008 with Carolyne Wright—a journey of return and re-encounters with the friends and experiences of her youth–received a 4Culture grant and was published in 2017 by Mayapple Press. With her husband, Toldeo divides her time between the Temuco and Seattle.
Carolyne Wright’s new book is This Dream the World: New & Selected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2017), whose title poem received a Pushcart Prize and was included in The Best American Poetry 2009. The anthology, Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace (Lost Horse Press, 2015), co-edited with Eugenia Toledo and M.L. Lyons, received ten Pushcart Prize nominations and was a finalist in the Foreword Review’s Book of the Year Awards. Wright has nine earlier poetry volumes, five books of poetry in translation from Spanish and Bengali, and a collection of essays; and has received NEA, 4Culture, and Seattle Arts Commission fellowships, among others. She teaches for Richard Hugo House; for the Antioch University Los Angeles low-residency MFA Program; and for national and international literary conferences and festivals. Wright lived in Chile and traveled in Brazil on a Fulbright Grant during the presidency of Salvador Allende; her volume of translations of the poetry of Jorge Teillier,In Order to Talk with the Dead (U of Texas Press), received the ALTA Award for Outstanding Translation.
This event is supported in part by Poets & Writers.