Join the new Open Books Poet-in-Residence, Quenton Baker; Seattle Youth Poet Laureate (2017-2018), Lily Baumgart; and current Washington State Poet Laureate, Claudia Castro Luna for a terrific night of poems!
Quenton Baker is a poet and educator from Seattle. His current focus is anti-blackness and the afterlife of slavery. His work has appeared in Jubilat, Vinyl, Apogee, Pinwheel, Poetry Northwest, The James Franco Review, and Cura and in the anthologies Measure for Measure: An Anthology of Poetic Meters and It Was Written: Poetry Inspired by Hip-Hop. He has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Southern Maine and is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. He is a 2017 Jack Straw fellow and is the recipient of a James W. Ray Venture Project award from Artist Trust. His first collection, This Glittering Republic, came out from Willow Books in 2016.
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 is WA State Poet Laureate (2018 – 2020) and served as Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet (2015-2017). She is the author the Pushcart nominated collection Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) and the chapbook This City (Floating Bridge Press). Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981. She has an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate and an MFA in Poetry. Her non-fiction has most recently appeared in the anthology This is the Place (Seal Press) Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.