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Untold Stories

Hedgebrook Cottage Chat (Online)
Past Event

Hosted by Hedgebrook’s Program Director and alumna, Amber Flame, Cottage Chats are informal, organic conversations where Hedgebrook alumnae explore sources of joy, share new work, and talk craft and collaboration. Lena Khalaf Tuffaha and Claudia Castro Luna join in informal conversation and explore their immigrant and dual-cultural identities, the experience of being othered, and their personal “untold stories.”

About Lena Khalaf Tuffaha

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha has lived the experiences of first-generation American, immigrant, and expatriate and shares her perspectives through poetry, essays and translations. Her heritage is Palestinian, Jordanian, and Syrian and she has lived in and traveled across the Arab world. Many of her poems explore the experience of crossing cultural, geographic and political borders, borders between languages, between the present and the living past. Widely published, she is the winner of the 2016 Two Sylvias Prize for her chapbook Arab in Newsland. Her first book of poems, Water and Salt (Red Hen Press) won the 2018 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. Lena spent ten years working with journalists and editors as a volunteer for Seattle’s Arab American community organizations. She helped to tell the stories of people living between two homelands, people who speak in translation and navigate the realities of long wars. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington. She is an MFA graduate from Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainier Writing Workshop. Lena is passionate about poetry, the perfect cup of coffee, travel, language, freedom and equality, and gardening, and lives with her husband and daughters in Redmond, Washington.

About Claudia Castro Luna

Claudia Castro Luna is an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellow (2019), WA State Poet Laureate (2018 – 2021) and Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet (2015-2018), the author of One River, A Thousand Voices (Chin Music Press), the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) which was also shortlisted for WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry, and the chapbook This City (Floating Bridge Press). She is well known to poetry audiences, and is the creator of the acclaimed Seattle Poetic Grid. Born in El Salvador she came to the United States in 1981 and received a MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Northwest, La Bloga , Dialogo and Psychological Perspectives among others Her most recent non-fiction is forthcoming in There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis (Vintage) due out in May 2021. Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle on unceded Duwamish lands where she gardens and keeps chickens with her husband and their three children.


Jul 24, 2021





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