Readers at Short Stories Live event. L to R: Fern Renville, Brandon Simmons, Claudia Castro Luna and Sophie Franco.
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Readers at Short Stories Live event. L to R: Fern Renville, Brandon Simmons, Claudia Castro Luna and Sophie Franco.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

Stories from a changing Seattle

Sometimes poems speak to us. They speak to who we are, were or aspire to be, as they spoke to the ancient Greeks, who honored their poets with cleansing laurel wreaths.

And sometimes a poem provides an opening. That was the case for an afternoon of readings curated by Washington state poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna.

Castro Luna found her way into the prose with poems, starting with her “Emerald City Blues.” From there, she wandered forward: poem to prose to poem to prose, a subtle weaving.

The pieces are by writers who live or lived in Seattle. They speak eloquently to the life of our changing city. The full program includes the following works:

  • “Emerald City Blues” by Claudia Castro Luna
  • “Home” by Amanda Vo. Read by Claudia Castro Luna
  • “White City” by Elissa Washuta. Read by Fern Renville
  • “The High Walls I Can Not Scale” by Koon Woon. Read by Claudia Castro Luna
  • “This Ice That Water” by Ramon Isao. Read by Sophie Franco
  • “Instructions to the Artist” by Keiva Jones. Read by Claudia Castro Luna
  • “I Hate You, Seattle: A Love Story” by Tyrone Beason. Read by Brandon Simmons
  • “To See and Be Seen,” “Stitching Hope” and “A Corner to Love” by Claudia Castro Luna

Kaytlin McIntyre directed this episode of Town Hall Seattle’s Short Stories Live series. The readings took place at Town Hall on September 8. KUOW’s Sonya Harri recorded the event.

The next event in the Short Stories Live series-- 'Ancient Voices, Modern World'-- is on November 17.

Please note: This recording contains brief language of an adult nature.