Claudia Castro Luna writes poetry and non-fiction. She is Seattle’s first Civic Poet (2015-2017), a 2014 Jack Straw Fellow and Voices of Our Nations (VONA) alumna. Born in El Salvador, she came to the United States in 1981. She holds an MA in Urban Planning, a teaching certificate, and an MFA in poetry. Her poems have appeared in Riverbabble, La Bloga, Milvia Street and Poetry Northwest. This City, her first chapbook, is forthcoming from Floating Bridge Press. Living in English and Spanish, Claudia writes and teaches in Seattle, where she lives her husband and their three children.
Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs is the author of several books and first editor of the revolutionary anthology Presumed Incompetent. She has also authored multiple articles, poetry collections, and encyclopedia entries. In 2015 she was awarded the Provost’s Inaugural Award for Scholarship, Research and Creativity at Seattle University, where she is a full professor in Modern Languages and Women and Gender Studies. She was also recently selected as Director for the Center for the Study of Justice in Society. Her collection ¿How Many Indians Can We Be? is forthcoming from Mango Press. Also forthcoming is The Runaway Poems with Finishing Line Press.
Casandra López is a Chicana and California Indian writer and educator. She has received fellowships from Canto Mundo and Jack Straw Productions. She has been selected for residencies with the Santa Fe Art Institute, School of Advanced Research and Hedgebrook. Her chapbook Where Bullet Breaks was published by the Sequoyah National Research Center and her hybrid chapbook, After Bullet, is forthcoming from Yellow Chair Press. She is the managing editor of As Us: A Space For Writers Of The World and Executive Editor at The Offing.
An engineer by day and writer by night, José Lumore was born in Mexico and is passionate about storytelling in a wide range of media. After years of cultivating diverse interests such as radio broadcasting, filmmaking, theater and singing, he completed UW's Certificate in Literary Fiction and is currently focused on perfecting the art of writing the short story. He is finishing his first collection of speculative fiction written in Spanish, tentatively titled Cuentos de Sirenas (Mermaid Tales). He is truly excited to be part of La Cocina this summer, his first artistic collaboration.
Christina Montilla is a writer of experimental and blended genre works. Her writing earned her a Bryn Lunde Scholarship for Young Writers to Fishtrap in Wallowa, Oregon. In 2013, she graduated from Artist Trust's Literary EDGE program. Her hybrid poetry and other writing has appeared online in Hobart and Duende, in print with Small Po[r]tions, and in venues around the Puget Sound. She was an invited writer for two previous La Sala events: Sostenibilidad/Sustainability at the Benham Gallery (2009) and Recuerdos de las Mujeres/Women Remembering Women at ArtXchange Gallery (2010). She studied creative writing and anthropology at Pacific Lutheran University.