By ALEC CLAYTON
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts celebrates local artists of all stripes in its fourth-annual Center Salon. This year’s event will be headed by playwright Bryan Willis, OLY ARTS’ contributing editor and founder of the Northwest Playwrights Alliance. It features music, poetry, short stories and theater.
“We’re looking forward to featuring Washington State’s  poet laureate, Claudia Castro Luna, as well as Jim Lynch,” Willis said. “This is an informal evening of our community sharing. Last year was completely sold out — truly one of my favorite evenings of the year.”
In addition to being Washington State Poet Laureate, Castro Luna served as Seattle’s Civic Poet from 2015 to 2017. She’s the author of the Pushcart-nominated Killing Marías and is shortlisted for the Washington State 2018 Book Award in poetry for This City.
Willis said, “It’s a special treat to hear Claudia Castro Luna’s world-class poetry, and equally inspiring to hear about her inspiration and personal story. Follow that with one of the very best novelists in the history of the Northwest, who happens to live and write here in Olympia. If you don’t like Jim Lynch it’s quite possible you have a tiny heart of stone. He’s consistently terrific.”
Lynch is the author of Before the Wind, Border Songs, The Highest Tide and Truth Like the Sun.
Also featured will be Olivia Archibald; Peggy Bruton; poet Christina Butcher, founder of Blue Cactus Press and contributor to OLY ARTS, as well as composer Greg Youtz, whose music will be performed by opera singer Cyndia Sieden. The evening will be hosted by local actress and arts educator Amy Shephard.
Publisher’s note: As of this article’s printing, the 2019 Center Salon is sold out. Interested attendees can call The Washington Center box office and place their name on a waiting list.
The Center Salon
The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Black Box Theater,
512 Washington St. SE, Olympia
7:30 p.m. Friday, April 12