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Peter Ludwin, author of Gone to Gold Mountain

Peter Ludwin is the recipient of a Literary Fellowship from Artist Trust and the W.D. Snodgrass Award for Endeavor and Excellence in Poetry.  His first book, A Guest in All Your Houses, was published in 2009 by Word Walker Press.  His second collection is Rumors of Fallible Gods, a two-time finalist for the Gival Press Poetry Award that was published in 2013 by Presa Press.

His new book, Gone to Gold Mountain, was published in 2016 by MoonPath Press and subsequently nominated for a Washington State Book Award.

A thirteen-year participant in Mexico’s San Miguel Poetry Week, where he has studied under such noted poets as Mark Doty, Tony Hoagland, Joseph Stroud and Robert Wrigley, Ludwin was the Second Prize winner of the 2007-2008 Anna Davidson Rosenberg Awards.  In 2010 Soundings Review named him its Reader’s Choice winner in the spring/summer issue. 

Most recently, he was the 2016 First Prize winner of The Comstock Review’s Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial Award, the Second Place poetry winner of the 2016 Kay Snow Writing Awards sponsored by Willamette Writers, and a finalist in poetry for both the 2016 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards and the Pangaea Poetry Prize.  A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, he received nominations in 2016 from MoonPath Press and Connecticut River Review. 

His work has appeared in many journals, including Atlanta Review, The Bitter Oleander, The Comstock Review, Crab Orchard Review, Nimrod, North American Review and Prairie Schooner, to name a few.  A world traveler who has journeyed by canoe to visit remote Indian families in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador, hiked in the Peruvian Andes, thumbed for rides in Greece, bargained for goods in the markets of Marrakech and Istanbul and survived debilitating illness in China and Tibet, he is also accomplished on acoustic guitar and autoharp.  He lives in Kent, Washington, where he works for the Parks Department.  

“In Gone to Gold Mountain, poet Peter Ludwin brings to life the little-known story of Chea Po and his fellow Chinese gold miners, massacred in 1887 by Eastern Oregon pioneers.  Ludwin embodies Chea Po and his experiences of breathtaking racism, homesickness, and dislocation.  He imbues these persona poems, letters, and laments with the finely-drawn landscapes of Hells Canyon and China, glowing lanterns, and an eagle circling the canyon rim.  Chea Po seems to have haunted Ludwin until finally, here, his life and death are told justly.  We are the richer for it.”—Kathleen Flenniken


“Peter Ludwin is a writer who knows there are poems no one asks for, but everyone needs—so he sets out to write them.  In this book, he travels to a place of massacre, then enhances the story of trauma with longing, devotion, hope, and the unfurling tendril of life that reaches generations beyond a tragedy.  The poems speak as letters, news items, memories, secret notes of lover to lost soul.  Ludwin’s lens of imagination pierces a hidden past at a remote place, and his lyric archive invents what might otherwise be forgotten, what he calls ‘the speckled rhythms’ of change.  Read this book for insight into a hidden chapter of international history, and to break a code of silence across cultures.  You will recognize more poems need rich research, and history needs to sing.”—Kim Stafford

Please join us for a reading and signing with Peter!

Event date: 
Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
5629 Summitview Ave
Yakima, WA 98908