Octavio Quintanilla ('01 Ph.D.) has tried different ways to express himself, such as creating abstract art and playing the bass and guitar in a garage band.

But he keeps returning to the written word. Now he's the 2018-20 Poet Laureate for the city of San Antonio.

"I am happy to be in this position, but I also feel a sense of responsibility about the work that lies ahead," he says.

As Poet Laureate, his aim is to make poetry visible in the community. He will work with the city's arts and culture department to develop and implement a single signature initiative.

His poetry, which often touches on the themes of identity and place, especially in his native South Texas, has been featured in several journals and his poetry collection If I Go Missing.

He credits English professors Bruce Bond and Corey Marks for encouraging and supporting him.

"Now I am here -- a graduate of UNT, an associate professor of literature and creative writing at Our Lady of the Lake University and San Antonio's Poet Laureate," he says. "It's been a great journey."


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