Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) professor and author Octavio Quintanilla, PhD, has been named San Antonio Poet Laureate for 2018-2020, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and the City of San Antonio announced Tuesday, March 20.
The mayor and the city’s Department of Arts and Culture will host a public investiture ceremony in City Council chambers on April 3, 2018, to make the official appointment.
“What an honor to represent my city as Poet Laureate and promote poetry as part of its constitution,” said Quintanilla, assistant professor of English, who teaches literature and creative writing in the Master of Arts/Master of Fine Arts (MA/MFA) program. “It was a surprise. I didn’t expect it.”
A native of Harlingen, Texas who lived in Mexico until the age of nine, Quintanilla has taught at OLLU since 2013. He is the author of the poetry collection, “If I Go Missing.” His works have been published in or are scheduled to appear in such journals as “Salamander,” “RHINO,” “Alaska Quarterly Review,” “Pilgrimage” and “The Texas Observer.”
“I have promoted poetry and the literary arts since I arrived in San Antonio,” Quintanilla said. “I will continue to do so by visiting schools, participating in literary events and supporting writers in the community as much as I can. My passion is not just reading and writing poetry, but also getting it in the hands of people as much as possible.”
Quintanilla joins previous San Antonio Poet Laureates Carmen Tafolla (2012-2014), Laurie Ann Guerrero (2014-2016) and Jenny Browne (2016-2018) in a role designed to generate interest and preserve the art of poetry. Tafolla, Guerrero and Browne have gone on to become State Poets Laureate of Texas.
“As a world-class city, San Antonio supports and fosters its creative and artistic communities — especially the many individuals who have committed their lives and work to preserving our city’s cultural legacy,” Nirenberg said. “Octavio is one of those committed individuals, and the City of San Antonio is proud to have him serve as our new Poet Laureate and promote the importance of literary arts in the community.”
In April, the City of San Antonio will join communities across the country in celebrating National Poetry Month. More information on the San Antonio Poet Laureate program and National Poetry Month can be found at www.GetCreativeSanAntonio.com.