New professor says Linfield was first choice

Braelyn Swan, Staff writer

A new creative writing professor said Linfield was his first choice when searching for a job, and he wants to contribute to the community and expand the creative writing department.

Jose Araguz has an incredible passion in creative writing and poetry. He enjoys visual poetry, specifically erasures, a type of poetry with a paragraph of text with words erased.

Not only was he drawn to Linfield’s diverse student body and faculty, Araguz said, “Linfield impressed me by not just that it’s liberal arts but the way they approach the liberal arts.”

Araguz is also an adviser for Camas, Linfield’s literary journal.

Originally from Corpus Christi Texas, Hurricane Harvey has affected Professor Araguz’s family, but he reports they are doing well.

Family is an important factor to Araguz’s decision to teach in Oregon.

He met his wife in Eugene where her family lives, so Linfield provides a place close to them.

Professor Araguz explained that a lot of the reason for why he is a poet came from his mother.

She is his “model for surviving, and making something out of nothing,” he said.

To students who are considering a creative writing or English degree, Araguz said, “It’s a flexible degree. We have writers in all sorts of fields.”

“Anything that involves dealing with people, creative writing can help you do that.”

Araguz attended the College of Santa Fe for his undergraduate program, New York University to earn his master’s and the University of Cincinnati for his doctorate.

Araguz reflected on his time at NYU working at Starbucks from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., then writing poems in the city and attending night classes. One day he nearly passed out on the train between work and class. Luckily a stranger grabbed his satchel and pulled him back before he had a chance to fall over.

After defending his dissertation at the University of Cincinnati, Araguz recalls stumbling upon a Trump rally with protesters from both sides.

He said his first reaction was to “flip my hood up and make my out.” But then he thought: ”No, this is why I am getting this degree. I’m here in a position to advocate for writers who do not get advocated for.”

His pursuit of creative writing is to be an “advocate for writers who do not get realized.” Araguz has a weekly blog known as The Friday Influence where he will post poems from other writers and talk about them. His involvement in CantoMundo, a fellowship of lantinx poets, is one way he stays active in the community.

“It’s not just we are poets, we are activists, we are community leaders.”