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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Eagle

Writing his way to AU

Aspiring poet follows his dreams to the capital

Steve Castro is not your typical AU student.

When he stood in front of his poetry class and finished reading his poem "Bloomington, Indiana," the lecture hall filled with thunderous applause.

At the time, Castro was attending Indiana University. He graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor's degree in Science in Recreation and obtained a second one in Germanic Studies nine years later.

But starting this fall, Castro will be attending AU's MFA Creative Writing Program.

Castro was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and moved to Indiana when he was ten years old. Although the move was difficult because no one in his new town spoke Spanish, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he was forced to learn English.

While Castro always enjoyed writing poetry, it wasn't until he enrolled in a poetry class in college that he discovered his gift.

Now at age 36, Castro is a published poet.

He published his first poem "A Polite Conversation," in the spring of 2009 in Labyrinth, a literary journal produced by The Hutton Honors College at Indiana University in Bloomington, he said.

"I got so much support in Bloomington," he said. "That's when I realized that people really liked my poems."

However, Castro knew he would need to take out student loans to attend AU so he applied for a merit fellowship.

The University chose Castro as the sole recipient of the merit Graduate Assistantship in poetry, which covers full tuition and comes with a stipend, he said.

As part of the Assistantship, Castro will have three work-study positions when he starts school this fall. First, he will be working as the poetry editor for Folio, the literary journal for AU. Second, he will be one of three graduate students working with the Visiting Writers Series. Lastly, he will be an editor of the University's online journal Café American.

Castro's goal is to publish the collection of poems he recently completed, which is called"The Poetry Engineer." He will begin sending it off to different publishers, he said.

To promote his writing, Castro created a website called The Poetry Engineer, which tells viewers a bit about himself and his work.

After graduation, Castro plans to pursue a career as a college professor of poetry.

Despite these long-term goals, Castro is looking forward to writing a new chapter of his life in D.C.

"Maybe I'll go to Lincoln memorial, and sit there and write a poem," he said. "And gain inspiration from the city"

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