Shawn Bowers Buxton is a published Latina writer who specializes in poetry, writing under the name of Anita Cantillo. Currently, Bowers is a professor of English at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina, but spends her free time writing and publishing poetry. She enjoys sharing her passion for writing both in the classroom and through her poetry.
Although born in San Isidro, Costa Rica, she grew up in New Orleans for her early childhood and later spent nine more years of her childhood in Florida. Bowers came from a biracial and bilingual family. Her father was born on a sheep farm in Ohio, while her mother was a native of Costa Rica, also born on a farm. Integrated into the American educational system after kindergarten, Bowers learned English quickly, but learned Spanish first. Dinners at the Bowers household were a merging of English and Spanish. Her mother was adamant that Shawn and her siblings retain their Spanish language and culture. During summer breaks, they practiced Spanish grammar and writing and were only allowed to address their mother in Spanish. Included in the upraising of the Latin culture, Bowers' family was practicing Catholics and adhered to the many rituals and traditions of the Catholic faith.
After graduating from high school, Bowers earned a B.A. in Corporate Communications and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing for Poetry from Queens University of Charlotte. Before landing a position as a professor at Queens, Bowers taught high school English. She was also the Creative Director of a branding firm, naming consumer goods and pharmaceutical drugs to be released in the public marketplace.
Shawn Bowers' motivation to become a writer stems from middle school when she would keep journals and poetry books. She has always expressed her feelings and experiences through writing, so it was only natural that she begin to write poetry and eventually become published. Much of her poetry is inspired by her Latin culture and roots. Bowers explores the major themes of nature, feminine issues, family ties, and religion, especially her Catholic roots. Also, she enjoys writing about the women in her family because they are such strong matriarchs and hold strong belief systems. Often, these strong belief systems cause tension with her Americanized culture. The greatest muse of the women in her family is Bowers' mother. Her mother's past inspires Bowers and her conflicting beliefs are something Bowers comes back to in her poetry. Since Bowers writes about her feelings, experiences, and the people around her, she is considered a realist or an autobiographical poet. When reading "Anita Cantillo's" poetry, one can get a sense of the depth of her emotions and how her experiences affect her life.