Dr. Steven Alvarez
Steven Alvarez was born in Stafford, Arizona a few hours north of the US-Mexico border. He was raised by his mother and father, both of whom are of Mexican descent. His mother is from Cananea, Sonora, Mexico and was raised in Bisbee, Arizona. His father is first generation Mexican-American from Bisbee, Arizona. His father's family came from the states of Sinaloa and Durango in Mexico. Steven grew up in Stafford and was raised speaking only English. For this reason, he was unable to communicate with his grandparents. Steven found this strange because the majority of his friends were white and did not experience this same problem. As an adolescent, he considered himself just plain American. When asked the question of his nationality he never replied "Mexican-American", and in fact was proud that he could not speak Spanish. Steven separated himself from his familial heritage until he went to college. He moved at the age of eighteen to Tucson where he attended the University of Arizona. It was at this point in his life that he began to discover more about his identity and incorporate those ideas into his poetry. In 2002, Steven graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English. A year later, he completed a second degree magna cum laude in Creative Writing. Steven went on in 2009 to receive a M.Phil. in English from The Graduate Center, City University of New York and just this year completed his doctorate from the same institution. Dr. Alvarez's dissertation is entitled, Brokering Literacies: An Ethnographic Study of Languages and Literacies in Immigrant Mexican Families. It focuses on the importance of teaching immigrant families English, an idea that is evident in many of his works. Steven has written five books, which he describes as his favorite works of his personal collection. All of the books are written in verse, and are connected by story line and characters. One of the five has been published and is titled The Poncho Codex. A second is going to be published soon, and Steven is looking for publishers for the final three.
Steven's teaching experience began in 2006 when he worked as an English as a Second Language instructor for Mexican American students in South Bronx, NY. It was also during this time that he served as a graduate teaching fellow at Queens College, CUNY while he completed his graduate work. During the summers, he was a writing instructor at the Queens School of Inquiry which was an intensive program for eighth graders. Steven's passion for teaching led him to his current employment at the University of Kentucky where he is an Assistant Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Media. He is currently working on another research project "Mexington, Kentucky" and regularly maintains his website.