More about Joshua Escobar
Over the past couple of years, Escobar has worked to grow the Creative Writing program
. He co-founded with Emma Trelles the student-run magazine Open Fruit
. Under his directorship, a number of celebrated artists have visited campus including Juan Felipe Herrera, Carmen Giménez, Saidiya Hartman, Edwidge Danticat, Susan Straight. He collaborates with the Atkinson Gallery, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Greywolf Press on an artist residency, events on campus and in the community. Last year with Kim Monda, Abby Pasley, and Chris Brown, he launched the English Peer Tutoring and Mentoring Project
, which combined "emotional" support with in-person drop-in writing support in the Learning Resources Center. Escobar has also worked to reimagine and inspire students in English after statewide legislation removed all barriers to college-level composition. This effort included organizing a Latinx/e Heritage Month reading series, and professional development sessions with university professors, performing artists, and practicing writers through the RISE Initiative. He is working with Darin Gerrard and Michelle Detorrie to launch the Multimodal Lab this fall. As the Director of MET, the English Department's equity program, he is also starting a One Book program featuring UCSB sociologist and former advisor to the Obama Administration Dr. Victor Rios.
In addition to teaching at Santa Barbara City College, Escobar is at work on the novel Demons of Eminence as the recipient of the inaugural Bo Huston prize, which was founded to honor Bo who died of AIDS at the age of 34. Bareback Nightfall, his first book, was a finalist for the 2020 California Book Award in poetry. He is the author of the chapbooks xxox fm and Caljforkya Voltage. He was a 2020 Shandaken: Storm King fellow and his zine Orange Mercury appeared in the exhibit "Publishing Against the Grain" organized by Independent Curators International. He graduated from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College and the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. The poet Leila Ortiz describes his work as "out of context and close to the heart."