Questioning the Locals: José Felipe Alvergue

free-wheelin‘ discussions with local folks

V1 Staff, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

HE'S A POET AND HE KNOWS IT. José is not only a distinguished English Professor at UWEC, but he has also published three poem books and many scholarly essays.
HE'S A POET AND HE KNOWS IT. José is not only a distinguished English Professor at UWEC, but he has also published three poetry books and many scholarly essays.

A gifted writer and professor, José Alvergue has lived in Eau Claire for the past nine years, brought here by his work at UWEC. He has three published poem books as well as a numerous amount of published essays. He is a dedicated advocate for LGBTQ+, BIPOC, and other minority groups, expressing a need to stand up for those groups, despite the awkwardness it could cause.

One, the availability of curated natural scenery here is amazing. It's proven that looking at fractals (patterns created in/by nature) reduces stress by 60%

José Felipe Alvergue

What's the best part about being a professor at UWEC?

The first couple weeks of Fall. I love the energy. 

What inspires your writing?

The paradox of our collective short-term memory, and refusal to acknowledge history as ancestral.

What place in town considers you a “regular”?

We go to the Nucleus a fair bit. We used to go more often. Mogie’s used to be our mandatory Friday destination in the ‘before times’. I like going to Shift, Dotters, and I’m at Woodman’s every week. So much so, in fact, that I’ve been recognized by Instacart shoppers. 

What is one of the best cultural experiences you’ve had in the Chippewa Valley? 

We love the music in the area. We were just at the Tunes from the Womb show and it’s incredible how dynamic and captivating it was to be with the music and voices. We’ve had a couple of really memorable experiences with music and live performance in the region and we just can’t get over how accessible it is. 

What sort of economic development would you like to see in our area? 

I would like to see a couple of things: Entrepreneurs of color, and women entrepreneurs replace the influence of conservative and outdated lobbyist groups; students becoming small business owners in the area; small business owners becoming more attuned to the idea of social and cultural sustainability as a major contributor to financial sustainability; some kind of education for students on how their spending habits create the community they want (if you want bars, keep doing what you’re doing for the most part; if you want culture, demand it). 


josé’s Shoutouts

the pablo center. “Pablo is truly a gem, and it’s ours. It’s accessible, public, and young enough for us to shape its programming into what we want through our direct participation as members, ticket buyers, and patrons.” 

shift cyclery & coffee bar. “I remember when it was being conceived and it was exciting. Since then it’s always a joyful establishment to frequent.”

dotter's books. “I feel exhilarated being around new books curated by people who are informed and care about the impact of literature on our collective wellbeing.”