Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jose Garcia Villa

Jose Garcia Villa

The first Filipino to publish a collection of short stories in the U.S

Jose Garcia Villa grew up in Singalong Manila but spent most of his writing life in the U.S. He is one of the best when it comes to writing in English. He is known to use sharp words, phrases and sentences.

He introduced the reversed consonance rhyme scheme, including the comma poems that made full use of the punctuation mark in an innovative, poetic way. The first of his poems “Have Come, Am Here” received critical recognition when it appeared in New York in 1942.

One of the first literary awards that he received was the American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards.

He was named National Artist for Literature in 1973 and was given a a doctoral degree honoris causa for “humane letters” by Far Eastern University and later by the University of the Philippines.

He used Doveglion as penname – acronym of the words Dove, Eagle, Lion. E.E. Cummings, a famed American poet, attributed a poem for him, which the former entitled “Doveglion, Adventures in Value.”

His works have been compiled in several books. Some of them are: “Footnote to Youth,” “Poems in Praise of Love,” “55 Poems: Selected and Translated into Tagalog by Hilario S. Francia,” “Poems in Praise of Love,” “Mir-i-nisa,” “The Best Love Poems of Jose Garcia Villa as Chosen By Himself,” “Storymasters 3,” “Selected Stories,” “Many Voices,” “Poems by Doveglion,” “The Essential Villa,” “The Portable Villa,” and “Selected Stories from Footnote to Youth.”

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