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Jose Garcia Villa

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Wednesday August 6, 2008 at 6PM
Jefferson Market Branch
of The New York Public Library
425 Avenue of the Americas NY, NY 10011
212-243-4334

Presents the Penguin Classic Book Centennial Celebration:
Jose Garcia Villa’s Doveglion

Known as the “Pope of Greenwich Village,” Jose Garcia Villa had a special status as the only Asian poet among a group of modern literary giants in 1940’s New York that included, E. E. Cummings, Mark Van Doren, W. H. Auden, Tennessee Williams, and a young Gore Vidal. But Beyond his exotic ethnicity, Villa was a global poet who was admired for “the reverence, the raptness, the depth of concentration in [his] bravely deep poems” (Marianne Moore). Doveglion (Villa’s pen name—for dove, eagle, and lion) contains Villa’s collected poetry, including rare and previously unpublished material.

JOHN EDWIN COWEN, Editor—(Professor of Literacy, Fairleigh Dickinson University) and LUIS H. FRANCIA, Introduction Essayist—(Professor at the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Institute at New York University)—both widely published poets, authors, critics, and former students of Villa’s—will read and each give a personal analysis of this major Filipino-American’s poetry, including Villa’s technical innovations, his deeply spiritual, divine and uplifting lyrical poems as well as his playful caprices, aphorisms and unpublished writings appearing in this volume.

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Jose Garcia Villa

His name was familiar, and after a bit of time up bubbled why. In 1943 Samuel Barber set his poem Monks and Raisins (I have observed pink monks eating blue raisins...) for voice and piano. It seems Jennie Tourel gave the premiere. I remember it as a sly text, and though not an easy song, I'll hack at it again this weekend. Thanks Billy for the info - Jay

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