jose garcia villa thumbnail photo

National Artist for Literature (1973)
(August 5, 1908 – February 7, 1997)

“Art is a miraculous flirtation with Nothing!
Aiming for nothing, and landing on the Sun.”
―  Doveglion: Collected Poems

Jose Garcia Villa is considered as one of the finest contemporary poets regardless of race or language. Villa, who lived in Singalong, Manila, introduced the reversed consonance rime 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 that, soon enough, honors and fellowships were heaped on him: Guggenheim, Bollingen, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Awards. He used Doveglion (Dove, Eagle, Lion) as penname, the very characters he attributed to himself, and the same ones explored by e.e. cummings in the poem he wrote for Villa (Doveglion, Adventures in Value). Villa is also known for the tartness of his tongue.

Villa’s works have been collected into the following books: Footnote to Youth,Many Voices, Poems by Doveglion, Poems 55, Poems in Praise of Love: The Best Love Poems of Jose Garcia Villa as Chosen By Himself, Selected Stories,The Portable Villa, The Essential Villa, Mir-i-nisa, Storymasters 3: Selected Stories from Footnote to Youth, 55 Poems: Selected and Translated into Tagalog by Hilario S. Francia.

List of Awardees