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Tino Villanueva

A Guide to the Tino Villanueva Papers, 1985

0.10 linear feet
1 folder plus 1 oversize folder 

Acquisition:  Gift donated by Tino Villanueva, 1996.

Access:  Direct inquiries to Archivist, Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas 78666-4604.  (512) 245-2313.

Processed by:  Tina Ybarra, 2001

Poet and writer Tino Villanueva was born on December 11, 1941, in San Marcos, Texas to a family of migrant workers. Because of the demands of traveling to harvest crops, Villanueva was never able to attend school regularly. Despite the hardships, he managed to graduate from San Marcos High in 1960 and began working on an assembly-line at a local furniture factory. In 1963, he was drafted into the United States Army in 1963 and spent two years in the Panama Canal Zone. There he became immersed in Hispanic literature, reading the works of poets such as Rubén Darío and Cuban revolutionary José Martí. Upon returning to San Marcos, he took advantage of the GI Bill to study English and Spanish at Texas State University-San Marcos. He completed his B.A. in three years and then moved to Buffalo, New York to attend the State University of New York. He finished his M.A. in 1971 and moved to Boston University, where he began his doctoral studies.

In the early 1970s, Villanueva began publishing his poems and he became part of what has been called The Chicano Literary Renaissance. His work highlights the tension as well as the richness of living within two different cultures. He writes in both English and Spanish, often switching between the two languages. In 1972, he published his first collection of poems, Hay Otra Voz Poems (There Is Another Voice Poems). That year he also wrote "Chicano Is an Act of Defiance."

After publishing Hay Otra Voz Poems (1972), Villanueva began traveling widely, presenting readings throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America. He founded Imagine Publishers, Inc., and edited Imagine: International Chicano Poetry Journal. In 1980 he published a general anthology of Chicano literature, Chicanos: Antología Histórica y Literaria. A year later, Villanueva completed his doctorate in Spanish from Boston University and accepted a full-time faculty post at Wellesley College.

In 1994 Villanueva won the American Book Award for his book-length poem, Scene from the Movie GIANT (1993). The poem was inspired by his boyhood in San Marcos, where he had first viewed the film at the Holiday Theater. The scene depicted on the screen takes place at a segregated restaurant. In 1995 Villanueva received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas State University-San Marcos.

Villanueva has published several books of poetry since earning his Ph.D. He continues to teach, lecture, and research, and to develop his interest in painting. Villanueva currently serves as Senior Lecturer in Spanish, Department of Romance Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University.


Hay Otra Voz Poems, Staten Island, N.Y.: Editorial Mansaje, 1972.
Shaking off the Dark, Houston: Arte Público Press,1984; second printing, Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press, 1998.
"Autobiographical Disclosures: Tino Villanueva Interviews Anthony Quinn," The Americas
Review, 1988.
Imagine: Arte Chicano Issue, Boston, MA: Imagine Publishers, Inc., 1990.
Scene from the Movie GIANT, Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1993.
Chronicle of My Worst Years, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1994.
Crónica de Mis Años Peores, La Jolla, CA: Lalo Press, 1987; 1994, second printing;
Madrid, Spain: Editorial Verbum, 2001, third printing.
Primera Causa/First Cause, Merrick, N.Y.: Cross-Cultural Communications, 1999.
Il Canto del Cronista: Antologia Poetica. Florence, Italy: Casa Editrice Le Lettere, 2002.
Escena de la película GIGANTE, Madrid: Editorial Catriel, 2005.


Chicanos: Antología Histórica y Literaria, México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1980, third printing 1994.
(trans.) La Llaman América by Luis J. Rodríguez, Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1997.


This collection is comprised of eight annotated pages of Villanueva's working drafts of the Cabeza de Vaca poem titled Cuento del Cronista, published in Crónica de mis años peores (Chronicle of My Worst Years), 1994, one black and white 8x10 public relations photo mounted on foam core and two posters promoting two separate lectures dated Nov. 6, 1996 for the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center and March 11, 1998 for Southwest Texas State University.


Box File
Drafts of “Cuento del Cronista” poem (8 pgs) 767 1
One black and white 8x10 PR photo and two posters. 705 Map case Drawer 19