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Villa, José García. José García Villa papers, circa 1920-1997: PRELIMINARY BOX LIST.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: 2008M-14
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Villa, José García.
Title: José García Villa papers,
Date(s): 1920-1997.
Quantity: 1 collection (22 linear feet (23 boxes)
Language of materials: English.
Abstract: Papers of Filipino poet, short story writer, and lecturer, José García Villa.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2008M-14. Gift of the Estate of José García Villa; received: 2008 August 4.

Processing Information:

Accessioned by: Melanie Wisner.
Original order of folders within original boxes has been retained where box labels corresponded to contents and offered guidance; original order within folders has been uniformly retained. Some acidic folders have been replaced, any headings present transferred to the new folders and listed. Metal fasteners (other than staples) were removed where feasible.

Conditions Governing Access:

Restricted: unprocessed; consult curatorial staff.
Partially restricted: curator's permission required; box 1 is restricted until 1 September 2018.
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Separated Materials

12 boxes of books and other printed material given to Houghton Library Rare Book Section for cataloging.

Biographical / Historical

José García Villa (1908-1997) was a prominent Filipino poet writing in English and a friend of the American poet E. E. Cummings. Born in Manila, he moved to the United States in 1930, earning a B.A. at the University of New Mexico where he also founded the literary magazine, Clay, and began writing short stories. He turned to poetry by the 1940s, inventing both "reversed consonance" and "comma poems", poetic techniques that drew both fire and critical praise. He worked briefly at New Directions Publishing Corp.; he taught and lectured in New York from the 1950s where he lived until his death. Using the pen name Doveglion, he edited anthologies of poetry in English. Villa is credited with establishing modern writing in English in the Philippines. He married Rosemarie Lamb in 1946, they had two sons, and they were later divorced.


Arranged alphabetically in rough series. Arrangement is original and materials are not fully cataloged. Readers should note that when fully processed, the order of materials may change.

Scope and Contents

Includes raw material for Villa's major compositions and publications, his poetry workshops, and his documentation of Philippine writing. Also includes writing by his student and editor, John E. Cowen.
Theory of poetry lectures series includes binders and a few folders of mixed print and manuscript material for teaching, apparently organized in two sets of 15 topics, possibly for two semesters plus summers. Contents of the binders do not cleanly fall into the topics on the list found at beginning of series; clippings from newspapers and magazines and typed and manuscript notes are loosely clipped and taped together along with notes on binder paper. Binders show multiple identification numbers, some by John E. Cowen; these are recorded as identifiers in the box list. Binders are wrapped in plastic with adhesive notes identifying them. Accompanied at start of series by note to Houghton Library from John E. Cowen: "Please use binders 1-3 as models for putting manuscript in order".


This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

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