Jose Villa was a poet
and writer. He was awarded the National Artist of the Philippines title for
literature in 1973.
In 1929,Villa published Man Songs, a series of erotic
poems, for which he was
fined by the Manila Courtsfor
obscenity. However, in that same year, Villa won Best
Story of the Year from Philippine Free Press magazine for Mir-I-Nisaand he used the prize money to emmigrate to the United
1933, Villa switched from writing prose to poetry, but
published only a handful of works until 1942.
During the release of
Have Come, Am Here in 1942, he introduced a new rhyming scheme called
"reversed consonance" wherein, according to Villa: "The last sounded
consonants of the last syllable, or the last principal consonant of a word,
are reversed for the corresponding rhyme. Thus, a rhyme for near would be
run; or rain, green, reign."
In 1949, Villa presented a
poetic style he called "comma poems", where commas are placed after every
Villa worked as an associate
editor for New Directions Publishing in New York City between 1949 to 1951,
and then became director of poetry workshop at City College of New York from
1952 to 1960.