Rich Villar

is creating Poetry, Memoir, Plays, and Community Spaces

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El Bochinche
$1
per month
For your pledge of $1 per month, you'll receive access to my patrons-only blog on poetry, politics, process, abuelas, Cafe Bustelo, and other quirks, work, and bochinche of the world of Latinx culture. 
El Sofá
$5
per month
Try not to get stuck to the plastic. You'll get the aforementioned blog, PLUS 1-3 brand new poems or play fragments per month, along with the backstory on why and how they were created, and the ability to talk back to me on the work. 
Galletitas
Limited (25 of 25 remaining)
$10
per month
'Acho, stay a while! All rewards plus an advanced copy of the chapbooks which will eventually become sections of the new collection (Limited to the first 25 patrons). You may submit 1-3 poems or up to 10 pages of prose for me to critique.

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About

Good gente! Bienvenidos. Welcome to my Patreon page. Took me a while to get here, but here I am. 

You have questions, que no? Then I have answers!

Q: PERO RICH! Why you here though? What you up to?

Bueno.

I'm here because there is a community of like-minded patrons and poets and teachers who believe in the things I do. I'm here to keep doing what I've been doing for fourteen years--writing and advocating for writers of color, telling my stories, and teaching the art forms I love. 

What exactly are you sponsoring, though? Well, to paraphrase a friend of mine, I'm never not working. But at this precise moment, I am working on the projects listed below. Number 3 is the biggest, hairiest idea of them all, one which I'll be working on for the foreseeable future. 

1) THE BOOK 
A second collection of poems, tentatively titled ENDOMORPH, which is dedicated to the poetics of the body and an exploration of the various kinds of heaviness the body carries.

2) THE SHOW
A one-man show involving music and movement, based around the second collection.

3) THE SITE
A multimedia web project revolving around Latinx literature and culture; featuring original content by Latinx poets, prose writers, and filmmakers; interviews and discussions with emerging and established Latinx artists, as well as live and online incubator spaces in which artists, collaborators, readers, and viewers can interact and create more new work.

(#3, in something like plain English: If I'm able to execute it as planned, this means I'll be back in the independent curation business. Live performances featuring emerging and established Latinx writers and performers, talkbacks, and Q&A. This will all supported by the online platform, where you'll be able to see the event archive, read new work, and enrich your understanding of Latinx art with amazing content. And if you've ever wanted to be a part of a space that sincerely pursues equity among Latinx artists, this is your chance.)

Q: HOLD IT, PAPI! Who are you, anyway?

My name is Rich Villar, and I am a poet, essayist, performer, organizer, and educator. I have been an advocate, a teacher, and a curator on behalf of artists of color, especially Latinx poets, for the past fourteen years. 

I was the co-founder and curator of Acentos, a grassroots project promoting the visibility of Latinx poets and writers, which was founded in 2003. At various points in its history, Acentos was a reading series, a workshop, a series of symposia, and a homebase for Latinx writers and their allies in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. In fact, the cover photo on this page is of the audience we gathered in 2008 when 33 Latinx poets read their work in a marathon reading at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in New York. Today, Acentos exists as The Acentos Review, a literary journal publishing emerging and established Latinx poets, prose writers, critics, and book reviewers.

I published my first book of poems, Comprehending Forever, with Willow Books in 2014. My poetry and prose appears in journals such as Radius Lit Mag, Black Renaissance Noire, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, and Thrush Poetry Journal. My work also appears in a landmark anthology called Poetry of Resistance: Voices For Social Justice, edited by Francisco Alarcón and Odilia Galván Rodríguez.

In the performance world, I have contributed voice, body, and text to a number of theater companies and productions, including Actors Stock NYC's Eve Descending, Luna Stage in Montclair, and Ghetto Hors D'ouerves: Climate, with the Oye Group and the Bushwick Starr Theater. I also co-curate Lincoln Center's annual LA CASITA show for Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors.

Right now, I serve as Artistic Director and poetry facilitator for La Sopa NYC, a community-based writing and performance workshop in New York City with roots in the movement poetics and spoken word traditions of the 1960's and onward. I am also a freelance educator with recent residencies in the school systems of Montclair and Hoboken, New Jersey, where I taught poetry as an alternative pathway to learning, with particular emphasis on middle school STEM curriculum. For three years, I have served as faculty for the Bronx Loaf Teen Workshops at the Foundation For Letters, and I also served as faculty for the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Teaching in 2016.

I believe in the power of image and metaphor to imagine new ways to learn, interact with the world, formulate our politics and citizenship, and theorize about the nature of the universe itself. I believe in storytelling and live performance as a way to develop empathy and foster connection among human beings. I believe in memoir because I believe in the healing power of memory and truth telling. Poetry is a liberational urge, and my mission in life is to continue practicing it and teaching it to others. 

Q: Dude. You're a busy dude. How can I be a part of all this?

If you want to be a part of these next chapters, become a patron and you'll gain a backstage pass to the process, along with some opportunities to talk back to me about these projects. There will also be opportunity to engage me as a professional arts curator, editor, and teacher of poetry. You might even be able to contribute your ideas and energy toward a new online venture for Latinx arts and culture!

If you don't choose to be a patron right now, that's okay too. Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you about this art we love, and maybe we'll see each other down the road. I'm also really easy to talk to in person and on Twitter. Follow me at @elprofe316, or come find me on Facebook. 

Pa'lante como el elefante, and thank you all for being part of the journey.

Mad love,
Rich.
Goals
$1 of $500 per month
OYE! Get me to $500 per month in pledges, and I will inaugurate a monthly series in which I interview an established Latinx author on camera, in depth!
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