Villegas, Halli 1967–
Villegas, Halli 1967–
PERSONAL: Born July 30, 1967, in Winterpark, FL; daughter of Jesse (a teacher and artist) and Patricia (a teacher; maiden name, Hutchinson) Villegas; married Paul Chevalier (marriage ended); married David Big-ham (a designer), August 16, 1997; children: (first marriage) Misha Jo. Ethnicity: "Hispanic/Welsh."
ADDRESSES: Office—Guernica Editions, Inc., P.O. Box 117, Postal Station P, Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S6, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Writer. Guernica Editions, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada, member of editorial staff, 2001–. Workshop presenter; public speaker; guest on radio programs.
Red Promises (poetry), Guernica Editions (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2001.
In the Silence Absence Makes (poetry), Guernica Editions (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.
Work represented in anthologies, including Girls Who Bite Back, Sumach Press, 2004. Contributor of poetry, prose, and reviews to periodicals, including Another Toronto Quarterly, Literary Review of Canada, Variety Crossings, Surface and Symbol, Annex Echo, Exile, Kiss, and Pagitica.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Artistic License, a novella; Love and Other Infidelities, prose poetry; research in Mexico and Texas for a book on her family.
SIDELIGHTS: Halli Villegas told CA: "I have been writing all my life. In high school I wrote serial novels for my friends and poetry for myself. I nearly flunked out of school. I went on to a stellar career as a waitress, in retail management, and in legal administration, all the while writing on the side. In 2000 I took the plunge and took a poetry workshop at the University of Toronto; my first manuscript was finished in that workshop; I was introduced to my publisher by my teacher; and my book Red Promises was published in 2001. I have never looked back and pray to God I never have to.
"I am a rabid reader. In fact, I was kicked out of an American civics class in tenth grade for reading The Grapes of Wrath while my teacher was talking about his latest ski trip—which has always struck me as ironic. My favorite writers are Vladimir Nabokov, Co-lette, and Patrick Dennis. My favorite poets are W.H. Auden and P.K. Page. Actually I have a list of favorites that goes on and on, but those are the writers who appear at the top.
"My poetry is image-driven. My second book, In the Silence Absence Makes, about a girl who goes missing, was first inspired by a flier on a pole at the Michigan State Fair. A teenage girl had disappeared while at the fair and fliers were posted all over the fairgrounds. Red Promises, written in formal verse forms, is almost a poetic account of my journey as a writer, childhood in suburbia, young adult life in the city, to adult in the country. The images are both metaphoric and realistic.
"Art and music influence me, along with movies and magazines, anything that moves me. I want to write about it, and I will."