Vanessa Angelica Villarreal by Beowulf Sheehan, New York,
New York, March 21, 2019. Photograph © Beowulf Sheehan

Vanessa Angélica Villarreal is an award-winning poet and first-generation U.S. citizen born in the Rio Grande Valley to Mexican immigrants and raised in Houston, Texas. She is also an essayist and cultural critic with decolonial feminist approaches to pop culture and media studies, ecopoetics, documentary poetics, borders and geographies of power, critical race, animal studies, memory studies, generational trauma, and the archive.

She is the recipient of a 2019 Whiting Award and the author of the award-winning collection Beast Meridian (Noemi Press, Akrilica Series, 2017), a 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award finalist, and winner of the John A. Robertson Award for Best First Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Paris Review, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, the Rumpus, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Buzzfeed Reader, and Poetry Magazine, where her poem “f = [(root) (future)]” was honored with the 2019 Friends of Literature Prize. She is a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo and Jack Jones Literary Arts, and is a doctoral candidate in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she is raising her son with the help of a loyal dog.

Vanessa is represented by Amanda Orozco.