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Dr. Stalina Villarreal

Dr. Stalina Villarreal

Dr. Stalina Villarreal

Assistant Professor of Creative WritingEnglish


Stalina Villarreal sees, hears, feels, and communicates across mediums and cultures. She's a deep-watching ekphrastic poet, a photographic eco-essayist, a broad-stroke sketch artist, a sonic improv performer, a sound-sensitive literary translator, and an assistant professor of English. Her bilingualism stems from her 1.5-generation experience being both Mexican and Xicanx. Her debut collection of poetry and nonfiction—Watcha—is forthcoming from Deep Vellum Publishing. Her poetry can be found in the Rio Grande Review, Texas Review, The Acentos Review, Defunkt Magazine, and elsewhere. Her published translations of poetry include Enigmas by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Photograms of My Conceptual Heart Absolutely Blind by Minerva Reynosa, Kilimanjaro by Maricela Guerrero, and Postcards in Braille by Sergio Pérez Torres. Stalina is the recipient of the Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Poetry. Her visual poetry—spanning queer erotica, interactive digital art, and video installation—was part of the Antena@Blaffer exhibit at University of Houston's Blaffer Art Museum. She is currently writing ekphrastic elegies about her interpretative drawings of portraits and a memoir about her photographs of nature—revealing her ability to look backward and within, to write new ways forward.

Degrees Earned

BFA in Studio Art (University of Texas at Austin)

MFA in Writing (California College of the Arts)

Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature (University of Houston)

Courses Taught

Introduction to Creative Writing

Advanced Creative Writing

Workshop in Creative Nonfiction

Introduction to Literary Translation

Mexican-American Literature

Experience Qualifications

Stalina Villarreal explored all the writing genres during her MFA experience. Her thesis Noise Repose centered on a tragic play in verse about queer belonging and erotica using the motifs of oysters and rainbow colors. Her Ph.D. studies specialized in poetry, with research on Mexican American literature and U.S. American Multi-ethnic poetry after 1950, with a focus on Black and Latinx poets. Villarreal's ekphrastic dissertation Watcha about Latinx art is what will be published by Deep Vellum Publishing. She is an active member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) as well as the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

More Information

Stalina Villarreal has published and will publish essays about her mother. The previously published academic essay was coauthored with the historian Samantha Rodriguez and is called "María Jiménez: Reflexiones on Traversing Multiple Fronteras in the South" in the book Chicana Movidas: New Narratives of Activism and Feminism in the Movement Era, published by University of Texas Press. Her forthcoming personal essay "Levantando el puño de las palabras" will be published by Katakana Editores in the book TURBAR LA QUIETUD.

Her other published personal essays are "Nostalgia de las bolas de pelo" and "Autorretrato fragmentado," published in the magazine No existen los centauros by Denada.

Villarreal writes in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, though her poem "My Glottal Stop" published by The Acentos Review has a couple of words in Yucatec Maya, the language of her birthplace she has studied.