Alma Luz Villanueva


"To her first novel, The Ultraviolet Sky, Alma Luz Villanueva brings the poet's divination for image and internal logic, expressed in a series of dream sequences that hauntingly conclude each section and alter the hard forms of reality like a watercolor wash applied last. It's a fitting metaphor for her painter protagonist, Rosa, who embodies the modern feminist Chicana woman's struggle for self-definition in the male-centered Mexican culture as well as in the larger patriarchal culture.... Like her heroines, Villanueva found that articulating her experience was not without obstacles, and her voice comes from a deep reserve of personal power. She dropped out of high school in the tenth grade to have the first of her four children, later completing college and earning an M.F.A.... In The Ultraviolet Sky, the Chicana experience is extremely complex, and the challenge she poses to her readers is one she grapples with herself directly. Apparently, Villanueva was only awaiting the pace, expanse, and multiplicity of view afforded by the novel form in order to examine issues of Chicana identity.... The protagonist has in her mind a painting she cannot finish, a composition of balance and infinite harmonies. Villanueva's ultraviolet sky is overhead for all of us."
W. W. Norton, 1992.

Selected Works

Novel/poetry, The Twins
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"Written with the urgency of dreams and the courage to face whatever life brings, the poems in SOFT CHAOS cast a spell that chants mystery back into our world, revealing the fierce and tender love that has always been here. To open this book is to enter a vision where even the dust is sacred, where life's endless spiral of beauty and wonder dances in your bones, dances against the forces that would tear them to pieces, dances la vida, and survives." Peter Levitt, author of WITHIN WITHIN.
"The poetry of Alma Luz Villanueva, like her prose, is drawn from the gut, her womb, and a vital point in an intelligent woman's mind. She always speaks from the heart. She delivers to the reader the offerings of a whole human being. She sings, she rages, she lets us know that above all, the poet is a mirror to our own inner triumphs and failures." Ana Castillo, author of SO FAR FROM GOD
"This riveting volume full of lingering images and provocative, personal and political moments opens my heart and aligns me with the powerful feminine forces that continue to surge through Ms. Villanueva's writing. Her transformational journey becomes my journey. She speaks from the heart and reaches the heart." Burleigh Muten, author of RETURN OF THE GREAT GODDESS
"What I still most enjoy about Villanueva's poetry, aside from the strength of her images and the way they convey her inner life, is her voice. That voice is confident, direct, unflinching, intimate." Marie-Elise Wheatwind, from The Women's Review of Books, May 1994.
Fiction, short story collection
"LA LLORONA, the weeping woman, walks through the pages of this book as a spirit guide, someone unto whom other's sorrows flow...Villanueva shows the power of the human spirit in this disturbing and beautiful book." Library Journal, March 1, 1994.
"Villanueva's ultraviolet sky is overhead for all of us."
--Kathryn Trueblood, The Before Columbus Foundation Fiction Anthology.
"One of the most inspiring elements of this novel is the wonderful portrayal of strong women."
--Veronica Chambers, Los Angeles Times, 1994.
"Holden Caulfied meets Anne Frank in this compelling coming-of-age novel."
--Library Journal, May 2002