UT Martin's Multicultural Affairs hosted a show Tuesday night that gave insight to the difficult lives of Puerto Ricans. Javier Ávila was born and raised in Puerto Rico and has won many literary awards.
He has traveled the country for the last two and a half years with his one-man show "The Trouble with my Name," which is a blend of poetry and satire that explains the American Latino Experience.
Ávila started the show with a story about a family member that lived in Puerto Rico and fought in a segregated section of the Vietnam War. He then transformed his life growing up into a beautiful and satire filled show that explains the lives of Puerto Rican Americans.
He ended the show by saying that you can love your country, but also criticize it to make it better. Ávila says Puerto Rican's do want to come to the United States, which they can do legally -- since they are American Citizens, and change our country. However, they want to change our country in a good way.
Who is Javier Ávila?
Ávila is the recipient of many literary awards including the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture Poetry Award and the Pen Club Book of the Year Award. His dual-language poetry anthology Vapor brings together poems from his award-winning books.
His best-selling novel Different was made into a movie entitled Miente. Two of his other novels, The Professor in Ruins and La profesión más antigua, explore Puerto Rico's academic underworld. Ávila's most recent novel, the thriller Polvo, was published this summer.
In 2008, Ávila received the Cultural Arts Award given by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education. In 2015, he was named Pennsylvania's Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He is the first Latino to receive this honor.
For the past two and a half years, Ávila has toured the country with his highly acclaimed one-man show, The Trouble with My Name, a performance that blends his poetry with satire to explore the American Latino experience.