Today we’d like to introduce you to Javier Ávila.
Hi Javier, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story began in Puerto Rico, where I was born and raised. I was fully bilingual as a child (Spanish and English) and I dedicated my life to the writing craft and to the art of teaching. In my early twenties, I was lucky to have published various books of poetry and a few novels. I was also a professor at the University of Puerto Rico.
Then I moved to Pennsylvania in 2006 to continue my academic and artistic career. I was blessed with the Pennsylvania Professor of the Year Award in 2015. That gave me the platform to bring my talents as an educator and writer to the masses with a one-man show I created to shed light on the American Latino experience. The show blends poetry, comedy, and education as it celebrates the beauty of this nation’s diversity.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
When you’re an artist, you must get used to knocking on doors that just won’t open. That’s the hard part. It helps to have the discipline to value the work above all else, to get better and better, and to keep trying and believing until the right doors open.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Aside from the books I’ve published and my 24 years as an educator, I’m proud of the fact that my one-man show The Trouble with My Name has been performed more than 300 times across 40 states, and that it continues to touch people’s lives.
The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I learned that, even though nothing can replace in-person experiences, we all have such a thirst for connection that we can make it happen via alternative methods and still feel human.
- Website: www.javieravila.net
- Instagram: @thejavieravila
- Facebook: @thejavieravila
- Twitter: @thejavieravila
- Youtube: @Javier Ávila