Tino Villanueva

By: Chuy Ramirez

By: Chuy Ramirez

Tino Villanueva’s Scene from the Movie GIANT is based on a single movie scene, occupied for the most part by a fist fight between the protagonist, Jordan “Bick” Benedict, a wealthy West Texas cattle rancher, and “Sarge,” a tough café owner. The poem is specifically about the narrator’s memory of the scene from his adolescence. The extended narrative collection is told in poems divided into five parts from the point of view of the narrator, as a tale recalled from memory.

In the movie scene, Sarge refuses to provide service to a Mexican American family, and all but physically removes them from the café. Unable, at the time, as a Mexican American boy of fourteen, to frame this experience, the poem’s narrator obliterates the episode from memory (or so he believes). Decades later, the narrator must finally deal with the episode.

By: Chuy Ramirez

Tino Villanueva has graciously permitted us to publish his poem “Scene from the Movie GIANT” (1993). We are certainly humbled. A few recommendations to the reader are in order. First, Dr. Villanueva suggests that the reader watch the movie (or watch it anew) and pay particular focus to the fight scene. We have included a clip from the movie elsewhere here.

By: Jaime Armin Mejía

I can’t remember exactly when I first became acquainted with Tino Villanueva. His hometown, San Marcos, Texas, is where, in 1991, I was fortunate enough to have been hired, sight-unseen, as an English instructor at a school that’s now called Texas State University. This same school is where Tino would later become garlanded as a distinguished alumnus in 1995, not long after his 1993 publication of his epic work, Scene from the Movie GIANT. Somewhere along the line during that time, we established a friendship, one we’ve maintained for nearly three decades. 

Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas hosted the fourth annual Arturo Madrid Symposium in Latin@ Art, on April 6, 2021, featuring Texas Chicano poet Tino Villanueva, Ph.D., which was streamed live via ZOOM.

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Featured Interview

2021 Trinity University Lecture

This month's Legacy Spotlight is Tino Villanueva. Watch him speak about his life and work..

Edition Archive


By: Chuy Ramirez

Abstract expressionism as an art form surfaced in New York City after World War II. Tino Villanueva calls it “an art form that is both improvisational and playful, whimsical and subjective, presented in any visually creative mode to include geometric figurations and designs.”


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