Irene Vilar, Co-Publisher & Editor
Irene Vilar is the founder of The Americas for Conservation and the Arts 501©(3) -AFC+A-, the mother organization of The Americas Latino EcoFestival -ALEF- and the first nonprofit literary agency in the US, Vilar Creative Agency, dedicated to the dissemination of minority literature of the Americas.
Vilar Creative Agency is co-agent in the US for Ray-Gude Mertin Literary Agency, an agency specializing in Spanish, Latin American, and Portuguese authors, representing such notable writers as Nobel prize winner Jose Saramago.
Irene Vilar founded The Americas book series published by the University of Wisconsin Press, now at Texas Tech University Press. The series has published over forty books in translation in the last ten years and is considered among the most important initiatives of this kind in the US. Vilar was Acquisitions Editor for Women and Jewish Studies at Syracuse University Press.
Irene Vilar was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Her memoir The Ladies’ Gallery (Other Press, 2009, originally published in 1996) was a Philadelphia Inquirer and Detroit Free Press Notable Book of the Year and was a finalist for the 1999 Mind Book of the Year Award. Her latest memoir, Impossible Motherhood (Other Press, 2009), has been published in Italy, France and Germany, and won the 2010 IPPY Gold Medal for Best Memoir/Autobiography and the 12th Latino Book 2nd Place Award for Best Women’s Issues. Both memoirs explore generational and national trauma.
A 2010 Guggenheim Fellow, Vilar gave the keynote at the 2010 National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators on Latino mental health, “Severe Depressive Disorder: Overcoming Adversity and Stigma”. Vilar is also a participant of the Oxford Union Debate Society, debating on reproductive health and abortion rights.