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Cardboard House Press is a 501c3 nonprofit organization devoted to the creation of spaces and media for cultural, artistic, and literary development. We publish writing, art, and contemporary thought from Latin America and Spain, and host bilingual events, community projects and workshops. Our work serves as a platform to exchange ideas and highlight meanings that stimulate diverse human connections and social actions. All of our publications are bilingual - English and Spanish. To date we have published authors from Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain and Uruguay.


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︎Reviews


Boat People by Mayra Santos-Febres reviewed by Zack Anderson in Harvard Review:



Boat People by Mayra Santos-Febres reviewed by Honora Spicer in World Literature Today:


“Gnashing and disassembling flesh and language at once, “la fauce azul / alafau sea sul,” Pérez-Rosario’s translation sustains this simultaneity and breakdown: “like the yawl that tossed your excess weight / into the blue maw / intothe bluem aw.” This spacing, repetition, reordering of proximity gestures toward bodies opening out in multiple ways, becoming un-numberable, un-indexical, un-categorizable.”


“The Opacity of Language, the Empathy of Translation,” Aitor Bouso Gavín on Boat People in Hopscotch:




Boat People by Mayra Santos Febres reviewed by Zoe Contros Kearl in Kenyon Review. 


“Burning Like Roses: On Marosa Di Giorgio’s Carnation and Tenebrae Candle” by Zack Anderson in Action Books.


Clavel y Tenebrario / Carnation and Tenebrae Candle by Marosa Di Giorgio, Translated by Jeannine Marie Pitas” by Juan de Marsilio in Latin American Literature Today.  


Carnation and Tenebrae Candle by Marosa Di Giorgio reviewed by Honora Spicer in Asymptote


“The pastoral genre is always political insofar as it concerns the scope of the city as well as the ways that people tend to the edges of the polis. This act of tending is performed again and again in Carnation and Tenebrae Candle, and these habits of interaction between humans and the natural become ways of world-making, which is a prominent impulse of di Giorgio’s. In this collection, translation is another tending—the world-making of repeated care—and Pitas’s translation is best described by a line from the collection: “everything there, meticulous, tender and nearly trembling.”


Carnation and Tenebrae Candle by Marosa Di Giorgio reviewed by Greg Bem in North of Oxford:



Carnation and Tenebrae Candle by Marosa Di Giorgio reviewed by Rose Bialer in Kenyon Review.  


Pixel Flesh by Agustín Fernández reviewed by  Vincent Moreno in Angel City Review:


Pixel Flesh is a highly intertextual work that opens up all sorts of hallways and windows into other forms of art, into other texts and disciplines. The references are sometimes direct: Blade Runner, Wittgenstein, Warhol, and pop music, among others, appear in the book as a very eclectic and, in appearance, incongruous amalgam of quotes and allusions that are a trademark of Fernández Mallo’s style. Ultimately, however, it is the reader who holds the key to venture into new doors and corridors. This makes each new reading of the book a new experience, rendering it practically inexhaustible in connotations and suggestiveness.”


Pixel Flesh by Agustín Fernández Mallo reviewed by Greg Bem in Rain Taxi


Pixel Flesh by Agustín Fernández Mallo reviewed by Honora Spicer in World Literature Today:


“The translation becomes itself a rich commentary on the representation of fractal self-similarity. Ludington explores how to knowingly translate oddness in the original, exposing the valences of fractal deriving from the Latin for ‘broken’ or ‘fractured.’”


“Mallo’s interest in writing through cultural detritus informs this approach of using a set of trite tropes that generate a loop and ultimately demonstrate the deterioration of meaningful human connection in the face of technological static.”


Pixel Flesh by Agustín Fernández Mallo reviewed by AM Ringwalt in Kenyon Review


(ESSAY) “Love as a Question of Destination in Augustín Fernández Mallo’s Pixel Flesh” by Eleanor Tennyson in SPAM.




“Letters From Latin America: November 7, 2019.” Room in Rome by Jorge Eduardo Eielson reviewed by Leo Boix in Morning Star. 


“Eielson weaves personal history with geographic location, homosexual desire with longing, past and future, in a fashion that is as playful as it is profound.”


“Nota Benes, Autumn 2019,” World Literature Today.


Room in Rome by Jorge Eduardo Eielson reviewed by César Ferreira in Latin American Literature Today. 


“Slipknots: Jorge Eduardo Eielson’s ‘Room in Rome,’ Translated from Spanish by David Shook” by Olivia Lott in Reading in Translation:


“The question most pertinent for Eielson’s and Shook’s poems, however, is what vanishes for the exile? What knots fall apart when tensed? What attempts to tie something together, to re-articulate slip away, drop out of reach?”


“The Singing Knots of Jorge Eduardo Eielson: Room in Rome in Review” by Sergio Sarano in Asymptote
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Cartonera Collective Series (Maricela Guerrero’s Kilimanjaro, Juan José Rodinás’s Koan Underwater, Legna Rodríguez Iglesias’s Spinning Mill) reviewed by Clara Atfeld in Kenyon Review:


“Iglesias focuses on redirecting logic, taking the reader through a logical sequence with seemingly illogical steps...The poetry focuses on gender, love, and race, through the lenses of absurdity and honesty.”


Cardboard Conscious: Translation in Community” by Kelsi Vanada in Reading in Translation:





“The poems honor process—the process of textile work, the process of women defining themselves and seeking equality in a society dominated by the patriarchy (...) And the book shows off its process, too: in the waxed thread that holds the pages together, the decorative knots embroidered in deep pink thread on the cover, and in Seligmann’s translation process and choices placed right next to the original.”





“Kilmanjaro is nothing if not a long list-rant against capitalism and the forces that make people cogs in a machine—and if that sounds negative, good. It’s supposed to be uncomfortable”


“An Interview with Robin Myers, Translator of Lyric Poetry Is Dead by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg” by Heather Lang in The Literary Review.


“~Notes on a Journey to the Ever-Dying Lands~”  Lyric Poetry Is Dead by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg reviewed by Arturo Desimone in ANMLY:


“Fortunately, Lyric Poetry is Dead quickly reveals itself as a protest—only half-cynical, elsewhere tender—against the hegemonic and academic forces of antipoetry, making it in places a genuinely antagonistic collection.”


Lyric Poetry Is Dead by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg reviewed by Madeline Vardell in The Arkansas International:  


“Lyric poetry becomes both the vehicle for Zaidenwerg to reimagine many histories and allude to other literary greats, and the poetic subject and star of her own legends. Just so, Lyric Poetry Is Dead is waiting to rise up like Lazarus and delight you over and over again.”


Lyric Poetry Is Dead by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg reviewed by Paul Guillén in Latin American Literature Today. 


Lyric Poetry Is Dead: The Flourishing Obituary of Ezequiel Zaidenwerg” by Bill Mohr in Koan Kinship.


“A Report from the Cartonera Collective” by Fields, Noa/h in ANMLY



“I allowed the surreal, associative drift of Rodinás’s poems to wash over me like a dream (...) Rodinás’s koans resurface from underwater logic, ripple with doublings and eery (eary?) recurrences in musical sequence. A hearty recommendation for Koan Underwater: yet another hit from Cardboard House Press.”


“Rebel Poetry: Rodrigo Lira’s Testimony of Circumstances in Review” by Garett Phelps in  Asymptote


“Needless to say, all of Lira’s neologisms, wordplay, intertextuality, and assonance-based rhythms would cost even the best translator a pint of blood. Ours, however, are the best of the best and have pulled off an English that’s as shining, breathless, and combustible as its source. It’s often just as inventive, too.”


Testimony of Circumstance by Rodrigo Lira reviewed in The Arkansas International:


“Lira may have written in the 70s, in response to the oppressive climate of his own government, but hold his poetry up and it is an unnerving lens for the present day, America and elsewhere. We should all take up the pen, like Lira, write against the suffocation of the factory, but first, turn to Testimony of Circumstances, enter into conversations with Lira and beat back our solitary sub-lives, choose to hear, more than survive.”


Testimony of Circumstances by Rodrigo Lira reviewed by John Venegas in Angel City Review


“What Testimony of Circumstances represents then is a kind of pseudo-biography, a fascinating, disarming, and brilliant cross section of a life dedicated to literature. Everything is on display here – Lira’s politics, his contentious rivalries with those he wanted to regard as friends and/or peers, his utterly merciless inner voice – all of it. There is a richness of perspective present that caught me rather off guard.”


Testimony of Circumstances by Rodrigo Lira reviewed by Jasmine V. Bailey in Waxwing Literary Journal: American Writers & International Voices.



Album of Fences by Omar Pimienta reviewed by Kelsi Vanada in Kenyon Review

“That’s the strength of this hybrid photo-poem collection—it humanizes a complex place that is a hot-button issue for many. For Pimienta, it’s home.”



Mark

poetry + community + translation




︎ BOAT PEOPLE | Mayra Santos-Febres | Tr. by Vanessa Pérez-Rosario




Mayra Santos-Febres is one of our most powerful writers, and Boat People has long been a part of the poetic counter-tradition that shaped generations of Puerto Rican poets. Thanks to Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, English-language readers are now plunged into the depths of a text that, to echo Patrick Chamoiseau, is composed of "that strange conference of poets and great beings," lost at sea, tossed on shores, or caught in a world without return address or safe passage. Written like a border drawn on water, this oceanic book is both a source of life and a record of death. It remains as devastatingly urgent as the day it was written.—Raquel Salas Rivera

“Mayra Santos-Febres’s collection Boat People, translated by Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, addresses the oft-undiscussed topic of undocumented migration in the Caribbean. In a numbered series of poems that are sparse and beautiful and rending, both in form and in content, Santos-Febres creates devastating narratives time and again.”—Zoe Contros Kearl, Kenyon Review

Boat People in Vanessa Pérez-Rosario’s translation is most astounding for the range of tools at play—rhythm, sound, line break, imagery, repetition, etymology—which coalesce in a powerful argument against disciplinary systems and the violence of colonial borders, made all the more dynamic in bilingual translation.”—Honora Spicer, World Literature Today






Awaiting Major Events invites us on a trip in space and time—to other rivers, other lands, where childhood and present are “tied like a knot.” Kasztelan writes with the five senses, delicately, the way you disentangle one plant from another, and so climb into fluctuation between the domestic and multiple “theres,” between the I and the “layers of other things,” between her own writing and references to the writing of others (Elizabeth Bishop, Ricardo Molinari, Irene Gruss). We arrive at the end of the book like we arrive home from a journey, “saturated with stimuli.” “What lingers after a trip?” The real possibility of getting back, or getting back to the glimmer of certain images: the filigree of a cameo, the broken branch of an olive tree, the language—with the skillful translation of Maureen Shaughnessy—of a forest that brings together the infinite and the consciousness of limit.—Silvina López Medin






“This new collection by Marosa di Giorgio, long considered a major figure in Latin American literature, is the work of a translator who has immersed herself, with great thoughtfulness and dedication, in the life of a writer whose poetry is foreboding, mystical, dangerous and magnificent. Everywhere in di Giorgio's oeuvre, there are wars, crimes, monsters, possessed plants and animals, ghosts, illnesses and miracles animating a world that is always on the verge of explosion. Di Giorgio's writing is as foreboding as it is tentacular, as intricate as it is unsettling. Jeannine Marie Pitas' ongoing and remarkable engagement with di Giorgio has brought us an exciting and valuable gift.”—Daniel Borzutzky

“Bursting with burning roses, foam, tulle, masks, disturbing gazes, and esoteric languages, Carnation and Tenebrae Candle participates in the baroque’s operations of concealment and revelation to test the limits of compulsory femininity and unsettle the Cartesian definition of the seeing subject.”—Zack Anderson, Action Books

“All in all, this bilingual edition is a good doorway through which the English-speaking reader may enter an intense, suggestive, ghostly, and luminous work of poetry. Marosa Di Giorgio, one of the best Spanish-language poetic voices of the twentieth century, deserves to transcend the borders of her tongue.”—Juan de Marsilio, Latin American Literature Today






“Ludington’s translation, through its verbal re-presentation of Mallo’s circling poetics, effectively intensifies Mallo’s project, demonstrating a generative absence beyond memory and beyond language. Everything is unsettled; from this site of unsettledness, where even language is without center, Ludington translates around the impossibility of grasping absence.”—AM Ringwalt, Kenyon Review

“Mallo’s text begs the question: what is human love in the pixel-age? Love and romance between two people is so slippery, especially in a cosmos affected by the fragile instantaneity because its expansion is always counteracted by the pervasive presence of black holes (where everything goes but nothing can be seen). This is not a hypothesis but a scientific and romantic reality in which loneliness cannot be overcome. But we persist because like black holes, love is both a herald of inevitable loss and yet a vessel teaming with matter.”—Eleanor Tennyson, SPAM

“Behind the eyelids or in front of them, the world is awash with information; this information contains patterns and poems, and pushes the field further. Pixel Flesh is fascinating as a paper book that relays concepts more often suited for screens. Calling into question so many aspects of our postmodern reality, Mallo has written a book for the present. It may not read comfortably, but it is, like the black holes regularly mentioned, both vast and dense at once.”—Greg Bem, Rain Taxi






“This bilingual edition of Room in Rome is certainly one we should celebrate, not only because it puts Eielson’s poetry into the hands of new readers, but also because the artistic quality of this book makes for a spectacular entry into the creative universe of a true artist who left behind a rich, expressive and multifaceted life’s work.”—César Ferreira, Latin American Literature Today 

“From its title, Room in Rome counterposes the temporal and spatial expansiveness of Rome with a transient, walled-in room. It is from this knotted perspective that Eielson and Shook re-arrange coordinates of time, space, and language, blurring the dividing lines between the Roman/the Peruvian, the ancient/the contemporary, the national/the personal, the awe-inspiring/the agonizing.”—Olivia Lott, Reading in Translation

“David Shook has done a remarkable job in conveying Eielson’s earthy, precarious tone, making him available to the wider audience the poems deserve. There is a poem magically titled “Alongside the Tiber, Putrefaction Twinkles Gloriously”—Shook has effectively captured that twinkling.”—Sergio Sarano, Asymptote