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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:


Room in Rome (1954), now appearing in a bilingual edition with David Shook’s magnificent translation in English, a prologue by Mario Vargas Llosa and an epilogue by Martha Canfield, is both a showcase of Eielson’s poetic excellence, and an individual and collective reflection on his exile in Europe.”  

“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:


“Zaidenwerg uses tropes of traditional poetry and breaks them like someone who is rummaging, like an investigative poet.”  


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

BOAT PEOPLE

Mayra Santos-Febres

Translated by Vanessa Pérez-Rosario

Poetry. Paperback
Bilingual edition
ISBN  978-1-945720-19-2
June 15, 2021





For international deliveries, we will send you a request for payment of additional shipping costs.





The ocean in Boat People is haunted and the book is the heartbreaking journey from sea to horizon. Melancholy and songlike, Santos-Febres documents the nameless, the chum: bodies set adrift by commerce. Like M. NourBese Philips’s Zong!, this phenomenal translation in which I become “a drop of fish sweat,” my body dancing to the poetry’s music but also lamenting the violences that underlie it. —Carmen Giménez Smith, author of Be Recorder and Milk and Filth



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, author of lo terciario and while they sleep (under the bed is another country)






Mayra Santos-Febres was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, in 1966. She studied Literature at the University of Puerto Rico and received two postgraduate degrees from Cornell University. She is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras and a member of the International and Multicultural Institute of the UPR. She has received, among other awards, the Letras de Oro and the Juan Rulfo, both in the short story genre. She is the recipient of a John S. Simon Guggenheim scholarship (2017) and the Rockefeller Bellagio Center Residency (2018). Her works have been translated into French, English, German, Croatian, Korean, Icelandic and Italian. She is the author of the poetry books Anamú y manigua (1990), The escaped order (1991), Boat People (2005), Tercer Mundo (2014-20), and Huracanada (2018). She has also published the novels, Sirena Selena vestida de pena (2001), Cualquier miércoles soy tuya (2002), Fe en disfraz, Nuestra Señora de la noche, La amante de Gardel, and the collections of essays, Tratado de Medicina Natural para Hombres Melancólicos and Sobre piel y papel.






Vanessa Pérez-Rosario is a translator and professor of English at Queens College, City University of New York where she teaches U.S. Latinx and Caribbean literatures and cultures. Her translations have appeared in The Nation and sx salon. She is the author of Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon (University of Illinois Press 2014) which will be published in a Spanish edition, Julia de Burgos: la creación de un ícono puertorriqueño (University of Illinois Press 2021). She is editor of Hispanic Caribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement (Palgrave 2010). She is currently editing a bilingual anthology of Julia de Burgos’s collected writings.