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Cardboard House Press is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 2014 and based in Phoenix, Arizona, dedicated to the creation of Spanish-English bilingual spaces through small-press publishing, community workshops, and bilingual events. We publish Latin American and Spanish poetry in translation, with a focus on innovative contemporary poetry, historical avant-garde, and social poetics. Our work acts as a platform for the exchange of ideas, uplifting new meanings that provoke connection and social action.


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︎Reviews

 Commonplace  ︎︎︎


Commonplace by Hugo García Manríquez reviewed by Cindy Juyoung Ok in Poetry Foundation:


“Hugo García Manríquez’s Commonplace, originally published in Spanish as Lo Común, erases and rearranges an increasingly militarized and nationalized Mexico City. Eight long poems gather fractal impressions of a city, listing military budget statistics, imperiled animal species, and various types of guns imported into Mexico from corporations in the United States and Western Europe.”


“Through repetitions and disintegrations, these recursive poems attempt an original form in which inventory serves as anti-narrative, a willing witness to the collapse of the city’s very architecture.”


Whitney DeVos interviews Hugo García Manríquez in Poetry Magazine: “An Exercise in Autonomy: Hugo García Manríquez on Translation.”



 Fudekara  ︎︎︎


Fudekara by Liliana Ponce reviewed by Roz Naimi in Zyzzyva:

“Ponce finds what is pregnant in recursive, iterative action. She reminds us of how what may seem like mindless repetition might become a pathway to mindfulness. To embody an action over and over allows for endless opportunities to actualize what is at the core of one’s desire.”



 Gardens  ︎︎︎


Gardens by Carlos Cociña reviewed by Diego Alegría in Latin American Literature Today:

"...masterfully translated by Ian Lockaby, the Chilean author avails himself of the fragmented connection of nine works of poetic prose, anchored at the syntactic level through parataxis to connect physical and psychological gardens, expansive and minuscule, visual and tonal."



 The Dream of Every Cell  ︎︎︎


The Dream of Every Cell by Maricela Guerrero reviewed by Alec Schumacher in Make Lit:


“The poems themselves seem to grow from previous ones, building a particular lexicon that becomes enriched with each poem. Aloe vera, wolves, birch and fir, anemone, subtraction, breath, nitrogen, empire: these words become more tangible as each poem gives shape to their meaning in Guerrero’s diction. The book reveals itself as organism, as a structure of interrelated cells that communicate and feed each other. And just as biological information is imprinted during the process of reproduction, the book is a space that receives poetic information.”

“Every translation effectively constitutes an interpretation, yet Myers translation flows openly like a parallel river to Guerrero’s Spanish, nimbly bending between registers following Guerrero’s odyssey through cells, roots, chemical processes, and human relationships.”



The Dream of Every Cell by Maricela Guerrero reviewed by Bret Ameneyro in Los Angeles Review:

“If viewed as a collection of essays, the thesis can be found on the last line of the poem “Cells”: “I’d like to know if there will be room for all of us.” The speaker often jumps from nature imagery to images of buildings and human-made structures to show the constant battle for space on our planet. “The empire” is portrayed as an invasive species that fights against plants and animals.”



The Dream of Every Cell by Maricela Guerrero reviewed by Greg Bem in North of Oxford:


The Dream of Every Cell is a cunning array of poetic explorations, and it is a book of dreams. It is a book of longing and the imagination.”

“Guerrero’s collection, (...) feels as much a collection of poetry as it does a document of rebellion, a manifesto, a toolkit on how to think about connectedness and ecology.It is a book about individuals as much as it is about systems. It is a book about personal commitment as much as it is a book about relationships.”



 Contra Natura  ︎︎︎


Contra Natura by Rodolfo Hinostroza reviewed by Olivia Lott in Action Books:

“Thanks to translator Anthony Seidman and publisher Cardboard House Press, Hinostroza’s 1971 masterpiece has made its long-anticipated debut in English. Octavio Paz praised its potential to shake Latin American poetry early on, and some compare its risk-taking impact to that of fellow Peruvian César Vallejo’s iconic Trilce (1922). The collection is known for its incorporation of symbols (zodiac signs, mathematic equations, a compass), its multilingualism (English, French, Italian, and Latin, alongside the Spanish), and dense referentiality (Hamlet, the bubonic plague, the Cunningham chess defense, Archibal MacLeish, Anteaus, just in the first poem). This is certainly a difficult text to translate, and Seidman rises to the task. His version crisply shapeshifts to match the fluctuating demands and demanding fluctuations that Hinostroza places on the lyric.”


Contra Natura by Rodolfo Hinostroza reviewed by César Ferreira in Latin American Literature Today:


"The publication of this bilingual edition of Contra Natura (1971)...deserves the highest praise, as it brings the work of one of the most important Peruvian poets of the second half of the twentieth century to an English-speaking audience.”


Contra Natura is a disturbing book that is full of surprises. The work is a product of a unique grammar and a complex system of signs that creates its own semantic field.”

   
  

Contra Natura by Rodolfo Hinostroza reviewed by Greg Bem in North of Oxford:


“At long last, the Peruvian poet Rodolfo Hinostroza’s majestic Contra natura is available to the English-speaking audience. This work is a crucial component of late 20th-century poetry attuned to the modernist collecting, the surrealist melting, and the complex humor that follows the community footsteps of poets throughout South America.”


Contra Natura by Rodolfo Hinostroza reviewed by Irakly Qolbaia in Caesura Magazine



 Boat People  ︎︎︎


Boat People by Mayra Santos-Febres reviewed by Meaghan Coogan in Asymptote:


Boat People endeavors to document the undocumented, the invisibilized, and the silenced who are lost to the sea.”

“Santos-Febres’s Boat People documents the Black lives lost in the attempt to chase the mirage of the American Dream, in order to combat the silence and absence of archival records and humanizing discourse surrounding Black death, which is often reduced to numbers in a newspaper article or spectacularized violence in a photograph.”



Boat People by Mayra Santos-Febres reviewed by Katherine Hedeen in Modern Poetry in Translation:


“Thanks to translator Vanessa Pérez-Rosario and the tireless work of independent publisher of poetry in translation Cardboard House Press, U.S. readers are asked to question how borders are defined; to go beyond the anti-immigrant rhetoric of wall-building; to look east rather than south; to think of the sea.”



Boat People by Mayra Santos-Febres reviewed by Shash Trevett in The Times Literary Supplement:


“Brilliantly translated into English for the first time by Vanessa Pérez-Rosario, the book-length poem possesses a lyrical intensity enfolding centuries of desperate water crossings. It is a migration elegy and an oceanic hymn that mimics the creative and destructive power of the sea.”



Boat People by Mayra Santos-Febres reviewed by Greg Bem in Exacting Clam:

“The fatalism is amplified by a swollen language of stories of unacknowledgment and brutal survival: “identity unquestioned / and one more to the sea / a watery wilderness” (35). The poet calls forth the fragmentation of our discourse, at large, around the subject of migration along the margins, of consideration of refugees.”



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

“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.”



 Carnation and Tenebrae Candle  ︎︎︎

“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:

“Through her engagement with di Giorgio’s poetry, Pitas invites a new audience to witness the power of imagination and the possibilities that it offers: the capacity for curiosity both in the quotidian moments and the horrific. Originally published in 1979 during the time of Uruguay’s military dictatorship, Carnation and Tenebrae Candle is a timely translation for contemporary English-speaking readers. In our own tumultuous times, di Giorgio’s words are an immense comfort, showing us the potential for humanity and creation in the face of brutality and destruction.”  


 Pixel Flesh  ︎︎︎

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: 

“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.”


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: 

“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.”


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




 Room in Rome  ︎︎︎

Letters From Latin America: 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 captures Eielson’s remarkable sensitivities to the places and cultures in which he immersed himself, and this new translation reintroduces one of Latin America’s most important wordsmiths to the English-speaking world.”


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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 Cartomnera Collective Series  ︎︎︎

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:

"All of these books focus on redefinition in some form, making them enchanting translated work, as that redefinition has had to take shape in two different languages. The books themselves are beautiful, handmade pieces, that fit the project of the poetry. Kilimanjaro folds out into an accordion, creating the largest track illustrated in the book. Spinning Mill and Koan Underwater shift the orientation of the words on the page, shifting the orientation of the reader to the words, to poetry, to translation, all at once. The Cartonera Collective’s project makes not just the literature but the publication process itself a multicultural translation."

“Legna Rodriguez 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”


“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.”


 Lyric Poetry is Dead  ︎︎︎

“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.


 Testimony of Circumstances  ︎︎︎

“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 Circumstances 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  ︎︎︎

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.”


“Nota Benes, Autumn 2018,” World Literature Today Album of Fences:

“This collection is a fascinating combination of poetry (presented in both Spanish and English en face) and photography portraying the duality of living on the US/Mexican border through personal anecdotes and photos. With little punctuation or capitalization, the pieces feel dusty yet hurried, as if rushing to convey meaning against a backdrop of transnational urgency.”



Mark


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