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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


“One of the great poets of the
20th Century” —Roberto Bolaño


TESTIMONY OF CIRCUMSTANCES

Rodrigo Lira

Translated from the Spanish by Thomas Rothe and Rodrigo Olavarría

Poetry
Bilingual edition

Paperback
170 pages
ISBN 978-1-945720-11-6
September 18, 2018




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


“The true heir of Nicanor Parra and Enrique Lihn’s protégé, Rodrigo Lira is still considered a cult author in Chile. Halfway between the figure of the madman and the genius, halfway between the myth and the legend, Lira wrote poems that were authentic, weird and precious gems. Owner of a unique style, combining irony, intertextuality, and a sharp sense of humor, Lira was an absolute underground poet, whose work was circulated by hand in thousands of Xerox copies that flooded the most notorious university campuses in Santiago de Chile during Pinochet’s dictatorship. Now, for the very first time, his poems are available in English thanks to the bold, delicate and meticulous translation of Rodrigo Olavarría (the only authorized voice of Allen Ginsberg in Spanish) and Thomas Rothe (translator of Jaime Huenún’s Fanon City Meu). I don’t think there is a way to fully understand contemporary Chilean poetry without having read Rodrigo Lira’s exquisite and extravagant poems.”—Carlos Soto-Román

"Rodrigo Lira’s elegance, his disdain, make him off limits for any publisher. The cowardly don’t publish the brave."—Roberto Bolaño 

“Rodrigo Lira’s ‘Testimony of Circumstances‘ is vicious. In it, Lira mocks the literary establishment, depicts life under Pinochet’s regime, and narrates his experiences with mental illness. This tour de force poem is densely allusive, parodic, and endlessly playful.” —Aditi Machado, Asymptote









Rodrigo Lira was born in Santiago in 1949. He gained notoriety during the seventies for his dramatic public readings and eccentric parodies of many established Chilean poets. Tormented by a diagnosis of schizophrenia as well as social marginalization, he committed suicide in 1981, on his thirty-second birthday. After his death and the posthumous publication of his first collection of poems, Proyecto de obras completas, interest in Lira’s poetry and life grew exponentially into a cult following that has influenced many younger generations of Chilean poets and writers. Combining erudite literary knowledge, intense language, and dark burlesque humor, Lira’s work is often compared to contemporaries Nicanor Parra and Enrique Lihn. Roberto Bolaño described him as “one of the last poets of Latin America.”





Thomas Rothe was born in Berkeley, California. He has translated the poetry and prose of various Latin American authors, including Rodrigo Lira, Jaime Huenún, Emma Villazón, and Margarita García Robayo. His translations have been published in The Arkansas International, MAKE Magazine, Asymptote, InTranslation, Jacket2, OOMPH!, and Lunch Ticket, among other journals. His translation of Jaime Huenún’s Fanon City Meu was recently published by Diálogos Books.


Rodrigo Olavarría was born in Puerto Montt, Chile. He has published two novels, Cuaderno esclavo (2017) and Alameda tras las rejas (2010), and one volume of poetry, La noche migratoria (2006). His short stories and poetry have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He has translated books by Edgar Lee Masters, Herman Melville, Eileen Myles, and Sylvia Plath, among others. His Spanish translations of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems and Kaddish and Other Poems were published by Anagrama in 2006 and 2014, respectively.