Propeller Magazine: "The Most Intimate Act of Reading," Joshua Pollock Interviews Jeannine Pitas

In this interview Joshua Pollock and Jeannine Pitas talk translation,. They get quickly to the nitty-gritty issues of reception, representation, intimacy, community, and transgressive circulation (cf. Johannes Göransson). Also featured: five of our favorite moments from Echo of the Park.

Jeannine Pitas speaks with the urgency that characterizes so many translators of poetry these days: “…We need more readers and translators to engage with this wealth of material, and we can try to discover and open things up for some of these wonderful writers who otherwise might not get noticed. That especially includes women, it includes writers of diverse sexual orientations, it certainly includes indigenous writers—right now there’s hardly anything that has been published in the English-speaking world from indigenous writers from South and Central America. There’s so much more work to do.”


Q&A with Haylee Ebersole, letterpress artist

Q: You just printed Prepoems in PostSpanish for Eulalia Books, and it’s stunning! Have you ever printed a chapbook before?

A: Thanks for the kind words. I am so excited to be a part of this project. This is the first chapbook that my press has printed. What an honor!

Q: Recently, you founded Meshwork Press in Wilkinsburg. What sort of items does the Press print? Are there other artists on staff?

A: Yep, the studio is brand new! It specializes in custom design, letterpress, screenprinting, and intaglio. So I print everything from business cards to t-shirts to individual artist's projects. I don't have any staff at the moment but I do host screenprinting workshops with the Wilkinsburg Youth Project every week and they have contributed lots of fun projects and a wonderful energy to the studio.

Q: From the font choices to the deep color of the paper, Prepoems presented a few challenges along the way. What sort of choices did you make throughout the production of the chapbook so that it printed as beautifully as it did?

A: Yes, there were a few challenges along the way, but Michelle and Tyler were great to work with and helped problem solve throughout the process. Tyler created the lovely cover design and inside pages and we worked together to decide on the color, size, and layout. I did a few mock-ups of the chapbook before final production and we realized the typeface wouldn't work for the particulars of letterpress and the original ink color was too light for the color of the paper. So, we switched out all of the fonts, chose a metallic ink for the cover, and tweaked the layout a bit.

Q: For those of us who don't know a lot about letterpress, tell me a little bit about the process. How long does it take to prepare and print an object? How is the ink transferred to the paper?

Letterpress is a form of relief printing where a raised surface is inked (like that of a stamp) and then paper is pressed against the form through pressure, transfering the image to the paper. I use a Chandler and Price Press which was manufactured in Cleveland in the early 1900's. It's a gorgeous machine and allows me the ability to print high quantities at a fast pace, but only to a certain degree since each piece of paper has to be hand fed! Traditionally, lead or wooden forms would constitute your printing block, but nowadays we can translate digital imagery into polymer printing plates, which is how we made the lovely covers for this chapbook.

Haylee’s studio at Meshwork Press

Haylee’s studio at Meshwork Press

Romina Freschi: On Response

Ahead of publication of Eulalia Books’ first full-length translation, Echo of the Park, Argentinian poet Romina Freschi shared a small journal entry on the importance of response in her writing process.

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“Often I write as an aesthetic response. Estremezcales is a reinterpretation of Modernism. El-pE-Yo is illegible without NOIGANDRES. Eco del Parque (Eulalia Books, 2019) has an inescapable foundation in the work of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz. I can't separate anything that I have written from the influence of Tarkovsky's films; now and then I submit myself to his irradiation as if going to a thermal bath . . . Then, as variable constants: the ‘appearance’ of some topic occupying my consciousness, my conversation with literature, as with film and rock music, and I won't fail to mention my ‘gang’ of writer-friends, my diary, the ‘special’ diaries that I put together sometimes, my research into specific topics, and my conversation with every word in the moment it forms on the page or meets my ears...”

Chapbook: Prepoems in PostSpanish

Jorgenrique Adoum

Jorgenrique Adoum

We are excited to announce that our first publication will be Prepoems in PostSpanish, a bilingual chapbook of poems by Ecuadorian poet Jorgenrique Adoum, co-translated by Katherine Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez. 

Recognized as a profoundly influential Ecuadorian intellectual of the twentieth century, Jorgenrique Adoum (1926-2009) was a poet, novelist, essayist and playwright. He published fourteen books of poetry during his lifetime and was showered in superlatives by Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (who dubbed him the "best poet of his generation in Latin America"). Despite such accolades, his work is absolutely unknown in the English-speaking world. 

the mystery work unwritten
and we’d wake up to forceps or tugs
with a terrible katzenjammer always
call it perseguidora guayabo cruda
goma ratón chuchaque cuerpomalo
according to the country where they’ve underdeveloped us so long
(in the others gueule de bois or hangover)
call it life just to be clear
— Jorgenrique Adoum, from "Americanisms" (trans. Hedeen, Rodríguez Núñez)