Parallel Editions
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(University of Alabama, Steve Miller, Professor & Coordinator M.F.A. in the Book Arts Program)

Cuban projects  

Collaborative book projects between the University of Alabama Book Arts Program and Cuban printmakers.

Andamios / Scaffoldings
Poems by Rito Ramon Aroche
Translated by Kristin Dykstra
Linocuts by Alejandro Sainz
Tuscaloosa & Havana: Parallel Editions, 2017. Edition of 64.

6 x 8.8"; 50 pages. Text in Spanish and English. Letterpress printed. Linocuts. In stiff paper wrappers with titles on front cover. Signed by the artist and poet. Numbered.

Colophon: "This book is a collaboration between Cuban poet Rito Ramon Aroche, as translated by Kristin Dykstra, Cuban artist Alejandro Sainz, and The University of Alabama. Faculty and students in the MFA in the Book Arts Program, School of Library & Information Studies, College of communication & Information Sciences designed, letterpress printed, and bound the chapbook."

The chapbooks were finished by UA students and faculty and the artist at the Taller Experimental de Grafica in Cuba.

The Spanish-language poems of "Andamios" were first published in the magazine "Diasporas" then in "UNION".

Rito Ramon Aroche (Havana, 1961) is the author of numerous poetry collections. Kristin Dykstra has translated numerous poetry collections, including three for the University of Alabama Press in 2016.

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Catch & Release
By Reina María Rodríguez
Translated by Kristin Dykstra
Linocuts by Alejandro Sainz
Tuscaloosa & Havana: Parallel Editions, 2014. Edition of 60.

6 x 9"; 32 pages. Letterpress printed. Bound with paper over boards. Signed by the poet and illustrator on the colophon. Text bilingual - English and Spanish.

Poetry Foundation: "Reina María Rodríguez was born in Havana in 1952 and lives there still. In Cuba she is recognized as a major poet and also as an advocate for non-governmental cultural spaces. Her rooftop home, informally known as la azotea de Reina, has served as a salon for the Cuban literary community for many years. English translations of her work include La Detencion del Tiempo/Time’s Arrest (Factory School 2005), and Violet Island and Other Poems (2004) and The Winter Garden Photography (2009), both from Green Integer."

Rodriguez was awarded the 2013 National Literature Prize of Cuba. In 2014 she was awarded the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize.

The translator Kristin Dykstra is Associate Professor of English at Illinois State University and co-edits Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas with Gabriel Bernal Granados (Mexico City) and Roberto Tejada (Dallas).

Kirstin Dykstra, Writers' Corner: "As the epigraph to the title poem of Catch and Release confides, Reina María Rodríguez gathered 'filings of the self' to compose her multivalent poems. I'll work with her to situate details informing them. Based on our past conversations, these are likely to emerge from family history, personal memories, images from photographs, and her prolific reading of literature from other nations. These sources bring depth and range to her elusive poetry. So does the rumbling uncertainty of everyday life in Havana in the post-Soviet era.

"Working with the translation of poetry, said so often to be impossible, I find its rigors motivational. Myriad questions about how to balance possibilities against constraints go into recreating a poem's weave. With many texts by Rodríguez, I'm looking for delicate, strange, or ambiguous results."

Cuban artist, Alejandro Sainz illustrated 'Catch and Release' using linocuts. He is a member of the Experimental Graphic Workshop in Havana.

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50 Años Years
El Taller Experimental de Gráfica de la Habana Vieja Cuba
By Luis Lara Calaña, Dania Fleites, Yamilys Brito Jorge, Eduardo Leyva, Orlando Montalbán, Julio César Peña Peralta, Angel Ramírez Roque, Carlos del Toro
Students & Faculty of The University of Alabama MFA in the Book Arts Program
Tuscaloosa & Havana: Parallel Editions, 2012. Edition of 66.

7.25 x 9.75" wrapper with pamphlet and prints. Letterpress printed pamphlet of 12 pages sewn into wrapper. 8 intaglio prints signed and numbered slipped into back folding flaps. Text in English and Spanish. Handbound in paper wrappers.

Angel Manuel Ramirez: "The Experimental Graphic Workshop of Havana, a workshop, that this year celebrated its 50th anniversary, already has a long history with the trajectory of prints. Many Cuban and foreign artists have made use of the facilities in order to leave their own mark. Nevertheless, over so much time, the number of projects related to books was not so great as to represent a line of work.

"That was when Anna Embree and Steve Miller, from The University of Alabama, arrived on the scene with their projects, their constantly renewed students, and above all their enthusiasm and keen knowledge needed to begin the miracle, to construct books where everything is art, and to bring to TEGH an experience that is gradually becoming the spearhead of a beautiful tradition.

"From our perspective, we can only give thanks time and time again for the wealth of opportunities opened up by the exchange between both institutions and hope that the fiesta of the book and the print continues."

Anna Embree and Steve Miller: "The Experimental Graphic Workshop in Havana, Cuba, has become a creative hub for faculty and students in the graduate Book Arts Program at The University of Alabama. 2012 marks the eighth year of collaborating with Cuban artists and papermakers on book projects. This project celebrates the distinguished 50th anniversary of the Taller, and marks a moment to thank the Taller for its continuing work with our students and faculty. ..."

For this collaboration the intaglio prints were created and printed by Cuban artists at the workshop in Havana. The letterpress printing was done at the University of Alabama. The binding was done by UA students and faculty at the workshop in Havana.

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By Hank Lazer
Tuscaloosa, Alabama/Havana, Cuba: Parallel Editions, 2011.
Edition of 65.

7.25 x 7.75"; 36 pages with double page fold out. Letterpress printed. Paper wraps. Bilingual.

Colophon: "Indivisible is a collaborative effort between the University of Alabama, the Taller Experimental de Grafica, and poet Hank Lazer. The artwork was created by the Cuban artists César Peña Peralta and Daniel Alberto Rodríguez. Hank Lazer, Dr. Michael Schnapf, and Ally Nevarez translated the original text from English into Spanish, and it is presented in the poet's hand."

Hank Lazer is an American poet and critic who teaches at the University of Alabama. He born and raised in San Jose, California, received an A.B. degree in English from Stanford University. Lazer holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in English from the University of Virginia.

Hank Lazer ("furnishings in the house of the voice: an interview with Hank Lazer" by Lisa Russ Spaar): "... when I worked with book artists Steve Miller and Anna Embry on a collaborative project – a series of 9 bilingual notebook pages called indivisible - with some Cuban visual artists, they recommended the Sharpie to me for its consistency of inking (and they were right…). The page size and paper texture are absolutely crucial to what I write. I think of each page as a one-time improvisation, and the page itself and notebook design are partners in what is possible. ...

"I learned from
indivisible that, oddly, it is much more difficult to 'copy' a previously written page than to write it the first time. The translated pages, in Spanish, had to assume a slightly different shape than the 'original' page."

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Design / Diseño
By Billy Collins
Alabama / Cuba: 2005. Edition of 75.

8.5 x 5.5" This is one of the twenty deluxe versions in a cloth clamshell box holding two versions of the book.

A collaborative book project between the University of Alabama Book Arts Program and Cuban printmaker Carlos "Tato" Ayress Moreno. A bilingual edition of poems by Billy Collins. The poems were originally published by Random House in "Sailing Alone Around the Room."

This book had its roots in a visit to Cuba in January 2003 by Steve Miller, a book artist from The University of Alabama. On that visit that he met, among a number of book and paper artists, the printmaker Carlos "Tato" Ayress Moreno. Miller and Moreno agreed that a collaborative book project would be an exciting thing to do. When Miller came back to the US, he contacted US poet laureate (2001-2003) Billy Collins, who was instantly supportive of publishing a bilingual version of some of his poems, to be illustrated by Tato. The book would be in two bilingual version - a fairly simple Cuban edition and a more elaborate Alabama edition.

During the year that ensued, Maria Vargas translated the poems, selected by UA book arts students and faculty, into Spanish, while Tato worked on linocuts in Havana. Plans were made for UA book arts faulty and graduate students to travel to Cuba in February of 2004 and work with the artist in his studio to finish printing and then binding the Cuban Book.

The Cuban edition was printed in the way that Alabama had seen books being printed at Editiones Vigia in Matanzas, Cuba - on very good paper and printed on a good copy machine, in this case at Kinko's.

Tato, with invaluable assistance from the Cuban artist-translator friend Arturo Ruiz Contreras, proved to be a great host for the Alabama team. he set up a large room with his old Chilean etching press and set to work on a new linocut for the cover. In the meantime the right number of handmade paper sheets were found to bind the 125 books at Papel Artesenal, a hand papermill in Old Havana.

The team spent almost three days in Tato's studio, printing and binding to finish the books, often to the sound of guitar playing and singing. On the Friday they were able to take eighty finished copies to the office of the Directora of the University of Havana Libraries, who had agreed to distribute the book far and wide among public libraries. That evening Tato invited friends and family and all celebrated with rum and food and song and dance.

During the Spring of 2005, under the direction of Steve Miller and Anna Embree, the letterpress printing and bookbinding of the Alabama version, which includes more of the artist's linocuts, were finished.
Deluxe edition $600 (Deluxe edition Out of Print)
Standard edition $375


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Standard edition
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Parallel Editions Out of Print Title:


Havana: A Living City
By Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler
Alabama / Cuba: Parallel Editions, 2009. Edition of 60.

6 x 10"; 28 pages. Printed letterpress with 10 linocut prints. Signed by author and artist. Translated by Maria Vargas.

Excerpts from books and speeches by Dr. Eusebio Leal Spengler, Historian of the City of Havana, in a 2009 bilingual limited edition translated by Maria Vargas. Ten linocuts by Cuban artist Angel Manuel Ramirez. Bi-lingual: English from one side, Spanish from the other. The design, letterpress, and bookbinding were executed by Professor Anna Embree, Professor Steve Miller, and the University of Alabama students. Taller Experimental de Grafica in Havana, Cuba, made the papers for this book at Papel Artesanal.


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Illegal Use of the Soul/Uso Ilegal del Alma
By Luis Fransisco Diaz Sanchez
Alabama / Cuba: Parallel Editions, 2006. Edition of 55.

4 x 5"; 24 pages with four linocuts. Signed by the artist. Printed letterpress.

Six poems by Luis Francisco Diaz Sanchez in a 2006 bilingual limited edition translated by Maria Vargas. Six linocuts by Cuban artist Julio Cesar Pena Peralta. Bi-lingual: English from one side, Spanish from the other. The poems were letterpress printed on Biblio by Steve Miller and students at the University of Alabama. The linocuts were printed by Miller and the UA students, working with the artist at Taller Experimental de Grafica in Havana, Cuba, on papers made for this book at Papel Artesanal. Anna Embree designed the binding and led a team of UA students and Cuban paper artists in binding the edition at Papel Artesanal.

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By Billy Collins
Tuscaloosa / Havana: Parallel Editions, 2007. Edition of 62.

5.875 x 8.375"; 9 loose leaves. Typographic design by Steve Miller. Bookbinding design by Anna Embree. Handmade paper for the text, letterpress printing, and bookbinding by Elizabeth Aversa, Sarah Bryant, Anna Embree, Sarah Marshall, Patrick Masterson, Steve Miller, and Laura Thomson. Handmade portfolio paper created at Papel Artesanal in Havana under the direction of Rafael Suan Lazo and Directora Izel Marino Gonzalez, technico y doctora del TEPA respectivamente. Lithographs printed by the Alabama team and the Cuban artists in Havana, Cuba. Bound in gray cloth with paper lithographic illustration on front board. Signed by the poet.

Another in the collaboration of works by the Book Arts program at the University of Alabama and Cuban artists and printers. This book features a poem by Billy Collins presented in English and Spanish (translation into Spanish by Maria Vargas) accompanied by lithographs by five Cuban artists - Hugo Azcuy Castillo, Luis Lara Calaña, Julio César Peña Peralta, Rafael Pérez, and Rubén Rodriguez.

This is the first publication of "Noche."

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Page last update: 08.04.18


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