Café Cantante is a unique artist book, which includes five poems by Federico García Lorca, and seven original drawings by Manuel Neri. The poems — La guitarra, Las seis cuerdas, Café cantante, Baile, and Paso — were included in Lorca’s book Poema del cante jondo, published in May 1931 by Ulises, Madrid. The English translations of La guitarra, entitled The Guitar; Las seis cuerdas, entitled The Six Strings; and Café cantante, entitled Cabaret, are by Cola Franzen. The English translation of Baile, entitled Dance, is by Christopher Maurer. The English translation of Paso, entitled Float, is by Robert Nasatir.
The drawings by Manuel Neri, in ink and mixed media, are from a group of figure studies done in 1976, and were selected by Manuel Neri to accompany the poems for this book. The Introduction was written in English by Mary Julia Klimenko and translated into Spanish by Jaime Moreno Villarreal. Akiho Sugiyama did the calligraphy for the introductions, biographies, and colophons. All the other calligraphic work and page designs were created and executed by Thomas Ingmire on Rives BFK White paper in the Winter of 2007.
The binding structure and leather binding for the book were designed by Daniel E. Kelm and produced by Daniel E. Kelm, Kylin Lee and other mechanics at the Wide Awake Garage in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The book is bound in goatskin leather, with gold foil stamping. The book is housed in a handmade paper-covered box produced by Foolscap Press in Santa Cruz, California. The uniquely painted designs, calligraphy, and collage elements on the cover of the box are by Thomas Ingmire.