El mar de Isla Negra/The Sea of Isla Negra is a unique artist book, which includes four poems written by Pablo Neruda, with nine original drawings by Manuel Neri. The poem El mar is from Neruda’s book Una casa en la arena, 1966, © Fundación Pablo Neruda, and published in English by Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis, in 1990 in The House in the Sand, Prose Poems by Pablo Neruda, translated by Dennis Maloney and Clark Zlotchew. Mareas first appeared in Neruda’s book Memorial de Isla Negra, published in 1964 by Editorial Losada, Buenos Aires, and published in English in Isla Negra: A Notebook in 1981 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, translated by Alastair Reid. The poems Oda a la luz marina and Oda a las algas del océano were published in 1974 in Tercer libro de las odas by Editorial Losada, Buenos Aires, and published in English in 1990 by University of California Press in Selected Odes of Pablo Neruda, translated by Margaret Sayers Peden. Poems by Pablo Neruda are © Fundación Pablo Neruda. The drawings by Manuel Neri, in water-based pigments, graphite, and oil pastel, some with collage, are figure studies from the Lucca Series done in 1983, 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. The calligraphy of the text and page designs were created and executed by Thomas Ingmire on Rives BFK White paper in the Spring of 2006.
The binding structure for the book was designed by Daniel E. Kelm at the Wide Awake Garage in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The book is bound in goatskin leather, with unique leather onlays, hand-tooling and stamping in gold and palladium leaf. The leather binding for the book has been designed and produced by Daniel E. Kelm, Kylin Lee and other mechanics at the Wide Awake Garage in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The book is housed in a slipcase covered in Japanese bookcloth by Linda Lembke at Green River Bindery in Guilford, Vermont.