Duende/Songs of Despair is a unique artists’ book, which includes three poems by Federico García Lorca, and nine original drawings by Manuel Neri. The poem Canción otoñal was written in November 1918 in Granada, and appeared in Lorca’s first book of poetry, Libro de Poemas, published in 1921 in the print shop of Gabriel García Maroto, Madrid. The English translation by Catherine Brown is entitled Autumn Song. The poem Gacela del mercado matutino is from the book Diván del Tamarit, written in 1931-34 and published posthumously in 1940 in a special edition of Revista Hispánica Moderna by Columbia University, New York. The English translation by Christopher Maurer is entitled Ghazal of the Market in the Morning. The poem Corazon nuevo was written in June 1918 in Granada, and also appeared in Libro de Poemas, published in 1921 by Gabriel García Maroto, Madrid. The English translation by Catherine Brown is entitled New Heart. These translations were published in the book Federico García Lorca: Collected Poems (New York: Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1991; rev. 2002).
The drawings by Manuel Neri, in water-based pigments, ink and graphite, are from the Kneeling Figure Study series done in 1981, 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 Winter of 2009. The calligraphy for the Introduction, biographies, and colophon was done by Akiho Sugiyama.
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 a cover design that combines hand-tooling and die-stamping in gold leaf. 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.