Las Piedras/Stones is a unique artist book, which includes four poems written by Pablo Neruda with seven original drawings by Manuel Neri. The poem Las agates (The Agates) was originally published in Neruda’s book Una casa en la arena (Lumen, Barcelona, 1966), and was published in English in The House in the Sand: Prose Poems by Pablo Neruda, issued in 1990 by Milkweed Editions, Minneapolis, Minnesota, translated by Dennis Maloney and Clark M. Zlotchew. The poems XXIX, III, and XIV were first published in Neruda’s book Las piedras del cielo by Editorial Losada, Buenos Aires, in 1970, and were published in English in Stones of the Sky, issued by Copper Canyon Press, Port Townsend, Washington, in 1987 (second edition 2002), translated by James Nolan. The drawings by Manuel Neri, in oil paint stick, charcoal and graphite on blue paper, are figure studies from the Small Agatas series of 1984, 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 2005.
The binding structure for the book was developed by Daniel E. Kelm. The binding incorporates a method of sewing that traps the spine fold of each signature between double raised cords and an interior stainless steel wire. The goatskin leather binding, with unique leather onlay, hand-tooling and stamping in gold and palladium leaf was designed and produced by Daniel E. Kelm, Kylin Lee, and the mechanics at the Wide Awake Garage in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The book is enclosed in a cloth-covered clamshell box with leather label, also produced at the Wide Awake Garage.