Tristezas/Songs of Sadness is a unique artists’ book, which includes three poems by Federico García Lorca, and nine original drawings by Manuel Neri. The poem Encrucijada was written in July of 1920 and appeared in Libro de Poemas, published in 1921 in the printshop of Gabriel García Maroto, Madrid. The English translation entitled Crossroad is by Catherine Brown. The poem El paso de la Siguiriya was included in Lorca’s book Poema del cante jondo, published in May 1931 by Ulises, Madrid. The English translation entitled The Passage of the Siguiriya is by Cola Franzen. The poem San Rafael (Córdoba) was published in 1928 in the book Primer Romancero Gitano, by Revista de Occidente, Madrid. The English translation, Saint Raphael (Córdoba) is by Will Kirkland. 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 ink and mixed media, are from the Seated Figure 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 Fall 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 and palladium. 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.