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Grolier Club Exhibitions

Bill Fisher

I began collecting Latin American literature in the early 90s. My attention was first drawn to Chilean authors whose works I enjoyed reading, such as Pablo Neruda, Nicanor Parra, and José Donoso. Over time I expanded to encompass 20th-century literature from all of Latin America.

I still pursue some specific authors but find myself more frequently chasing themes that illustrate the history of book production and distribution in modern Latin America. This ranges from work by fine press printers such as Colombo of Argentina and Taller Martín Pescador of Mexico to more rustic/ephemeral work from Ediciones Vigía of Cuba, La rama florida of Peru, Ediciones Mimbre of Chile, and the itinerant Ediciones El Mendrugo. And I am particularly interested in material relating to prisons, which I define broadly as books that landed their authors in jail, were inspired by time spent in jail, and/or were printed in a jail print shop.

Finally, I collect heavily in the field of Chicano/Latinx literature. This has been tremendous fun from a number of perspectives: much material is ephemeral (and beautiful!), the content often relates to my native Southwest, many authors are still living, and I can more easily obtain manuscript material.

Viaje / Trip.

Viaje / Trip.

raúl r. salinas. Providence: Hellcoal Press, 1973.

This book exemplifies many aspects I enjoy in collecting Chicano/Latinx literature: the texts are engaging (the title poem of this collection is fantastic); the publications are usually ephemeral (this chap was published by a group of Brown students); and the principals are more likely to be living (which enabled me to acquire this book, from the attic of its editor, Jaimy Gordon, and to track down the author for an inscription).