Irene de la Torre and Lauren Moya Ford met by chance in Madrid at the end of 2015. Both are transplants to the capital (de la Torre is from Mallorca and Moya Ford is from Texas) and in 2018 they created Editorial Froitas.
As part of their creative partnership they have translated one another’s work; de la Torre writes in Spanish, and Moya Ford in English. La isla rural – The Rural Island, an excerpt of which is produced here, is a farewell to rural Mallorcan life. Over the course of a few afternoons, de la Torre sat with her mother, looking at photo albums from her childhood in Mallorca. While the author had initially intended to make up a new story out of what her mother recounted, she ultimately wrote down her mother’s words, only slightly modified.
Ocean Air – Aire del océano is an artist’s book by Moya Ford based on her experiences in Gran Canaria, where she completed an artist residency in the fall of last year.
La isla rural
Irene de la Torre
Los suelos sin embaldosar, las sillas de la casa, la persiana tan vieja. El año 61, lo sé cierto, era el año 61. La casa rural de mis padres, y mi abuela materna que está saliendo de la casa con la silla y una tía mía, tomando el fresco de una tarde. Sería una de las primeras tardes de verano. Antes las mujeres se vestían así, de negro, no había la gama de tiendas de ahora, todas iban de negro oscuro. Tarde de primavera, o una de las primeras del verano. La única que enseña el brazo es la tía, pero lleva una chaqueta. Visita familiar.
Podrían hablar de que ese año había llovido bastante, de que había sido una primavera lluviosa, o de que el fruto va madurando, que está madurando muy bien. La cosecha puede ser temprana por el agua que ha caído. Por el tiempo que estamos todavía hace fresquito. Podrían estar diciendo que el otro día recogieron la cosecha de alcachofa, por ejemplo. O que les sobraba un trocito de tierra sin plantar y plantaron unos esquejes de unos geranios. Eso no lo puede decir nadie que no lo haya vivido. O podrían estar diciendo, que habían recogido ya unos tomates para cenar todos.
Cosas del campo.
The Rural Island
trans. Lauren Moya Ford
The dirt floors, the chairs brought out from the house, the old blinds. This was in ’61, I am sure of it. It was in ’61, at my parents’ house out in the country. My grandmother is coming out of the house, with a chair and one of my aunts, enjoying the fresh afternoon air. It must have been one of the first afternoons of summer. Back then the women dressed that way, all in black. There weren’t as many stores as there are now; all of the women wore dark black. I bet it was a spring afternoon, or one of the first afternoons of summer. The only one who has her arms bare is my aunt, but she is holding a sweater. A family visit.
They could be talking about how it had rained a lot that year, that it had been a rainy spring, or that the fruit was doing well, that it was ripening very nicely—the harvest might be early because of all the rain that had fallen. That it was still cool because of the weather they were having. They might be saying that the other day they’d harvested the artichokes, for example. Or that they’d had a bit of extra land where they planted some geranium cuttings. That’s something that you can’t talk about unless you’ve lived it. Or they could be saying that they had already picked some tomatoes for everyone to eat for dinner. Country things like that.
Lauren Moya Ford
The hand while drawing
The sun moving in and out
The hand drawing itself
Small garden near the beach
Plant reflections in a shiny surface
Shop windows, polished black tiles
Black paving stones, car windows
Missed buses, mosquitoes
Clay pots, flip flops, black rocks
Memories of Mexico and a white sky
The grocery store and a white lily
Dreams of old friends
Sunburns on other people’s backs
Dusty mountains, round stones
Ship lights at night
Times near the ocean, times being alone
Not doing anything at all
A slim gold ring, an open hand
trans. Irene de la Torre
La mano al dibujar
El sol que aparece y se esconde
La mano dibujándose a sí misma
Pequeño jardín junto a la playa
Reflejos de plantas en un fondo brillante
Baldosas negras pulidas, escaparates
Adoquines negros, ventanillas de coches
Autobuses perdidos, mosquitos
Vasijas de arcilla, chanclas, rocas de color negro
Recuerdos de México y el blanco del cielo
El supermercado y un lirio blanco
Sueños con amigos de la infancia
Quemaduras de sol en la espalda de la gente
Montañas polvorientas, guijarros
Luces nocturnas de barcos
Horas junto al océano, horas en solitario
Estar sin hacer nada
Un anillo de oro fino, una mano abierta
Irene de la Torre (Madrid, 1988) is a Spanish translator, poet, and writer based in Madrid. In 2017 she was selected to participate in the European Connecting Emerging Literary Artists program as a literary translator of Dutch to Spanish. She has given readings of her own work as well as her translations at Segovia’s Hay Festival, the De Utrechtse Boekenbar bookshop in Utrecht, Holland, and at the Desperate Literature bookshop in Madrid. Her writings have been included in group zines such as the literary magazine Smilie Magazine (Belgium). She currently combines her work as a freelance translator with her artistic work. She translates English, French, Dutch, and Catalan into Spanish.
Lauren Moya Ford (Boca Ratón, 1986) is an American artist, translator, and writer based in Madrid. Her literary and photographic work has appeared in Gulf Coast Journal and Fields Magazine, and her visual art and performances have been featured at The Menil Collection, Temple University, MCO Contemporânea, and Inc Livros, Porto, among others. She has participated in artist residencies at Ox Bow (Michigan, US), O Sol Aceita a Pele para Ficar (Guiamrães, PT), and El Centro de Arte La Regente (Las Palmas, ES).