Ediciones Vigia

Although Ediciones Vigía did not start as an imprint, as the artistry grew so did the development of the books. In 1985, poet Alfredo Zaldivar gained access to la Casa del Escritor de Matanzas (the House of the Writer) de Matanzas in Cuba. La Casa del Escritor functions as a cultural center and institution for the region. Rolando Estévez joined Zaldivar, and brought with him his creative artist spirit. They began to publish flyers and invitations to promote literary and musical events. Creating these invitations served as the impetus for Ediciones Vigía, an imprint dedicated to printing literary works by incorporating illustrations and craft pieces. With limited access to materials, Ediciones Vigía artists utilized kraft paper freely available at shops and produced their pages through the use of mimeograph machines and rudimentary tools. 

Ediciones Vigía was a place for artists and writers to have an avenue to express themselves. To the pleasant surprise of the founders of the imprint, by the 1990s notable Cuban writers such as Cintio Vitier, Fina García Marruz, Dulce María Loynaz, Roberto Fernández Retamar, and Nancy Morejón were seeking Vigía out to publish their original works. This period is also when the imprint grew in reputation, and the production of the books becomes systematized.

Ediciones Vigía instituted a distribution policy that typically required an edition of 200 copies per piece. Copies are allocated to the designers, artisans, libraries, and book fairs, and as special gifts. Affordable copies are usually reserved for the Cuban people to purchase therefore ensuring the distribution as equitable and accessible to all.  Some copies are also sold in hard currency to support further production of the books. The books are not always made to illustrate the text, but they use aesthetic style and artistic expression to symbolize the essential nature of the narrative. This practice allowed Vigía to capture the spirit of the writing, but retained the poetic license to create art around the text.

The U-M Library Special Collections Library holds a substantial and growing collection of Ediciones Vigía. What follows are items described in the exhibit segments (Cultures, Identities, Narratives) plus many more for viewers to delight in and make their own intersections with the elaborate and sometimes arresting images.


Barquitos del San Juan : la revista de los niños.;  Back cover

Selections from 1990 to 1995

La Revista del Vigía. Año. 1. Número. 2; front cover
Barquitos del San Juan : la revista de los niños (Little boats of San Juan: children's magazine);  front cover
Barquitos del San Juan : la revista de los niños.;  Back cover
Tres cartas de Serguei Esenin (Three letters by Serguei Esenin); envelope
Tres cartas de Serguei Esenin (Three letters by Serguei Esenin); Letters
La santa (The holy woman)
Cantar del alma que se goza de conocer a Dios por fe (Sing from you heart because it is enjoyable to know God through faith);  open
Entre Engañosos Velos : Poemas

Selections from 1996

Celare navis y otros poemas (Celare Navis and other poems);  Front Cover
Cristo en la cruz y otros poemas (Christ on the cross and other poems); Front Cover
Cristo en la cruz y otros poemas (Christ on the cross and other poems);  Back Cover
La vida es minuciosa (Life is meticulous);  front cover
Testamento del pez:antología poética (The testament of a fish: A poetic anthology);  Closed
Testamento del pez; antología poética (The testament of a fish: A poetic anthology): ;  open box

Selections from 1997

--que pues lo imposible pido--(but I ask the impossible) : cinco poemas del Siglo de Oro español ;  front cover
El guerrero (The warrior) ;  closed
El guerrero (The warrior) ;  Open
La novia de Lázaro (Lazaro's girlfriend);  Front cover
La novia de Lázaro (Lazaro's girlfriend);  Back Cover
Endecha sin música (Dirge without music);  front cover
Miel imprevista (Unexpected reward); fan closed
Miel imprevista (Unexpected reward);  Cover--fan open

Selections from 1998 to 2000

Like the leaves themselves: three poems (Como las hojas mismas: tres poemas);  front cover
El árbol parlante: poemas en prosa (The talking tree; poems in prose);  Front Cover
Poemas sin nombre (Nameless poems); Verso
Poemas sin nombre (Nameless poems)
Fin y principio (The beginning and the end);  front cover
Otros poemas junto al mar (Other poems next to the ocean); Front Cover

Selections from 2001 to 2006

Everything I kept (Todo lo que guardé) ;   front cover--suitcase closed
Everything I kept  (Todo lo que guardé);  front cover - suitcase opened
La revista del Vigí­a (Vigia Magazine) Año. 15. Número 27.; front cover
Rosa de Jericó y otros poemas (Rose of Jerico and other poems); front cover
Treinta años (Thirty years); Front cover
Versos sencillos, IX-- La niña de Guatemala (Simple verses, IX--The girl from Guatemala);  Open
Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York);  decorative contaner
Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York); front cover and container verso

Selections from 2007 to 2010

Mar mediante (Through the sea); title page
La revista del Vigía (Vigia Magazine) Año. 12. Número. 23-24;  front cover
La revista del Vigía (Vigia Magazine); page opening - extra-illustration
Partir hacia tierras nuevas (Traveling to new lands) ; front cover
Ana Mendieta.;  front cover
Ana Mendieta;  back cover
Martí con todos : tres discursos (Martí, with everyone: three discussions) ;  Closed
Martí con todos : tres discursos; (Martí, with everyone: three discussions).;  Open
Motivos persas (Persian motives); front cover image exposed


El Fortín - Estévez and His Art