Orlando Ricardo Menes: New Fetish, Old Furia

By Poetry Co-Editor Elizabeth Petersen

furia1The best feeling an editor can have is the satisfaction of a great catch. Orlando Ricardo Menes is that big fish.

“Way back” in 2005, Sycamore’s Winter/Spring Issue 17.1 featured three poems by Menes (“Mythopoesis,” “Coolie,” “Pharmacopeia,” and “Drought in Havana”) that would go on to appear in Furia (Milkweed 2005), a collection Gary Soto described as “ambitious rewarding.”

Which is why Sycamore is so happy to celebrate the work’s continued momentum. Furiawas recently the Poetry Spotlight on Writeliving’s blog, where you will find “Mythopoesis”gleaming, and Martin Ott’s thoughts on the simultaneously autobiographical and mythological nature of Menes’ work.

And what’s more, Menes’ new book, Fetish, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry for 2012, of which editor Kwame Dawes had to say: “His poems reveal a formal dexterity that is awe inspiring, and his poems are rich with delight and full fascination with the human experience. His is a bold and inventive imagination.”

Keep an eye out for Fetish, forthcoming this September from the University of Nebraska Press, and take a look at Sycamore’s back issues to see what other great finds you can sink your hook into.