The Gospel of Wildflowers & Weeds
Poetry by Orlando Ricardo Menes
University of New Mexico Press, August 2022
The poems in The Gospel of Wildflowers & Weeds expand the sacred within a baroque, magical-realist poetics that immerses itself in the flora and fauna of the Caribbean and the region’s complex interplay of African, Judeo-Christian, and Taíno (Arawak) cultures. Menes engages with the Catholic sacraments, saints’ lives, and the artistic heritage of this universal faith as well as Cuban art through the use of a variety of poetic styles across the collection. An established poet, he pays homage to those writers who have made him the Caribbean poet that he is, specifically Alejo Carpentier, José Lezama Lima, and even Hart Crane. Readers will want to join Menes on this journey as he travels the globe to explore the fantastic and the marvelous while searching for faith and divine grace.