In a voice that is fluid and mesmerizing, Furia fuses geography, memory, and a rich multicultural ancestry. Born to Cuban parents, with one family line running back to China, Orlando Ricardo Menes was raised in Peru and Miami, and he uses this heritage to fuel his imagination.
Divided into three parts—“Furia,” “Coolie,” and “Rain”—these poems create a vivid, colorful world, exotic in its variety. Drawing from history, ethnography, and anthropology, Furia speaks to Afro-Cuban heritage, magic, syncretic religion, and legacies of displacement and assimilation. With a poetic style that centers on narrative, the lyric, and dramatic monologue, Menes brings to life a distinct mesh of grit and beauty, sound and sight, in a sweep of symphonious measures that celebrates as it delights.
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Praise and Prizes
“There is lush music to Orlando Ricardo Menes’s first book, and this lushness may arise from his subject, namely the Caribbean islands, particularly Cuba, his parents’ homeland. . . . These are bewitching poems with beguiling vocabulary.”
“A well-planned book of poems that’s both autobiographical and mythological. An ambitious and rewarding collection.”
“As rich and satisfying as poetry can be. Orlando Ricardo Menes’s reach and prowess are phenomenal.”
“Furia, indeed. There’s palpable rage in these poems. . . . But Orlando Ricardo Menes doesn’t simply report these experiences, he transforms them, giving readers not just a taste of his anguish but a deeper understanding.”
“Strange, fascinating and disturbing . . . A mix of cultural fiercity and lyrical language that entices and sometimes repulses but is always significant and moving.”
“In the ancient tradition of poetic narrators, Orlando Ricardo Menes transports us to scenes both lush and disturbing. We journey, often startled by the energy in the language, the teller’s truths.”
“Furia confirms what I’ve suspected for years about Orlando Ricardo Menes—he refuses to keep secrets about ancestral lines, treacheries, scars, educations, ghosts, and his generous heart. How fortunate that in these times of silencing this book sings louder than personal and political tempests.”