Orlando Ricardo Menes
Peruvian-born Cuban poet, editor, and translator Orlando Ricardo Menes immigrated to Miami with his family at age ten. He earned a BA and an MA at the University of Florida and a PhD at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The author of several poetry collections, including Heresies (2015), Prairie Schooner Book Prize-winner Fetish (2013), Furia (2005), and Rumba Atop the Stones (2001), he is also the editor of Renaming Ecstasy: Latino Writings on the Sacred (2003). Menes has translated the work of Argentinian poet Alfonsina Storni and Cuban poet José Kozer.
In his poems, Menes explores themes of identity, family, faith, and sustenance. In an interview with West Branch Wired, he affirmed the connection he sees between food and the sacred: “As a Roman Catholic, how can I not? The very Host, this thin wafer I was taught to let dissolve in my mouth and never chew, is the transubstantiated body of Christ, not a symbol, not an idea, but His very flesh. This kind of concreteness is compelling to me as a poet. … I have a passion for amalgamation, not just as a trope but as a way of thinking, a style of living.”
Menes is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. A professor at the University of Notre Dame since 2000, he lives in northern Indiana.