Orders of Service


Estimated delivery between July 25 and July 27.

By: Willie Lee Kind III, 2023, Paperback

As a young, Black, queer person in a small town in the South where everyone knows everyone, Orders of Service is a coming-of-age exploration of the everyday fever of fleeting relationships, while capturing the romantic, psychic quotidian of the Bible Belt. This commentary on gospel traditionalism is armed with dreams of helping to reshape lived realities where being your truest self could be shunned or ostracized in deeply religious communities. It ruminates on this Deep South narrative by exploring how the age of social media has created a rich underground counterculture that offsets the surface rituals of grief and shame. The poems illuminate lineages of performance and fellowship for queer descendants of the last Black folks out of the Carolina cotton fields, and features Anansi-like speakers (Anansi is a trickster spider featured in West African and Caribbean folklore) while delving into old-school sensibilities and advice. This gospel-fugue bends language in the backwoods of faith and desire. Pulling figures from the stories of childhood―Icarus, a flying boy wanting to escape; Asterion the Minotaur―the wandering son of someone absent; Medusa, a wronged person portrayed as a mankiller; Cerberus, a beastly guardian intent on being a “good” boy― these poems are punky, preachy, prissy, and pink-collar, and all help create the fever-dream that is Orders of Service.