The Sonoran Desert of south-central Arizona teems with marvelous plant life: the green-skinned tree called Palo Verde; dagger-leaved agaves with their towering flower spikes; the spiny spears of the Ocotillo; and countless cacti--chollas, prickly pears, barrel cacti, hedgehogs, pincushions, and on and on. Amid these lesser wonders stands the Saguaro, king of cacti, spreading its almost-human arms above its subjects. From this monarch the Saguaro Forest takes its name. And from the paradox of the green desert--the arid forest--the poems of the present collection were born.


A Saguaro Forest surrounds us all. The world is the Saguaro Forest--a place of beauty and wonder, ever pointing beyond itself to the greater beauty and wonder of its First Cause and Final End, while at the same time confronting us with the discomfort and danger of its thorns, reminding us that this is no Eden, that for the present we partake of paradise only by Hope.


Poetry is one of the many ways that the Word has been made flesh. How rare in today's age to find someone who has a contemplative spirit, poetic skills and the discipline to compose poetry that will please our senses, delight our intellect and lift our spirits. That is just what Mark Amorose's poetry does. --Janet E. Smith, Father Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

Kaufmann continues to publish fine volumes by some of the finest contemporary poets. In the Saguaro Forest, by this finest of poets, Mark Amorose, is another gem in the Kaufmann crown. --Joseph Pearce, writer-in-residence and associate professor of literature, Ave Maria University


Mark Amorose lives in Arizona with his wife, Maria, and their eight children. His poems have appeared in a variety of periodicals, including Chronicles, First Things, Measure, Modern Age, St. Austin Review, and The Wanderer.


  • Hardcover: 94 pages
  • Publisher: Kaufmann Publishing (August 15, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0984858156
  • ISBN-13: 978-0984858156