Ada Limón: The 24th Poet Laureate

by Natalia Osuna from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Born and raised in Sonoma, CA, Ada Limón is a Mexican-American poet who became the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States in July 2022. Now a resident of Lexington, Kentucky, Limón spends her time writing, teaching remotely, and hosting her critically-acclaimed poetry podcast called The Slowdown.        149021Ada LimónBy Lucas Marquardt

Limón is the author of six books of poetry, among those being The Carrying, recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, and Bright Dead Things, nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. After getting her MFA at NYU, Limón has received multiple fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation of the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. Additionally, her work has been featured in various publications, such as the New Yorker, Harvard Review, Barrow Street, and Pleiades. 

Before fully immersing herself in the world of poetry, she worked in marketing for Condé Nast magazines. Yet as she started publishing her first books, she realized it was her true calling. Limón had thought that writing full-time would mean writing fiction, but, as she told New York Times' Elizabeth A. Harris in May 2022, after “spend(ing) most of her days pretending to be other people, she’d then write poems that allowed her to be herself. In the process, she was more tender and vulnerable than she’d been in her poetry before.”  

As the new Poet Laureate, Limón has a few ideas for projects that she might pursue beginning her tenure this fall, especially with the country’s divided state. When talking to Harris later in July 2022, Limón stated “Right now, so often we are going numb to grief and numb to tragedy and numb to crisis… Poetry is a way back in, to recognizing that we are feeling human beings. And feeling grief and feeling trauma can actually allow us to feel joy again.” Then, the poet goes on to say that “great poetry is the place where we come to get the strength to heal, to become whole again and to then recommit to the world.”

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden described Limón as “a poet who connects.” She then went on to say that “her accessible, engaging poems ground us in where we are and who we share our world with. They speak of intimate truths, of the beauty and heartbreak that is living, in ways that help us move forward.” An author who aims to connect us not only with our inner selves and each other, but also Mother Nature, Ada Limón will be a poet laureate for the books.      

Page created on 8/11/2022 7:58:37 PM

Last edited 8/16/2022 10:27:22 PM

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Ada Limón - To learn more, head to Ada Limón's website.

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