“Poetry is elemental, necessary, and deeply human.”
Ada Limón has published six books of poetry, won the National Book Critic Circle Award, and was nominated for the National Book Award and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Now, she is adding being named the 24th US Poet Laureate to her list of accomplishments.
In Fall 2022, Ada Limón will begin her term as US Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She will be taking over for poet Joy Harjo who was appointed in 2019. The Poet Laureate has a responsibility to raise the national awareness and appreciation of reading and writing poetry. While that description is vague, it is left that way to allow poets like Limón the flexibility to adapt their projects to reflect the current needs and landscape of American poetry.
Limón is known for taking a unique approach to her poetry. She fully embraces the fact that poetry isn’t just for reading, but for being performed. She regularly hosts poetry readings, as well as reading other poets work on her podcast, “The Showdown.” Limón even admits to reading her poems out loud while she writes them. Her poems have to flow with speech as much as they flow on the page.
This unique approach to poetry will serve her well as US Poet Laureate as she fully embraces the future of poetry. Poetry that goes beyond the page.
Drawing on inspiration from nature, Limón’s most recent collection, The Hurting Kind, focuses on family, memory, nature, and longing. It asks readers to begin to see themselves not as something separate from the world around them, but as part of it. To see the ways nature connects to the human experience. She shows us how something as inconvenient as a groundhog in a garden is simply nature trying to survive, just as humans try to survive every day.
Limón honors her family in this collection as well as her past. She opens up in her work to tell her stories, as well as the stories of others, of family, and of sacrifice, abundance, and tenderness. She admits that she puts much of herself on the page in her poetry, and this collection is no different.
Poetry isn’t just something you read in an English classroom, it’s alive. It is loud, energetic, and opens up our hearts and minds to the world. Limón understands this and proves it through her poetry, her performance, and her passion. The poetry world is ready for her to take up the title of U.S. Poet Laureate and see how she moves poetry forward during her term.
Congratulations Ada Limón on becoming the 2022 US Poet Laureate!