Ada Limon, an award-winning poet, has been named the 24th poet laureate of the United States by the Library of Congress.
Limon plans to share two things about poetry that she believes: poetry can help us “reclaim our humanity,” and it can help repair our relationship with the environment.
Firstly, she’s relishing the news and being in the moment. Laughing, Limon said over the phone before the formal announcement, “the reeling hasn’t stopped.”
The renowned poet Limon has published six books of poetry. “The Carrying,” published in 2018, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry; “Bright Dead Things” was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2015.
Limon’s new book “The Hurting Kind,” published in May, weaves indelible memories with unforgettable images of flowers, trees, and animals from her surroundings and memory.
Limon, the first female U.S. poet laureate of Latino heritage, said, “we are still in the middle of a pandemic. It’s been such a tormented time.” She said poetry is a way to connect to feelings, emotions, and even stillness.
A Kentucky native, Limon fell in love with poetry in her teens. She began reading poetry at 15 while working at a bookstore in her hometown, Sonoma, California. She remembers asking for permission to keep a school test with a poem.
For Limon, her new role isn’t just about celebrating poets but about understanding poetry and nurturing new connections. Limon wants to see more poetry in public spaces, like park pockets in urban settings or bus stops.
She said, “Sometimes we fail as teachers are we give people just a few poems. But there are some many out there.”