It is with great pleasure and admiration that I, the current Poet Laureate of Grant County, NM, welcome and introduce the new US Poet Laureate, Ada Limón. She was appointed as the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States by the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, on July 12, 2022. Limón will replace Joy Harjo (a long-time personal favorite poet of mine) when her one year term begins in September with the opening of the Library’s season. Among her list of impressive accomplishments are six books of poetry, a podcast called The Slowdown, an MFA from New York University, numerous prizes for winning contests and several Fellowships, including one from the prestigious Guggenheim Foundation. She grew up in Sonoma, California and lives now in Lexington, Kentucky. While exploring style, Limón masters form, clearly evident through her prose, couplets
She stares down themes that some poets shy away from, pulling in the Latinx struggle, immigration, racism, and so much more into her work.
I feel a kinship with this woman, this incredible poet and person, since we share both the same poet laureate distinction (although my post is, admittedly, less prominent than hers), year of birth, and passion for expression and connection through words. To quote Limón from the Youtibe video she’s featured in (link posted below): “Being a poet is not about being a professional. It’s about being a human being.” This is just one of her sentiments that I very strongly identify with. As a poet, my goals are not to be famous or recognized as a celebrity; rather, they are to connect by heart and soul to other human beings. There are so many beautiful, tragic, life altering experiences that we all share. That spirit of interconnectedness is where my poems birth, breathe and come to life. This is where I meet Limón – not in the physical space we inhabit (although that’s certainly been added to my bucket list!) – but in the ethereal world swirling with fragmented thoughts and feelings that form into words, sentences, and poems. It’s been a true delight to learn more about her while reading her work, listening to her recordings and watching videos that she’s featured and celebrated in. I look forward to seeing what she accomplishes as the US Poet Laureate and will be eagerly following along.
Here is Limón’s personal website:
Here’s a link to a Poet & Writer’s webpage, featuring a recording of Limón reading from her poetry book, Bright, Dead Things:
Here’s the link to the YouTube video I quote above:
Here’s a link to the Poetry Foundation’s showcase of Limón’s poetry:
Written by Allison Grace Waterman