Congratulations to U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón, who today was named a Fellow from the MacArthur Foundation for 2023. The MacArthur Fellowships are commonly referred to as “genius grants” and come with a “no-strings-attached” stipend of $800,000, paid out over five years. The criteria for selection of Fellows are:
- Exceptional creativity
- Promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishments
- Potential for the Fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.
Limón’s page on the foundation site includes a section, “About Ada’s Work,” which ends with the following:
Limón is committed to exposing new and expert readers to the musicality and expressive capacities of poetry. As former host of the podcast The Slowdown, she gave a reading of a poem a day, and she is expanding her efforts to provide a way into the art form in unexpected spaces during her tenure as U.S. poet laureate (2022–2025). Her poem, “In Praise of Mystery,” will travel to the second moon of Jupiter on the NASA spacecraft the Europa Clipper. With her signature project, “You Are Here,” she will bring poetry to national parks and focus on how poetry can help connect us to the natural world. Limón’s work attests to poetry’s power to articulate both our ordinary and ineffable experiences and to function as an antidote to loneliness, especially during the most isolating of times.
Congratulations to Limón for this well-deserved honor, and thank you to the MacArthur Foundation for recognizing the genius of her laureate work.