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Ada Limón, the Nation’s New Poet Laureate

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The following is a post by Neely Tucker, a writer-editor in the Library’s Office of Communication. It originally appeared on the Library of Congress Blog.


Ada Limon stands on a shaded sidewalk with the U.S. Capitol Building in the background. She wears a deep blue dress with yellow designs
Ada Limón at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Shawn Miller.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Ada Limón as the nation’s 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2022-2023. Limón will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 29 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium.

“Ada Limón is a poet who connects,” Hayden said. “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.”

Limón joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Joy Harjo who served three terms in the position (2019-2022), Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove.

“What an incredible honor,” Limón said. “Again and again, I have been witness to poetry’s immense power to reconnect us to the world, to allow us to heal, to love, to grieve, to remind us of the full spectrum of human emotion.”

Limón was born in Sonoma, California, in 1976 and is of Mexican ancestry.

She is the author of six poetry collections, including “The Carrying” (Milkweed Editions, 2018), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry; “Bright Dead Things” (2015), a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Books Critics Circle Award; “Sharks in the Rivers” (2010); “Lucky Wreck” (Autumn House, 2006); and “This Big Fake World” (Pearl Editions, 2006). She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University and is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Her newest poetry collection, “The Hurting Kind,” was recently published as part of a three-book deal with Milkweed Editions that includes the publication of “Beast: An Anthology of Animal Poems,” featuring work by major poets over the last century, followed by a volume of new and selected poems.

Limón is currently the host of “The Slowdown,” the American Public Media podcast series which was launched as part of Tracy K. Smith’s poet laureateship in 2019. Limón serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency MFA program. She lives in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Library’s Poetry and Literature Center is the home of the Poet Laureate, a position that has existed since 1937, when Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library. Since then, many of the nation’s most eminent poets have served in the position. A 1985 congressional law states it is “equivalent to that of Poet Laureate of the United States.”

Comments (3)

  1. Who appoints the Poet Laureate? What are the required credentials?

    • Dear Catherine,

      The poet laureate is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress. In making the appointment, the Library’s Literary Initiatives Office consults with the current laureate, former appointees, distinguished poetry critics, scholars, booksellers, leaders of literary organizations, and others who are deeply knowledgeable about poetry. For more information, see the blog post “How is the Poet Laureate Selected?” on From the Catbird Seat.



  2. This is such a good photograph. Your dress is so wonderful. And you look so good. Can’t wait to read your works. Heard you on NPR. Happy for you.

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