Ada Limón Named the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States
The Queens University of Charlotte MFA instructor to offer her first event in Latin America on July 28th
by Keith Pierce
Ada Limón, who is on the faculty of the Master of Fine Arts degree program at Queens University of Charlotte, has been named the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States by the Library of Congress. Limón will open the Library's 2022-2023 literary season on Sept. 29 with a reading of her work in the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium in Washington, DC.
"Ada Limón is a poet who connects," Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a press release. "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 has taught in the Queens University of Charlotte Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program since 2014, both in Charlotte and in Latin America. She is one of the core faculty in the Latin America track, teaching in it since its inception.
"What an incredible honor to be named the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States. 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 said. "This recognition belongs to the teachers, poets, librarians and ancestors from all over the world that have been lifting up poetry for years. I am humbled by this opportunity to work in the service of poetry and to amplify poetry's ability to restore our humanity and our relationship to the world around us."
Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry and was named one of the top five poetry books of the year by the Washington Post. Her fourth book Bright Dead Things was named a finalist for the National Book Award, a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her most recent book, The Hurting Kind, was published in May. Limón also hosts The Slowdown poetry podcast and works as a freelance writer in Lexington, Kentucky.
While her term as Poet Laureate officially begins in September, Limón will be the first Poet Laureate to offer an early event outside of the country as she conducts her first unofficial event at the Queens University of Charlotte Latin American residency in Buenos Aires on July 28. Limited to Queens University of Charlotte MFA students, faculty and staff, the bilingual conversation on poetics, moderated by Queens MFA faculty and co-founding editor of the Buenos Aires Review Maxine Swann, will also include Argentinian poets Laura Wittner and Daniela Auginsky.
"Ada Limón is both a great talent and a fantastic builder of community. She will be outstanding in this new post," said Fred Leebron, director of the MFA program at Queens. "At Queens, we always say that the irony of creative writing is it gets done in isolation but it takes a community to sustain it. Ada has been so integral in building that community."
The Queens University of Charlotte Latin America residency was launched in July 2014 as part of a vision of more deeply connecting MFA students to Latinx culture. MFA students may move back and forth between Charlotte and Latin America residencies during their matriculation in the program which rotates among Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Santiago, Chile for its annual two-week residencies.
For more information on the Poet Laureate and the Poetry and Literature Center, visit loc.gov/poetry. Consultants in Poetry and Poets Laureate Consultants in Poetry and their terms of service can be found at loc.gov/poetry/laureate.html.