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Ada Limón on reclaiming humanity through poetry

Ada Limón joins Washington Post Live on Wednesday, Sept. 14. (Video: The Washington Post)

Ada Limón is the 24th poet laureate of the United States. The Mexican American author has published six poetry collections. Limón joins Washington Post national correspondent Arelis R. Hernández to discuss her new role, her acclaimed body of work and how poetry helps readers reclaim their humanity.

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“It is a really incredible experience... Every day I feel like I have new emotion about it... Just earlier this morning… I sat down at my desk to write and I have all of the pictures of my loved ones… And I was thinking about how they’re with me. And how much work went into their lives and into allowing me to be an artist… It feels like an incredible moment that I'm not just experiencing for myself, but I’m experiencing with my ancestors and with my family and with my community."- Ada Limón (Video: Washington Post Live)
“The titular poem that this title comes from is really about what it is to be someone who is sensitive to the world. Someone who allows themself to be pierced by emotions, by grief, by joy... In my life right now, I recognize that so many of our conversations are about resilience and bravery and courage and strength... But I think there's also a time where we need to remember also to be tender, to be soft, to receive the world. And to allow ourselves to recognize all the emotions that we’re going through.” Ada Limón (Video: Washington Post Live)
“One of the things that I'm fully aware of is that the people that came before me in this position... they've done that work, the really good, deep, groundwork of letting us know that poetry is there... What I would love to do is celebrate poetry's power. I’m hoping that in my tenure I’m able to create some sort of public project that would bring poetry into public spaces and allow us to have unexpected experiences with poetry… I’m hoping that I can really address the youthfulness of poetry. That poetry can be a tool to help us heal.”- Ada Limón (Video: Washington Post Live)
“It’s very important for all writers to recognize that we should be able to embrace whatever subjects we want… One of the things I have realized over my 20 years of writing poetry is that I do think that writers of color are often times get asked to address trauma and address injustices in ways that White poets do not get asked to do. I think it’s really important that as Latinx writers that we remember that we have the full range of imagination.” - Ada Limón (Video: Washington Post Live)

Ada Limón

U.S. Poet Laureate