Limón at Lannan Center Readings, Georgetown University in 2017
March 28, 1976
|Alma mater||University of Washington|
New York University
Ada Limón (born March 28, 1976) is an American poet.
Early years and education
Limón, who is of Mexican-American descent, grew up in Sonoma, California. She attended the drama school at the University of Washington, where she studied theatre. After taking writing courses from professors including Colleen J. McElroy, she went on to receive her MFA from New York University in 2001, where she studied with Sharon Olds, Philip Levine, Marie Howe, Mark Doty, Agha Shahid Ali, and Tom Sleigh. Her graduate class at NYU included poets Jennifer L. Knox, Gregory Pardlo, Jason Schneiderman, Kazim Ali, and Kathleen Graber.
Upon graduation, Limón received a fellowship to live and write at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. In 2003, she received a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and in the same year won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry.
After 12 years in New York City, where she worked for various magazines such as Martha Stewart Living, GQ, and Travel + Leisure, Limón now lives in both Lexington, Kentucky and Sonoma, California, where she writes and teaches.
Limón's first book, Lucky Wreck, was chosen by Jean Valentine as the winner of the Autumn House Poetry Prize in 2005, while her second book, This Big Fake World, was the winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize in 2006. The two books came out within less than a year of each other. In a 2014 article in Compose magazine, she stated: "I went from having no books at all, to having two in the span of a year. I felt like I had won the lottery, well, without the money. I suppose, in my life, I’ve never done things the ordinary way. I’m either deep in the bottom of the well or nowhere near water." She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte low-residency M.F.A. program, and the "24 Pearl Street" on-line program for the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.
When her third book, Sharks in the Rivers (Milkweed Editions, 2010) was released, a reviewer writing in The Brooklyn Rail observed: "Unlike much contemporary poetry, Limón’s work isn’t text-derivative or deconstructivist. She personalizes her homilies, stamping them with the authenticity of invention and self-discovery." Limón's fourth book, Bright Dead Things, was released in 2015. She was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry.
While Limón is still at work on two fiction projects as well as non-fiction pieces, her poems continue to be published widely. Her poem "State Bird" appeared in the June 2, 2014 issue of The New Yorker, and her poem "How to Triumph Like a Girl" (2013), which portrays different aspects of being a lady horse, was recently awarded the Pushcart Prize. Her work has also appeared in the Harvard Review and the Pleiades.
She has been a beneficiary of the Kentucky Foundation for Women.
Awards and honors
- 2006 Pearl Poetry Prize, winner for This Big Fake World
- 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize, winner for Lucky Wreck
- 2013 National Book Award for Poetry, served as a judge
- 2015 National Book Award for Poetry, finalist for Bright Dead Things
- 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award (poetry), winner for The Carrying
- 2019 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, finalist for The Carrying
- Lucky wreck, Autumn House Press, 2006
- This Big Fake World, Pearl Editions, 2006 ISBN 978-1-888219-35-7
- Sharks in the rivers, Milkweed Editions, 2010 ISBN 978-1-57131-438-3
- Bright Dead Things, Milkweed Editions, 2015 ISBN 978-1-57131-925-8
- The Carrying: Poems, Milkweed Editions, 2018 ISBN 978-1-57131-512-0
- 99¢ Heart, Big Game Books, 2007
- What Sucks Us In Will Surely Swallow Us Whole, Cinematheque Press, 2009
- List of poems
|Sharks in the rivers||2010||Limón, Ada (2010). Sharks in the rivers. Milkweed Editions.|
|State Bird||2014||Limón, Ada (June 2, 2014). "State Bird". The New Yorker. 90 (15): 30.|
|Overpass||2017||Limón, Ada (December 4, 2017). "Overpass". The New Yorker. 93 (39): 27.|
- Ada Limon On Poetry Collection, 'The Carrying'. August 19, 2018. NPR.
- Windsor, Suzannah (April 24, 2014). "An Interview with Poet Ada Limón". Retrieved June 13, 2017.
- Wright, Jeffrey Cyphers (December 7, 2010). "Review of Ada Limón’s Sharks in the Rivers. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
- "2013 National Book Awards". NBF. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- "2015 National Book Awards". National Book Foundation. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
- Hillel Italie (March 14, 2018). "Zadie Smith, Anna Burns among winners of critics prizes". The Washington Post. The Associated Press. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
- "Announcing the 2019 PEN America Literary Awards Finalists". PEN America. January 15, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ada Limón.|
- Official Site
- Official Blog
- "Crush", poem by Ada Limón, The New Yorker
- "Overjoyed", poem by Ada Limón, Harvard Review
- Two Poems by Ada Limón, "Marketing Life For Those Of Us Left" and "A Name"
- Two Poems by Ada Limón, "61 Trees" and "rest Stop"
- An Interview with Poet Ada Limón