March 2, 2021 at 7:45 pm

Lit Fest | Homecoming Songs: the Poems of Ada Limón, March 18

Ada Limón, portrait

Ada Limón

By Paul Pickering

The English Department welcomes poet Ada Limón to the Spring Literary Festival to read from her work on Thursday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. We are also delighted to follow the reading with a conversation with the poet Jason Schneiderman on Friday morning, March 19, at 10:30 a.m.

Limón is a Guggenheim fellow and the author of five poetry collections. Her recent collection, The Carrying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. “The lyrical genius of these poems,” Richard Blanco writes of her fourth collection, Bright Dead Things, “sing to us of the perennial theme of home and our primordial ache of belonging.” It is not a poetry of easy belonging, though. Limón’s poems must make room for panic attacks, for automatic weapons, poisoned rivers, and for all of the “loud roaring things” with which we must contend. The emotional and physical spaces Limón explores in her work accommodate what the poet describes in the poem, “A New National Anthem,” as “an unsung third stanza, something brutal / snaking underneath us as we blindly sing / the high notes with a beer sloshing in the stands / hoping our team wins.” We welcome Ada Limón to our home in Athens at Ohio University to sing from the “unsung third stanza” those broken, joyous homecoming songs that might help us recover the truth Limón discovers in her work, that “my bones / are your bones, and your bones are my bones, / and isn’t that enough?”

In addition to winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry with her collection, The Carrying, Ada Limón’s 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. She serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency M.F.A program and lives in Lexington, Ky.

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