You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World

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Milkweed Editions
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5.4 X 8.6 X 0.9 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author
Ada Limón is the twenty-fourth U.S. Poet Laureate as well as the author of The Hurting Kind and five other collections of poems. These include, most recently, The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Award. Limón is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and American Poetry Review, among others. Born and raised in California, she now lives in Lexington, Kentucky.
Praise for You Are Here"Lush with lyricism and striking imagery, these poems by Jericho Brown, Diane Seuss, and others contemplate seascapes, backyards, national borders, and built environments where life sings beneath the surface."--Poets & Writers
"The expansive You Are Here surveys both the landscape of the natural world and the landscape of contemporary poetry. Pastoral witness neighbors environmental concern; established talents neighbor emerging voices; lakes and forests neighbor pools and cemeteries. Dear gardeners, bookworms, lumberjacks, cartographers, bird-watchers, scholars, students, poets, and general readers: You Are Here will leave you more attuned to the textures of countryside and country. Language and land become a capacious singularity in Ada Limón's superb compilation."--Terrance Hayes, author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin"The poets in this collection share the richness of their breathing. Rich with noticing, rich with longing, rich with grace, their breath--preserved in poems--become our breathing. The gift here is the true scale of our breath, an interspecies, planetary scale. The scale of gratitude. I am so glad you are here."--Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals"A gorgeous collection that captures the bittersweetness of being alive on this planet today. Each poem is a prayer, an elegy, a celebration of the world and our place in it."-- Laurel McCaull, Green Apple Books & Music, San Francisco, California"A beautiful cross between a Mary Oliver chapbook, and the kindness poetry anthologies edited by James Crews. There are famous names here but also new ones I was happy to discover, all beautifully evoking specific and unique spots in nature for reflection. The introduction by Limón is poetry itself. A perfect poetry collection to have at hand as we move into the growing season."-- Deb Wayman, Fair Isle Books & Gifts, Washington Island, WI"Ada Limón has an accomplished ear, and in this collection of nature poetry, she gathers poets who know all the ways poetry is for everyone-a collection that is at once a conversation and a chorus and a call to stay in love with and care about the planet. The title comes from the phrase on maps that orient us to our surroundings, so we know where we are and where we can go, and which perfectly encapsulates Limón's vision for this work. If you like poetry and just being outside, pick up this volume." -- Jennifer Martin, Tattered Cover, Denver, CO"I loved this sparkling, invigorating curated collection edited by Ada Limón, our 24th Poet Laureate of the U.S. It is an homage to the natural world and all it can mean to we humans who have been graced to live within it. The poems selected for inclusion are appropriate for reading by experienced poetry lovers as well as by those who are just beginning to learn to appreciate the art of poetics. Surely you are one of these readers."--Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane WAPraise for The Hurting Kind"So grateful am I for Limón's powerfully observant eye. There are many wonderful poems here and a handful of genuine masterpieces. . . . The Hurting Kind is packed with quiet celebrations of the quotidian. . . . Limón forces herself to confront, again and again in these poems, nature's unwillingness to yield its secrets--it's one of her primary subjects. The seemingly abundant wisdom of the natural world is really a vision of her own searching reflection. . . . Limón is great company in the presence of the inchoate, able and willing to stand with her readers before the frightening mysteries and hopeful uncertainties of the everyday."--New York Times Book Review"I can always rely on an Ada Limón poem to give me hope, but Limón's poems don't give us the kind of facile Hallmark hope; rather, her hope is hard-earned, even laced with grief or happiness . . . Limón is a master at making a simple idea (that of hindsight, seeing the bright side of things) askew. 'And so I have/two brains now, ' she writes. 'Two entirely different brains.' Limón gives us two brains in her poems too, revealing new ways to view the world."--Victoria Chang, New York Times Magazine"In her sixth collection of poetry, The Hurting Kind, Ada Limón seeks to find the intimate connections between the seemingly disparate in the everyday: humans and the natural world, the living and the dead, the intellectual and the spiritual. The collection's title is apt--it is a testament to the innate power of feeling, whether grief, rage, or tenderness. For Limón, the current Poet Laureate of the United States, who declares herself 'too sensitive, a weeper... the hurting kind, ' even the seemingly banal facets of our existence deserve not only observation, but also empathy and amazement."--TIME Magazine, 100 Must Read Books of 2022"Limón's poems are unique for the deep attention they pay to both the world's wounds and its redemptive beauty. In otherwise dark times, they have the power to open us up to the wonder and awe that the world still inspires."--The Ezra Klein Show"[Ada Limón] is one of my all-time favorite writers, someone whose work I return to again and again for solace, inspiration, and truth."--Nicole Chung, The Atlantic"For poet Ada Limón, evidence of poetry is everywhere. It connects big ideas--like fear, isolation, even death--with little details--like field sparrows, a box of matches, or 'the body moving / freely.' The award-winning poet's sixth and latest collection, The Hurting Kind, is a testament to the power of such sensitivity . . . The power of attention, Limón conveys, is in finding out just how an individual's experience might fit into the collective experience. But in The Hurting Kind Limón takes her method even further to ask: Isn't wonder enough? . . . Above all, The Hurting Kind asks for our attention to stay tender. To know that the world is here to both guide us and lead us astray. Toward the end of the long poem, Limón writes: 'I will not stop this reporting of attachments. / There is evidence everywhere.' So don't stop looking. Just be open to what you may find. And know that the world is watching you, too."--NPR"The Hurting Kind is a book of living language -- and nowhere more than in the way words animate the poems . . . Throughout [Limón's] work, the language is direct and unadorned while also playful and full of unexpected turns. Something similar is true of The Hurting Kind, which is a quieter book -- but no less fierce for being so. . . . When Limón exclaims, in the last line of the poem and the collection, 'I am asking you to touch me, ' she is writing out of the darkness of the pandemic, but she is also addressing something more universal and profound. What are words worth if they can't help to bridge the gaps between us? It's a question many of us are asking as we try to navigate this fallen world."--David Ulin, Los Angeles Times"Ada Limón is a bright light in a dark time. Her keen attention to the natural world is only matched by her incredible emotional honesty.... Considering the arc from youthful vibrancy to protective camouflage, Limón tracks the beauty of wisdom as we age. Reconciling the all too human matter of our lives within the spectacle of nature, Limón archives a suspended grace.... The Hurting Kind ... explor[es] the restorative connections between human life and the natural world. The poems reckon with vulnerability and grief in a startling and broken world."--Vanity Fair"Again and again in this poetry collection, her sixth, Limón confronts nature's unwillingness to yield its secrets--it's one of her primary subjects. The seemingly abundant wisdom of the natural world is really a vision of her own searching reflection. 'Limón looks out her window, walks around her yard, and, like Emily Dickinson, trips over infinities, ' our reviewer wrote."--New York Times, "100 Notable Books of 2022""Ada Limón's sixth and latest collection is a testament to the power of sensitivity. As with her previous award-winning books, The Carrying and Bright Dead Things, these poems are acutely aware of the natural world. And Limón has a knack for acknowledging nature's little mysteries in order to fully capture its history and abundance. For her, evidence of poetry is everywhere. She connects big ideas--fear, isolation, even death--with little details, like field sparrows, a box of matches or 'the body moving / freely.' Above all, The Hurting Kind asks for our attention to stay tender."--Jeevika Verma, NPR, Books We Love"In Limón's newest collection, she writes poems suffused with nostalgia, longing, and grief, divided up by the seasons, writing of nurturing seeds, steadfast love, grief, burial. She writes of joyful wonder and powerful grief. Of getting high and staring up at cherry trees, of earning a cat's trust, of seeing the neighbors get a tree cut down, all tangled up in stories of emotionally manipulative relationships and family discoveries and what real love looks like. Mainly, she writes about what it's like to be 'the hurting kind' of person--a tender kind of person, sensitive to the pain she sees and the small joys she glimpses out in the world, soft, vulnerable, painfully empathetic. It's the kind of person I am, and I saw myself so deeply in these poems. Limón's hit it out of the park once again."--BookRiot, Best Books of the Year"It's comforting, amid a stack of thick novels and all the latest cookbooks, to keep a book of short poems to dip into like scripture. This is the latest from the open-hearted Kentucky-based poet Ada Limón, who writes earnestly about love, her Mexican American family, and the wildness of memory." --CJ Lotz, Garden & Gun, "Best Southern Books of 2022""Limón responds in her poetry to what she identifies as an ecological imperative to re-describe our relationship to 'nature' in a manner that isn't merely instrumental. The moving personal dramas that her poems detail can never be separated from the landscape in which they occur . . . Consequently, her poetry, which can feel so intimate and self-revealing, is almost constantly political at the same time . . . There are endless things to say about the articulate, complex emotional resonance of the poems in this book. Still, what Limón says about 'a life' is true as well for her book: 'You can't sum it up.'"--Forrest Gander, Brooklyn Rail"These poems home in on how grief makes us human . . . [Limón] reminds readers that we are nothing without connection. If you haven't read poetry in a while, this volume might be what you need to reconnect with the form."--Bethanne Patrick, Los Angeles Times"Like Sharon Olds and Pablo Neruda, the poets she most resembles, and clearly learned from, Limón is a lover. She writes like a hyperporous lover of the world . . . One of the greatest challenges of our time is to see the living world as having value beyond us. To acknowledge the damage done. What if, Limón appears to be asking in this remarkable book, the best we have made, the finest instrument we know, is our language of love?"--John Freeman, Alta Journal"Once again, Ada Limón has written a book I don't want to put down. I find the intensity of her honest interior and environmental explorations spellbinding . . . I see the world in these poems. It may cut me up, but it will also give me back to myself again."--Camille Dungy, Orion"In one of Ada Limón's early poems, she asks, 'Shouldn't we make fire out of everyday things?' For the past 16 years, that's exactly what she's done. [She is] fearlessly confessional and technically brilliant."--Washington Post"Brilliant . . . Throughout is the trademark wonder, and blown-out perceptivity, underscoring Limón's clarion melancholy."--San Francisco Chronicle"[A] shimmering new collection of poems . . . The matter of aliveness is at the very core of The Hurting Kind, a collection that feels as though it's right on time, with verse that hews close-to-the-bone and is uncommonly relatable in its unflinching, but deeply compassionate, treatment of human pain. Rather than working to dodge the hurt, to make meaning of it so that it might be transmuted from wound into scar, The Hurting Kind is an invitation to sink into the ache, pressing willingly on the bruises wrought by 'being a body in time, being a body alive' . . . The Hurting Kind is a work of deep humanity, of recognizing all that's asked of us . . . It is mercy."--Literary Hub"This collection is a testament to survival, to the will to go on and to the way the world goes on without us. . . . Reading these poems brings the world into such focus that you can't help but feel more tethered to it, receptive to its hurt and attuned to its wonder." -- Catapult"[Limón] is a poet of both studied and innate talent and with each poem, each carefully crafted collection, Limón has gifted us with an oceanic well of wisdom, intertwining our humanity with the natural world we live within. The Hurting Kind, her latest offering, is a powerful meditation on relationships with love, loss, family, friends, interlaced with an equal intimacy with the land, trees, plants, and animals. Anyone can see themselves in these poems but, more importantly, they can sense the lessons of our ancestors and the grief we must reckon with collectively, together, if our species will survive ourselves and continue to endure."--Electric Literature"That Limón is able to inhabit both past and present in the same moment is part of what makes her poetry so evocative; that she can express it so finely is what makes her an exceptional poet. . . . In all her work, Limon examines language, often questioning rubrics and those who establish them. She is both icon and revolutionary, breaking arbitrary rules, especially if they seek to contain what is poetry, and who it is for . . . Through this stunning collection, throughout her brilliant career, Limón manages the impossible--summing up life--from a multitude of perspectives, unforgettable images, and with verse and silence. The seasons end, lives end, love ends, and then it all begins again. Therein lies our grief. Therein lies our hope."--Chicago Review of Books
Praise for Ada Limón "Limón is a poet of ecstatic revelation. Her poetry feels fast, full of details, often playful, and driven by conversational voice."--Tracy K. Smith, Guardian"Limón is one of the country's finest poets. . . . She performs a near-miraculous feat in balancing razor-sharp imagery with deep ambivalence."--Shelf Awareness"[Limón] writes with remarkable directness about the painful experiences normally packaged in euphemism and, in doing so, invites the readers to enter the world where abundant joy exists alongside and simultaneous to loss."--Minneapolis Star Tribune"Limón's poems are like fires: charring the page, but leaving a smoke that remains past the close of the book."--The Millions"Limón doesn't write as if she needs us. She writes as if she wants us. Her words reveal, coax, pull, see us. . . . [She is] a poet with the most generous of eyes."--Nikky Finney"Lyrical, tender, and knowing . . . Limón's poetry connects the personal and the universal."--Garden & Gun"With the knowing directness of a letter, Limón's poems speak to the marrow of our everyday condition . . . The power of Limón's unflinching examination of grief and loss is only surpassed by her love of beauty and compassion."--BOMB Magazine"Both soft and tender, enormous and resounding, [Limón's] poetic gestures entrance and transfix."--Richard Blanco"[Limón's] poems come closer than any poems have to Annie Dillard's essays . . . She's that rarest of beasts, a poet who can take you by surprise."--New Criterion"All of Limón's books have found a home on my bookshelf, each volume a heartfelt reckoning of what it is be alive. In her collections, I find a grace that demonstrates her versatility and wisdom as well as a 'surrendering.' She explains that the central question of her work is, 'How do we live in the world?' Yet she's a poet as comfortable with questions as with answers."--Guernica"Wisely observant . . . Limón's poems personify the twinned-narrative of despair and tenacity that has become part of America's current political and social reality. . . . A spark of courage in our dark and troubled times."--PANK"Limón's work is a reminder that you can write poetry about big ideas."--America "Limón teaches me that language can still surprise me. She shows me that the juxtaposition of words not previously joined can catch me off-guard, make me feel that shimmer of resonance, of curiosity."--Signature