Ada Limón’s new book is the work of a poet at the height of her powers. The poems in this collection are welcoming and wise; reverent to nature and well-informed about human relations. I think the best word to describe this volume is: heartening. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
An astonishing collection about interconnectedness — between the human and nonhuman, ancestors and ourselves — from National Book Critics Circle Award winner and National Book Award finalist Ada Limón.
"I have always been too sensitive, a weeper / from a long line of weepers," writes Limón. "I am The Hurting Kind." What does it mean to be The Hurting Kind? To be sensitive not only to the world's pain and joys, but to the meanings that bend in the scrim between the natural world and the human world? To divine the relationships between us all? To perceive ourselves in other beings — and to know that those beings are resolutely their own, that they "do not / care to be seen as symbols"?
With Limón's remarkable ability to trace thought, The Hurting Kind explores those questions — incorporating others' stories and ways of knowing, making surprising turns, and always reaching a place of startling insight. These poems slip through the seasons, teeming with horses and kingfishers and the gleaming eyes of fish. And they honor parents, stepparents, and grandparents: the sacrifices made, the separate lives lived, the tendernesses extended to a hurting child; the abundance, in retrospect, of having two families.
Along the way, we glimpse loss. There are flashes of the pandemic, ghosts whose presence manifests in unexpected memories and the mysterious behavior of pets left behind. But The Hurting Kind is filled, above all, with connection and the delight of being in the world. "Slippery and waddle thieving my tomatoes still / green in the morning's shade," writes Limón of a groundhog in her garden, "she is doing what she can to survive."
"In The Hurting Kind, [Limón] touches on the pain of living in the world today (the wounds of the natural world, the pandemic between us), but it is not all sorrows….You don't have to look hard to see the joy and the small celebrations of the things that bind us to one another. The Hurting Kind is a book composed of our connective tissue ." Literary Hub, "Most Anticipated Books of 2022"
About the Author
Ada Limón is the author of The Hurting Kind, as well as 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. She is the new host of American Public Media's weekday poetry podcast The Slowdown. Born and raised in California, she now lives in Lexington, Kentucky.