The Ada Poems

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I really loved working on them. I love playing in language that goes to the end of the page. I loved working in sentences, dialogue, character—all of that was such a pleasure and a joy for me. How do you do this?

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I just wanted to figure out how to do it. I might do something with them, but I might not. They were a really wonderful learning process for me; they made me smarter. For me, it was really about the learning process, and also the wonderful escapism that both the novel and the young-adult novel offered me. Guernica: Is there a project that is calling you?

What do you want to you take on next? For me, the big questions always remain the same.

Guernica: I like that. I really do. What would that have been? But then I think, is that a career? In New York, everyone you know is a musician! The other career that I sometimes think about is a naturalist or botanist.

Ada Limón on Kanye West, Womanhood, Truth in Poetry, and More

That poem builds toward a reckoning of the self. It shook me. I think about the unsung labor that parents do, and that mothers do, and that women do. We are very happily child-free. That they just seem to go so unnoticed, almost as if we deserve it.


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And then what a realization when you think, Oh, no, that was a sacrifice. That was something that she was able to do for me. And I felt like this poem was a way of giving back to her, my mother.

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And I know that she cried when she read it. That was recognition that I could give to her, a way of telling her that I saw her. I care for them all deeply. And it always depends too, because there are poems that I wrote when I needed to write [them]. I really never plan a reading. And then I just feel what the audience wants and what I want and what the mood is and what the air is saying and what happened today or in that week in the news and the overall feeling that everyone is going through in the room.

And then I work my way through the poems. Guernica: I like that, because it allows for the process of discovery.

Ada Cambridge Poems

No constraints. It has so much about danger and fragility of the male ego, as well as exploring what it is to be black in America.

I highly recommend [it]. In that discussion with the self on the page, what is your relationship toward that reckoning? And what you think happens after death, if anything?

Ada Limón: Connected to the Universe - Guernica

Tell me everything. Not necessarily Kanye West fandom. What a weird thing to hear. From an outside perspective, it seems like The Carrying came out very quickly. This might have something to do with social media giving your fans access to information via tweets like:. Which made me think, wow, she is cranking this out! Did it come together at a different type of pace than previous work? AL: Question 1: Wow, you have an incredible memory. I cannot believe I forgot that story. I literally had no idea what you were talking about, but now I remember.

A poet’s take on looking to language for ‘radical hope’

Everyone was dressed up and the evening was all signature cocktails and little black dresses. I have this memory of him playing to a very select small crowd and everyone loving it while I was sitting outside sitting on lip of a large cement planter crying a little because I was ready to leave New York.

I was so aware that someone else would really love this life I was given, but all I wanted to do was go home to Sonoma, CA and stare out the window, get a dog, and write poems. Three years later I did some version of just that. That night was a shift though. I started making a plan, putting away some money, and figuring out how to make a different life. Even without the fancy parties and the super stars. Because I was dealing with some minor health issues, the poems came in fits and starts, when I was feeling well I wrote a lot, when I was sick, I just napped and read and watched movies.

Toward the end of last spring and the beginning of last summer I saw it coming together. It started to have a momentum all its own.

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And I started to get nervous. When I start to get nervous, I know something real is happening. They are the ones that have fast tracked this book into being and I am so lucky and honored for that. Part two of your question—I do think that sharing my progress and process with other readers and writers is really helpful. It does make it feel accountable and it makes me very aware that I am not writing into a void. Read-alikes are one of the many benefits of membership. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member. Join Now! Readers Recommend Travelers by Helon Habila.

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