Praise for The Hurting Kind
An Indie Next Selection for May 2022
A Publishers Weekly "Top Ten Most Anticipated Book of Poetry" for Spring 2022
A Literary Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2022"
A Books Are Magic "Most Anticipated Book of Spring 2022""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 nature 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"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"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
"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"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."–Los Angeles Times"Brilliant . . . Throughout is the trademark wonder, and blown-out perceptivity, underscoring Limón's clarion melancholy."–San Francisco Chronicle"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
"The Hurting Kind, Ada Limón's sixth poetry collection, embodies the interconnectedness of survival and surrender . . . Limón's opus, a poetic sonic composition of observation, shifts between the tense positions of witness and watcher. Rather than end tidily with a conclusion, she leans into actionable hope. How could Limón have anticipated that current history would speak in harmony with The Hurting Kind? Today, more so than when I first read it, a line in the title poem hits me harder and with greater poignancy – 'Now teach me poetry.'"–Yvonne Conza, Los Angeles Review of Books
"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 "Stunning . . . [A] kind of internal whiplash, in which quiet everyday moments become the unwitting prisms through which we suddenly start to see our true selves, is a hallmark of Limón's work. Over the course of six collections of poems, she has proven herself adept at balancing whip-smart emotional observation with graceful descriptions of the natural world . . . After her last collection, 2018's The Carrying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, she established herself as the rarest form of American poet–the kind that resonates with an audience that does not normally pay attention to contemporary poetry. Her elegant narrative poems are keenly observed, remarkably accessible, and pack an emotional wallop."–Departures"[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 "The Hurting Kind is a collection not unlike her previous collections–which is to say, it's a book of poetry that centers the heart and the non-human, or more-than-human, entities of the world. The Hurting Kind, though, feels also like a departure: a book of reflections, of looking backwards and inwards, as much as one of observation, a book of the present, of the poet's current self and surroundings. These poems simultaneously incite and interrogate connection and its opposite, and in language that is both astonishing and accessible, the speakers in Limón's The Hurting Kind are truth-seekers that lean into feeling, that fully inhabit their physical and emotional worlds."–The Write Question "Poetry readers have come to expect greatness from Limón. . . My most brief statement on the quality of this collection is this: If you have space to teach just one book of poetry, make it The Hurting Kind. . . . What Limón manages with The Hurting Kind is rare; the poems are at once highly specific and yet broadly relatable, both technically masterful and easily comprehensible. In sum, this collection works equally well for both the avid poetry enthusiast and the reluctant reader. If I was going to try and convince someone that poetry is our most important verbal art, I would start with The Hurting Kind. . . . The Hurting Kind is a collection that begs to be shared, and one that will inevitably show signs of wear as readers carry it with them for weeks at a time."–The Poetry Question"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 is, 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
"[Limón's] empathetic and clarifying voice has always been a balm in trying times, and The Hurting Kind arrives at just the right moment, a tender exploration of what it means to be connected to the world and the pain and joy of daily living when such things feel increasingly difficult."–Chicago Review of Books"[Limón's] bright and clear-eyes lyrics extract the most profound tenderness from the simplest moments . . . An understated, powerful, unforgettable collection, and no doubt one of the best of this year."–Booklist, Starred Review"The tender, arresting sixth collection from Limón is an ode to the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that characterizes the natural world . . . Limón's crystalline language is a feast for the senses, bringing monumental significance to the minuscule and revealing life in every blade of grass."–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review"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"
"Poet Ada Limón often writes about birds, and her new book, The Hurting Kind, is no exception. Birds are a throughline in the book–between the seasons, from childhood to present, and knowing and unknowing."–BirdNote Radio"[A] tender and intimate new collection, in which Limón asks what it means to be 'the hurting kind' . . . to be both perceptive and permeable to the delicate strings that connect us to each other and to the world around us. All I can say is Ada Limón never misses! Each poem is a stone in the poet's hand being turned over and over to reveal its quartz-qualities, its secret radiances, its prismatic reflections. Lucid, as ever." –Serena, Books Are Magic, "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2022""Ada Limón's latest collection has poems for each season that transcend the page and bloom into wilderness, tenderness, hauntings, loss, all in such distilled, but grounded language. This collection speaks to our current times, reminding us of our deep connection to nature, the animal in each of us, our ghosts, the loss of something that never existed. Her writing is as enduring and intuitive as the trees." –Julie Jarema, Avid Bookshop"The Hurting Kind reminds us to remain open and tender to the world, even with all of its hard edges. I found myself enthralled with her poems of companionship, both human and animal. Limón's lyric style propels me toward what I love most about poetry, the liminal space between rapture and pain." –Halee Kirkwood, Birchbark Books"Once again, I reached the end of an Ada Limón collection and immediately want to start over again. Limón writes about human and nonhuman connections across seasons–seasons of Earth, seasons of grief, seasons of loving. Limón is an insightful storyteller who draws truth from the sometimes harsh beauty of the natural world around her. A gorgeous collection!" –Ellie Ray, Content Bookstore"I read this book while sitting in my favorite chair, covered with a lap blanket as the furnace kept winter outside. As I reflected on this wonderful collection, the day's worries evaporated and sleep came easily. I highly recommend an evening of immersion with this prose which is so beautifully written." –Todd Miller, Arcadia Books"Reading this collection made me feel like I was standing outside with my bare feet in the grass, scrunching my toes in the soil, feeling the breeze on my face, and pondering the oneness of everything." –LeeAnna Callon, Blue Cypress Books"The Hurting Kind is the poetry you want to read over and over again because of the magical relationships [Limón] develops between humans and nature. As a fellow bird lover, it sealed my understanding of how important birds are in the universe." –Easty Lambert-Brown, Ernet & Hadley Booksellers"Absolutely lovely poetry that reads like a love letter to our flying feathered friends . . . The entire collection exquisitely touches on grief and pain as well as the beauty to be found in nature." –Vicki Honeyman, Literati Bookstore"I owe a debt of gratitude to Ada Limón. I had never had a deep relationship with poetry, and then someone introduced me to her wondrous world and I have been seeking out poetic beauty ever since . . . I absolutely love her new offering, The Hurting Kind. 'Not the Saddest Thing in the World' is a gem that sparkles in the soul. I would love to know what your favorite will be from The Hurting Kind." –Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookshop
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