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Ky. writer Ada Limón appointed to second term as U.S. poet laureate

Library of Congress

Lexington-based writer Ada Limón will serve a second term as the nation’s poet laureate.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced Limón’s appointment Monday to a historic two-year second term.

Though two-year terms have been possible since the position was created by the U.S. Congress, Limón is the first poet laureate to be appointed to a two-year term instead of the traditional one. Hayden hopes the extended second term can help Limón to capitalize on the strides she’s already taken in the position.

“During her first term, Ada Limón has done so much to broaden and promote poetry to reach new audiences. She also laid the groundwork for multiple laureate outreach efforts to come, many with federal agencies,” Hayden said. “A two-year second term gives the laureate and the Library the opportunity to realize these efforts and showcase how poems connect to, and make sense of, the world around us.”

Limón said that she’s “beyond honored” to serve a second term in the post.

“Everywhere I have traveled during my first term, both nationally and internationally, I’ve been reminded that poetry brings people together,” she said in a statement. “I am looking forward to continuing the important work of celebrating what poetry can do.”

The poet has started multiple projects since her term began in the fall of 2022. She’s collaborating with the National Park Service and the Poetry Society of America to present poems at the country’s national parks and she’s writing a poem to be engraved on a NASA spacecraft scheduled to explore Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. The Europa mission poem is set to be revealed June 1.

Limón began her first term as the 24th U.S. poet laureate in September 2022 after being tabbed for the position that July. Her second term will begin this September and end in April 2025. She spoke, at length, about her goals and project ideas during an interview with WKMS shortly after her appointment was announced.

Born in Sonoma, California, Limón is of Mexican ancestry. She has authored six poetry collections – including “The Carrying,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry in 2018. Her newest collection, “The Hurting Kind,” was published in May.

She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Kentucky Foundation for Women.

Limón currently serves on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte Low Residency MFA program.

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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