America has a new poet laureate in the person of Ada Limón.
On Tuesday, the Library of Congress announced that the 46-year-old Limón had been named the 24th US poet laureate, officially called the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Her one-year term begins 29 September with the traditional reading at the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium, one of the laureate’s few formal obligations.
Limón, who succeeds Joy Harjo, is an award-winning and unusually popular poet, her acclaimed collection Bright Dead Things has so far sold more than 40,000 copies. She has published six books of poetry, most recently The Hurting Kind, and also hosts the podcast The Slowdown.
“Ada Limón is a poet who connects,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement. “Her accessible, engaging poems ground us in where we are and who we share our world with. They speak of intimate truths, of the beauty and heartbreak that is living, in ways that help us move forward.”
The position was established in 1985, with other laureates including Louise Glück, W.S. Merwin and Rita Dove. Laureates receive a $35,000 stipend, along with $5,000 for travel expenses, the funding originating not from the government, but from a private gift made decades ago by the philanthropist Archer M. Huntington.