Wikimedia Commons, Christopher Michel

Ada Limón, the 24th United States Poet Laureate and the first Latina to hold the title, will deliver a talk and read her work at Yale on Wednesday.

The event is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Robert McNeil Jr. Lecture Hall of the Yale University Art Gallery. Sponsored by Ezra Stiles College and the Yale Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, Limón’s talk is free and open to the public.

“One of the things that I’ve appreciated about [Limón’s] poetry is that it opens us up to see each other, to see our surroundings and our society in new ways,” said Ezra Stiles Head of College Alicia Schmidt Camacho. “People often think of poetry as something very studied or very academic, [but] in her role as poet laureate and just the way she’s written, she’s created a space of real conversation… she’s in touch with people’s desire for a space of much more authentic communication about the world we’re in and about our relationship to nature.”

Camacho said that since she began her term as head of college in 2020, she has heard from various students about their interest in different artists and writers. She said that she got into the habit of sending poetry or music to students when she started her term because of the opportunity it offered to get to know them despite the physical distance put in place due to pandemic restrictions.

“One name that just kept coming up was Ada Limón,” Camacho said. “And I have a weekly newsletter in which I write messages to the college, and I always include a poem and use the poem as a basis for a message — and the most responses I ever get is when it’s Ada Limón … so I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll invite Ada Limón for a college tea.’”

Victoria Stone-Cadena, the associate director of the Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration, or RITM, at Yale, said that the event had been in the works long before she joined the University community in March 2022. She estimated that discussions about Limón’s visit had been underway at least since 2021.

She added that she hopes those who attend the event are reminded of the importance of poetry in their lives.

“On a personal level, I hope that [the audience] get this replenishment of what it means to be human and connect with other people,” Stone-Cadena said. “In a very fundamental way, she evokes these kinds of human connections that are so sentimental and powerful.”

Jamie Chan ’23 is one of the students who will meet with Ada Limón for a more intimate discussion prior to the event at the Yale University Art Gallery.

Chan said that she learned about Limón through Camacho’s weekly Stiles newsletter and that she has since become a fan of Limón’s work.

“[Ada Limón] has slowly become one of my favorite poets,” Chan said. “Her language is simple, so it’s easy for someone like me who didn’t read poetry growing up to get into the world that she’s creating, but she also just powerfully captures the political and the poetic all together.”

Camacho also said that she is excited for student artists and writers to get the opportunity to speak to Limón, whose work she says has similar themes to that of many students on campus in that it deals with “being human in really complicated times.”

“Spoken word is really big tradition here on this campus, and students have used their writing, their poetry, and their art of all kinds to create community with each other and to be able to find ways of being their authentic selves in what is a very challenging and institutional environment,” Camacho said. “So I’m excited for them to have the chance to engage with her.”

Ada Limón is the author of six poetry collections, including 2018’s “The Carrying,”  which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry; 2015’s “Bright Dead Things,”  a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Books Critics Circle Award; 2010’s “Sharks in the Rivers;” 2006’s “Lucky Wreck” and 2006’s “This Big Fake World”. 

Benjamin Hernandez covers Woodbridge Hall, the President's Office. He previously reported on international affairs at Yale. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, he is a sophomore in Trumbull College majoring in Global Affairs.