Catching Up With a Grad: Ada Limón – Poetry in Motion

Ada Limón grew up loving theater, but in college she realized she would rather write her own words than perform someone else’s. Today, Limon (Sonoma Valley High class of 1993) is a successful writer with three published books of poetry under her belt (“Lucky Wreck,” “This Big Fake World” and “Sharks in the Rivers”) and two novels in the works. She was recently described by the San Francisco Examiner as “a rising star in the world of poetry.”

A self-described theater nerd in high school, Limón received a degree in theater from the University of Washington. Diploma in hand, she then crossed the country to enroll in the graduate writing program at New York University. “The fact that I got into such a prestigious graduate school was really shocking to me. I was pretty overwhelmed by it all. All my favorite writers were teaching there and it was an exceptional school.”

Limón paid next-to-nothing for college, but admits that she’ll be paying off her graduate school loans for some time. She said it is worth it. “I wanted to be at a university that really fostered my skills and appreciated my personality. I wanted to feel heard and to get one-on-one time with professors.”

While at NYU, Limón studied with former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine. Since receiving her master’s of fine arts in poetry, Limon has been awarded the Chicago Literary Reward for Poetry, and received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. She was also one of the judges for the 2013 National Book Award in Poetry.

While Limón recently relocated to Kentucky, she is a big fan of life in New York City. “New York was amazing. I thought I’d just stay for graduate school, but then I got hooked on the energy and ended up staying for 12 years.”

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