September 11, 2019

Book Review: Ada Limón: The Gathering

Ada Limón has a new book, The Gathering (Milkweed Press), that has gained a lot of attention. She was at the Northwoods Writers Conference in Bemidji in June 2019, and did an engaging reading and craft talk.

The Question

In the Guernica interview, Ada Limón asks: "how do we live in the world? How do we live? Because with the amount of loss and suffering that is all around us all the time—our own inevitable demise, the inevitable loss of loved ones, the damage to the planet—how do we live in that reality, yet still do the daily work of praise and presence and gratitude, without driving ourselves mad?"

The Liminal

In an interview in the art-related Bomb magazine, Limón says about poetry: "What it does is live in the liminal spaces. It’s not interested in showing off wounds for coins, it’s interested in living, day to day, breathing moment by moment and staring out into the sea and noticing the small thing and saying the real thing and because of that, I believe it’s the most human type of art form. It is messy and complex and real and doesn’t have any answers for us, for that reason, I think it’s something we can trust."

The Music

Ada Limón had once been part of a band (named after her previous book, Lucky Wreck) in NYC. The music in Limón's poetry comes through alliteration. Content is primary, it seems. Her form follows content.

The Gathering is a book with heart.