Dickinson has named U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón the 2022-23 recipient of the Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholars & Writers Program Award. During her upcoming residency at Dickinson, Limón will present a reading on Thursday, Feb. 16, at 7 p.m. in Allison Great Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Face masks are required.
Limón is a giant in the world of poetry. Appointed the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States in July 2022, Limón is the first Latina to hold the position. During her presentation at Dickinson, Limón will read from her latest collection, 2022’s The Hurting Kind. A book-signing session in the Allison Community Room will follow.
“Ada Limón is perhaps the most essential poet writing in the U.S. today,” says Susan Perabo, professor of creative writing and writer-in-residence at Dickinson. “Her work speaks to the challenges of a divided country and a struggling planet, finding moments of connection and glimpses of grace.”
As part of the Stellfox residency, Limón will visit classes and small groups, one of the hallmarks of the program’s unique approach to giving students access to leaders in the field.
“She is probably the most beloved contemporary poet among college students, and I think there is no poet our students would be more thrilled to have on Dickinson's campus,” Perabo says. “They know and love her work already—and now they'll have the opportunity to experience her writing and her teaching and her generous spirit in person.”
Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, and Bright Dead Things, which was nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Limón is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry. She is the former host of the critically acclaimed poetry podcast The Slowdown.
The Stellfox Visiting Scholars and Writers Program is a gift from Jean Louise Stellfox, a 1960 graduate of Dickinson who was inspired to become an English teacher after meeting Robert Frost during the poet’s visit to the college in 1959. When Stellfox died in 2003, her estate provided $1.5 million to the college to continue her mission of inspiring students by bringing renowned literary figures to campus. Stellfox named the program in honor of her parents, Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox.
Limón is the 16th esteemed writer to serve in a Stellfox residency at Dickinson. Previous honorees include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Edward Albee and John Patrick Shanley, Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Rita Dove and Paul Muldoon, Guggenheim Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye, National Book Award winner and MacArthur Fellow Edwidge Danticat, Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang and Booker Prize-winning authors Ian McEwan and Margaret Atwood.
(Members of the Dickinson community are also invited a gathering celebrating the Stellfox legacy before the reading, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Allison Community Room.)
Published January 26, 2023