The award-winning Mexican American poet Ada Limón has been reappointed as the nation’s poet laureate, the first time a laureate will serve a two-year second term instead of the traditional one-year option.
Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress, said in announcing the appointment that in her first term, Limón "has done so much to broaden and promote poetry to reach new audiences."
"She also laid the groundwork for multiple laureate outreach efforts to come, many with federal agencies,” Hayden said. “A two-year second term gives the laureate and the Library the opportunity to realize these efforts and showcase how poems connect to, and make sense of, the world around us.”
Limón, who became the nation's 24th poet laureate last September, will unveil a poem on June 1 that will be engraved on NASA’s spacecraft that will travel 1.8 billion miles to explore Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, a part of the Europa Clipper mission.
After Limón starts her second term in September, the Library will announce in August details of her signature project — a partnership with the National Park Service and the Poetry Society of America to present poems in featured national parks to expose more people to poetry, and laureate initiatives with federal and nonfederal partners.
“I am beyond honored to serve for another two years as the Poet Laureate of the United States,” Limón said in a statement. “Everywhere I have traveled during my first term, both nationally and internationally, I’ve been reminded that poetry brings people together. I am looking forward to continuing the important work of celebrating what poetry can do.”
Limón is the first female U.S. poet laureate of Latino and Mexican American heritage. She told NBC News last July that poetry was a way to “reclaim our humanity,” a way to help repair our relationship with the planet. She said that she wanted to see more poems in public venues, including in pocket parks in urban spaces, “when you’re walking the dog, at the bus stop.”
Limón is the author of six poetry books, including “The Carrying,” published in 2018 and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry, and 2015's “Bright Dead Things,” which was a National Book Award finalist. Her latest book, “The Hurting Kind,” was published last May as part of a three-book deal with Milkweed Editions.
Limón, who grew up in Sonoma, California, lives in Kentucky. Her second term as poet laureate ends in April 2025.