National Book Award finalist Ada Limón reads powerful poetry at Creative Writing Series

National Book Award finalist Ada Limón visited CSU and is the final author for the English Department’s visiting creative writers’ series.

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On April 6, students and faculty gathered to hear Limón read her poetry. Limón’s high profile in the writing world drew a lot of attention from students and faculty. She has appeared in “The New Yorker,” was in listed in “The New York Times” Top Ten Books of 2015, was a finalist for The National Book Award and a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award.


There was a big turnout for the event. After adding more seats to accommodate for the large crowd, a handful of students remained standing awaiting the beginning of Limón’s presentation.

Limón read 12 poems. Eight from her recently published collection, titled “Bright Dead Things,” and four new poems yet to be published in a collection.

Limón’s poems tackle a wide range of thematic properties, such as identity, self-discovery, relationships, dealing with grief and feminine pride. Her poetry lands the audience with candor and humor, drawing them closer to the outreaching vitality of her poetry.

Some of the poems read include: “How to Triumph Like a Girl,” “The Quiet Machine,” “Someplace like Montana,” “After you Toss Around the Ashes,” and more. These poems can be found in her book “Bright Dead Things.” Other poems (including one published in The New Yorker) include “The Bearing Beetle,” “Would you Rather” and “A New National Anthem.”

In attendance were fans of Limón, CSU Master of Fine Arts – Creative Writing students, English Department faculty and members of English classes attending for an assignment or extra credit.

“I came to this event for two reasons,” said Haley Brooks, event attendee. “One, for extra credit, and two it’s just nice to participate in the literary community. I like that we do these kinds of events at CSU, because I don’t know otherwise if I’d get to see these cool people.”

This reading series extended from January 2017 to April 2017 ranging from nationally recognized authors to CSU graduate students. This reading series reoccurs every year, and is coordinated by the English Department.

“To have a world class creative writing program, you need to have a world class reading series,” said Camille Dungy, event coordinator. You have to bring visiting writers in for this kind of community engagement so that we can see writing as a living art form. And you get this opportunity to hear from the mind and the mouth of some of the best writers in the country. This reading series is crucial.”

The final reading of the series will be on April 13 and feature CSU Master of Fine Arts – Creative Writing students.