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Ada Limón is a poet of ecstatic revelation . . . a book of deep wisdom and urgent vulnerability’ Tracy K. Smith, Guardian

‘Vulnerable, tender, acute . . . The Carrying is a gift’ Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former US Poet Laureate

‘Exquisite poems’ Roxane Gay

From National Book Critics Circle Award Winner Ada Limón comes The Carrying – her most powerful collection yet.

Vulnerable, tender, acute, these are serious poems, brave poems, exploring with honesty the ambiguous moment between the rapture of youth and the grace of acceptance. A daughter tends to aging parents. A woman struggles with infertility – ‘What if, instead of carrying / a child, I am supposed to carry grief?’ – and a body seized by pain and vertigo as well as ecstasy. A nation convulses: ‘Every song of this country / has an unsung third stanza, something brutal.’ And still Limón shows us, as ever, the persistence of hunger, love, and joy, the dizzying fullness of our too-short lives. ‘Fine then, / I’ll take it,’ she writes. ‘I’ll take it all.’

The Carrying leads us deeper towards the hard-won truth of what it means to live in an imperfect world.


Her poems masterfully weave those quiet moments of grief and strength with expansive questions about life and womanhood. It's a privilege to witness her work
In her dazzling, precise, transformative collection, The Carrying, Ada Limon offers us meditations on mortality, womanhood, the body, and that which grows in the earth, all the while slyly positing: How should we treat each other in this precarious life? Like humans, is her answer. Like humans
Jami Attenberg
One of the best books of the year
The Millions
Ada Limón is a poet of ecstatic revelation. Her poetry feels fast, full of detail, often playful, and driven by a conversational voice. This book represents a powerful deepening of the poet's perspective into themes of loss, chronic pain, fear of the 21st century's ongoing devastations, concern for the natural world. It's a book of deep wisdom and urgent vulnerability, driven by language that feels not only beautiful but permanent and powerfully wrought, like a mountain. It leads you to the beautiful bright mountaintop of language, then guides you gently down into the rocky valleys of a conscious human heart
Tracy K. Smith, Guardian
[Ada Limon's] new collection is her best yet, a much needed shot if not of hope, then perseverance amid much uncertainty
I am thankful for this collection, for its wisdom and generosity, for its insistence on holding tight to beauty even as we face disintegration and destruction
Celeste Ng, on Bright Dead Things
I was ambushed by her power to move - several poems brought a lump to my throat. She never hides behind words but reveals herself through them . . . It describes an effortful time that makes these apparently effortless, quick-release poems all the more merciful and beautiful. There is nothing self-indulgent here but there is humorous self-assertion . . . Part of the pleasure of reading Limon is the way she transports you to a Kentucky punctuated by the noise of trains, the presence of horses, the planting of seeds. This is as-the-crow files poetry - it goes straight to the heart.
The Guardian
In these poems, joy and longing and grief sing with a music that- regardless of what I am burdened or blessed to carry - makes me want to live passionately and fully in the difficult world. The Carrying is a gift
Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former US Poet Laureate
Exquisite poems about love, fertility, desire, this natural world we move through, the political climate, so much more
Roxane Gay