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The Hurting Kind

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472157683

Price: £12.99

ON SALE: 18th August 2022

Genre: Literature & Literary Studies / Poetry

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An astonishing collection about interconnectedness – between the human and nonhuman, ancestors and ourselves – from National Book Critics Circle Award winner and National Book Award finalist Ada Limón.

‘I have always been too sensitive, a weeper / from a long line of weepers,’ writes Limón. ‘I am the hurting kind.’ What does it mean to be the hurting kind? To be sensitive not only to the world’s pain and joys, but to the meanings that bend in the scrim between the natural world and the human world? To divine the relationships between us all? To perceive ourselves in other beings – and to know that those beings are resolutely their own, that they ‘do not / care to be seen as symbols’?

With Limón’s remarkable ability to trace thought, The Hurting Kind explores those questions – incorporating others’ stories and ways of knowing, making surprising turns, and always reaching a place of startling insight. These poems slip through the seasons, teeming with horses and kingfishers and the gleaming eyes of fish. And they honour parents, stepparents, and grandparents: the sacrifices made, the separate lives lived, the tendernesses extended to a hurting child; the abundance, in retrospect, of having two families.

Along the way, we glimpse loss. There are flashes of the pandemic, ghosts whose presence manifests in unexpected memories and the mysterious behaviour of pets left behind. But The Hurting Kind is filled, above all, with connection and the delight of being in the world. ‘Slippery and waddle thieving my tomatoes still / green in the morning’s shade,’ writes Limón of a groundhog in her garden, ‘she is doing what she can to survive.’

‘Limón is a poet of ecstatic revelation’ Guardian

‘I can always rely on an Ada Limón poem to give me hope . . . Limón gives us two brains in her poems, too, revealing new ways to view the world’ New York Times Magazine

‘Ada Limón is a bright light in a dark time. Her keen attention to the natural world is only matched by her incredible emotional honesty’ Vanity Fair


[Ada Limón] is a poet of both studied and innate talent and with each poem, each carefully crafted collection, Limón has gifted us with an oceanic well of wisdom, intertwining our humanity with the natural world we live within. The Hurting Kind, her latest offering, is a powerful meditation on relationships with love, loss, family, friends, interlaced with an equal intimacy with the land, trees, plants, and animals
Electric Lit
I can always rely on an Ada Limón poem to give me hope, but Limón's poems don't give us the kind of facile Hallmark hope; rather, her hope is hard-earned, even laced with grief or happiness . . . Limón is a master at making a simple idea (that of hindsight, seeing the bright side of things) askew. "And so I have/two brains now," she writes. "Two entirely different brains." Limón gives us two brains in her poems, too, revealing new ways to view the world
Victoria Chang, New York Times Magazine
Ada Limón's sixth poetry collection, embodies the interconnectedness of survival and surrender...Limón's opus, a poetic sonic composition of observation, shifts between the tense positions of witness and watcher. Rather than end tidily with a conclusion, she leans into actionable hope.
LA Review of Books
Brilliant . . . Throughout is the trademark wonder, and blown-out perceptivity, underscoring Limón's clarion melancholy
San Francisco Chronicle
In one of Ada Limón's early poems, she asks, "Shouldn't we make fire out of everyday things?" For the past 16 years, that's exactly what she's done. [She is] fearlessly confessional and technically brilliant
Washington Post
Ada Limón is a bright light in a dark time. Her keen attention to the natural world is only matched by her incredible emotional honesty
Vanity Fair
Limón is acutely aware of the natural world in The Hurting Kind. And she has a knack for acknowledging its little mysteries in order to fully capture its history and abundance
Limón is a poet of ecstatic revelation
Tracy K. Smith, Guardian
These poems home in on how grief makes us human . . . [Limón] reminds readers that we are nothing without connection. If you haven't read poetry in a while, this volume might be what you need to reconnect with the form
Los Angeles Times
By far Limón's most self- and world-examining book, The Hurting Kind captures the hidden, marginal forces of kindness and suffering around us . . . a set of astoundingly moving poems in which the self becomes an inclusive vehicle for bridging the hurting gaps between generations, ideas and living things . . . If you only read one book this autumn, make it this one