U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón to Deliver Dancy Lecture at University of Montevallo

Published 1:25 pm Monday, September 25, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón will deliver the 2023 Dancy Lecture at the University of Montevallo’s Center for the Arts on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m., followed by a Q&A session and book signing. 

“We had a dream list of speakers, and Limón was at the top,” said Dancy Committee Member Lee Rozelle. “Fortunately, she has a very kind and generous literary agent.”

Ada Limon is the 24th poet laureate of the United States and the first Latina poet laureate. The Library of Congress recently renewed Limón’s term for a second year. 

Limón’s visit is the latest in the Dancy Lecture Series, which was established in 1939 with a bequest of $12,500 from the will of Unity Dandridge Dancy in honor of her mother and sister, for the purpose of “endowing the departments of English, Literature and Expression” at what was then Alabama College.

“It’s one of the oldest traditions we have here at Montebello,” Rozelle said. “They used to do it when they had college night but it kind of evolved and started to do its own thing. It’s a biannual event as a celebration of intellectual and inspirational speakers of note on a national or international scene.” 

With an impressive list of publications and her position as Poet Laureate, Limón’s decision to attend the event has excited both students and faculty alike.

“I would say that as a liberal arts college, where we value writers and poets, playwrights and novelists, having a poet of that renown come to speak to us is really exciting,” Rozelle said.

Limón is the author of six poetry books. Her first collection of poetry, “Lucky Wreck,” was the winner of the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize. She also wrote “The Hurting Kind,” “The Carrying,” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, “Bright Dead Things,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award, “Sharks in the Rivers” and “This Big Fake World,” winner of the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize. A 2001–2002 fellow at the

Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and a Guggenheim Fellow, Limón has also received a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry.  

Limón’s signature project as poet laureate is called “You Are Here” and focuses on how poetry can help connect us to the natural world. Her work has been supported most recently by a Guggenheim Fellowship. She currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky, where she writes and teaches remotely.

“Expect something inspirational and something that is empowering,” Rozelle said. “When you hear Limón’ speak, you’ll understand why she was given not one but two terms as a US Poet Laureate.”