Hurting Kind

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Authors: Ada Limon
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Milkweed Editions (May 10, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 120 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639550496
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639550494
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches


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 honor 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 behavior 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.”



Praise for The Hurting Kind

Publishers Weekly “Top Ten Most Anticipated Book of Poetry” for Spring 2022
A Literary Hub “Most Anticipated Book of 2022”

A Books Are Magic “Most Anticipated Book of Spring 2022”

“The tender, arresting sixth collection from Limón is an ode to the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth that characterizes the natural world . . . Limón’s crystalline language is a feast for the senses, bringing monumental significance to the minuscule and revealing life in every blade of grass.”Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“In The Hurting Kind, [Limón] touches on the pain of living in the world today (the wounds of the natural world, the pandemic between us), but it is not all sorrows . . . You don’t have to look hard to see the joy and the small celebrations of the things that bind us to one another. The Hurting Kind is a book composed of our connective tissue.”—Literary Hub, “Most Anticipated Books of 2022”

“[A] tender and intimate new collection, in which Limón asks what it means to be ‘the hurting kind’ . . . to be both perceptive and permeable to the delicate strings that connect us to each other and to the world around us. All I can say is Ada Limón never misses! Each poem is a stone in the poet’s hand being turned over and over to reveal its quartz-qualities, its secret radiances, its prismatic reflections. Lucid, as ever.” —Serena, Books Are Magic, “Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2022”

“Ada Limón’s latest collection has poems for each season that transcend the page and bloom into wilderness, tenderness, hauntings, loss, all in such distilled, but grounded language. This collection speaks to our current times, reminding us of our deep connection to nature, the animal in each of us, our ghosts, the loss of something that never existed. Her writing is as enduring and intuitive as the trees.” —Julie Jarema, Avid Bookshop

The Hurting Kind reminds us to remain open and tender to the world, even with all of its hard edges. I found myself enthralled with her poems of companionship, both human and animal. Limón’s lyric style propels me toward what I love most about poetry, the liminal space between rapture and pain.” —Halee Kirkwood, Birchbark Books

“Once again, I reached the end of an Ada Limón collection and immediately want to start over again. Limón writes about human and nonhuman connections across seasons—seasons of Earth, seasons of grief, seasons of loving. Limón is an insightful storyteller who draws truth from the sometimes harsh beauty of the natural world around her. A gorgeous collection!” —Ellie Ray, Content Bookstore

“I read this book while sitting in my favorite chair, covered with a lap blanket as the furnace kept winter outside. As I reflected on this wonderful collection, the day’s worries evaporated and sleep came easily. I highly recommend an evening of immersion with this prose which is so beautifully written.” —Todd Miller, Arcadia Books

“Reading this collection made me feel like I was standing outside with my bare feet in the grass, scrunching my toes in the soil, feeling the breeze on my face, and pondering the oneness of everything.” —LeeAnna Callon, Blue Cypress Books

The Hurting Kind is the poetry you want to read over and over again because of the magical relationships [Limón] develops between humans and nature. As a fellow bird lover, it sealed my understanding of how important birds are in the universe.” —Easty Lambert-Brown, Ernet & Hadley Booksellers

“Absolutely lovely poetry that reads like a love letter to our flying feathered friends . . . The entire collection exquisitely touches on grief and pain as well as the beauty to be found in nature.” —Vicki Honeyman, Literati Bookstore

“I owe a debt of gratitude to Ada Limón. I had never had a deep relationship with poetry, and then someone introduced me to her wondrous world and I have been seeking out poetic beauty ever since . . . I absolutely love her new offering, The Hurting Kind. ‘Not the Saddest Thing in the World’ is a gem that sparkles in the soul. I would love to know what your favorite will be from The Hurting Kind.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookshop

Praise for Ada Limón

“Limón is a poet of ecstatic revelation. Her poetry feels fast, full of details, often playful, and driven by conversational voice.”—Tracy K. Smith, Guardian

“Limón is one of the country’s finest poets. . . . She performs a near-miraculous feat in balancing razor-sharp imagery with deep ambivalence.”Shelf Awareness

“[Limón] writes with remarkable directness about the painful experiences normally packaged in euphemism and, in doing so, invites the readers to enter the world where abundant joy exists alongside and simultaneous to loss.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Limón’s poems are like fires: charring the page, but leaving a smoke that remains past the close of the book.”The Millions

“Limón doesn’t write as if she needs us. She writes as if she wants us. Her words reveal, coax, pull, see us. . . . [She is] a poet with the most generous of eyes.”—Nikky Finney

“Lyrical, tender, and knowing . . . Limón’s poetry connects the personal and the universal.”—Garden & Gun

“With the knowing directness of a letter, Limón’s poems speak to the marrow of our everyday condition . . . The power of Limón’s unflinching examination of grief and loss is only surpassed by her love of beauty and compassion.”—BOMB Magazine

“Both soft and tender, enormous and resounding, [Limón’s] poetic gestures entrance and transfix.”—Richard Blanco

“[Limón’s] poems come closer than any poems have to Annie Dillard’s essays . . . She’s that rarest of beasts, a poet who can take you by surprise.”—New Criterion

“All of Limón’s books have found a home on my bookshelf, each volume a heartfelt reckoning of what it is be alive. In her collections, I find a grace that demonstrates her versatility and wisdom as well as a ‘surrendering.’ She explains that the central question of her work is, ‘How do we live in the world?’ Yet she’s a poet as comfortable with questions as with answers.”Guernica

“Wisely observant . . . Limón’s poems personify the twinned-narrative of despair and tenacity that has become part of America’s current political and social reality. . . . A spark of courage in our dark and troubled times.”PANK

“Limón’s work is a reminder that you can write poetry about big ideas.”America 

“Limón teaches me that language can still surprise me. She shows me that the juxtaposition of words not previously joined can catch me off-guard, make me feel that shimmer of resonance, of curiosity.”Signature

About the Author

Ada Limón is the author of The Hurting Kind, as well as five other collections of poems. These include, most recently, The Carrying, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named a finalist for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, and Bright Dead Things, which was named a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Kingsley Tufts Award. Limón is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and American Poetry Review, among others. She is the new host of American Public Media’s weekday poetry podcast The Slowdown. Born and raised in California, she now lives in Lexington, Kentucky.