The Hurting Kind (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Ada Limón's The Hurting Kind is a collection of closely watching, both the surrounding world and interior responses to it, filled with the urge to connect and understand. There is a desire to loosen the boundary between self and other running through the collection. The poems feel like small vignettes of connection with speakers trying to bear witness and be witnessed (receive beauty and notice the receiving). Limón frequently asks "who got us here? Who allowed living to happen before and for me?" There is a lineage to our living.

Limón's poems also hold space for the more-than-human and the strange otherness of the non-human, their mystery and our wonder. Oftentimes there is a feeling of ongoingness, where the speaker has left the scene, but the scene will continue without them, where they can imagine its continuing, love and life and the world still existing and moving.

There are so many places where the sentence is on showcase as well: what can be shown or felt within the singular unit and how the movement happens, alongside novel phrasing and painterly images. One of my favorite collections I have read. It makes me feel full and want to reach out toward the world around me.

— Georg

May 2022 Indie Next List

“Poems about feeling, and what it means to feel too much. Ada Limón has once again released a collection of work that will make readers think, feel deeply, and revisit her work time and time again. This beautiful body of work is not to be missed.”
— Casey Zierler, Papercuts J.P., Boston, MA


An astonishing collection about interconnectedness--between the human and nonhuman, ancestors and ourselves--from National Book Critics Circle Award winner, National Book Award finalist and U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Lim n."I have always been too sensitive, a weeper / from a long line of weepers," writes Lim n. "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 Lim n'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 Lim n of a groundhog in her garden, "she is doing what she can to survive."
Product Details
ISBN: 9781639550494
ISBN-10: 1639550496
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication Date: May 10th, 2022
Pages: 128
Language: English