Sunday, February 12, 2012

Naomi Shihab Nye

With our own son, we read to him and took him to the library, and once he was past the age of being read to at bedtime, I read poetry to him as a daily wake-up call until he went off to college.  He never objected.  I found Chinese and Japanese poetry a particularly rich early morning song...  It was great to have poems be the first thing to come out of my own mouth every morning-the first words let loose on the air inside our house. I recommend it.
~Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye is an Arab-American writer who refers to herself as a "wandering poet".  She began writing poetry at the age of 6 or 7, as soon as she learned how to write. Different cultures & cultural differences have been the most recurring themes of her work; she also often takes for her inspiration the images & situations of everyday life.  Her many honors include four Pushcart Prizes, a Jane Addams Children's Book Award, a Paterson Poetry Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Lannan Fellowship. After 9/11, she became a spokesperson for Arab-Americans, condemning both terrorism & prejudice.

Here's a list of some of our favorite Naomi Shihab Nye books:

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

A Maze Me: Poems for Girls

The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems & Paintings from the Middle East and North Africa selected by Naomi Shihab Nye

There is No Long Distance Now: Very Short Stories


Never in a Hurry: Essays on People and Places


Naomi Shihab Nye reading "One Boy Told Me"

Naomi Shihab Nye poems on the Poetry Out Loud website

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