Namoi Shihab Nye (2011)

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For the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series 2011, Naomi Shihab Nye read from her work in the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre on April 11, 2011. The conversation was moderated by E. Ethelbert Miller, literary activist and board chairperson of the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye’s work provides a spotlight on the everyday and reawakens the beauty in the ordinary. She is the author and/or editor of more than 25 volumes. Her books of poetry include A Maze Me: Poems for Girls; Red Suitcase; Words Under the Words; You & Yours, a best-selling poetry book of 2006; and 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, a finalist for the National Book Award. Other works include seven prize-winning poetry anthologies for young readers, including This Same Sky, The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems & Paintings from the Middle East, and What Have You Lost? Honeybee, her collection of poems for young adults, won the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category. Nye has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow. In January 2010 she was elected to the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.

Reviews and Excerpts

“Naomi Shihab Nye breathes poetry like the rest of us breathe air. When she exhales, the world becomes different. Better.” —The Grand Rapids Press

from "...Lunch in Nablus City Park"

When you lunch in a town

which has recently known war

under a calm slate sky mirroring none of it,

certain words feel impossible in the mouth.

Casualty: too casual, it must be changed.


From 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye © 1994, 1995, 1998, 2002 by Naomi Shihab Nye, published by Greenwillow Press. Used with permission of the author.