On Thursday, November 17, 2022, The Country School will welcome Naomi Shihab Nye as a visiting poet/author.
The daughter of a Palestinian refugee, Nye spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas.
Nye is the Poetry Foundation’s Young People’s Poet Laureate and recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Book Critics Circle, the Lavan Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Carity Randall Prize, and many more. She has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and she was a Witter Bynner Fellow. From 2010 to 2015 she served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. In 2018, she was awarded the Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Institute of Letters.
Nye’s multi-cultural experience has greatly influenced her work. Known for poetry that gives voice to ordinary events, people, and objects, Nye has been quoted as saying, “the primary source of poetry has always been local life, random characters met on the streets, our own ancestry sifting down to us through small essential daily tasks…Poetry calls us to pause. There is so much we overlook, while the abundance around us continues to shimmer, on its own.”
A group of Country School students read Nye’s book The Turtle of Oman this past summer and 5th and 6th grade students read her narrative prose poem Gate A-4 this fall. Next Thursday, she will be working with 4th-6th grade students, who are all working on their personal narrative writing.
Country School Interim Head Jean Waller Brune has known Nye for many years and looks forward to her sharing her many gifts with our students and staff. “Naomi speaks to our shared humanity through metaphor and everyday experiences that are familiar and resonate within,” says Brune. “She draws us in through her vivid imagery, love of life, and joyful spirit.”