Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Poetry Off the Shelf: Seeing Things

Poetry Off the Shelf: Seeing Things
Naomi Shihab Nye
Fullerton Hall
Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission

Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” She has spent 35 years traveling the country and the world leading workshops and inspiring students of all ages. Nye was born to a Palestinian father and an American mother and grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Her numerous books of poetry include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, Red Suitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, and You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006). Other works include seven prize-winning poetry anthologies for young readers, including This Same Sky, The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems and Paintings from the Middle East, and What Have You Lost? Her collection of poems for young adults entitled Honeybee won the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category.

Naomi Shihab Nye has received many awards for her work, and has held fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim Foundations as well as the Library of Congress. She is a regular columnist for Organica magazine and poetry editor for the Texas Observer. She has been featured on two PBS poetry specials, The Language of Life with Bill Moyers and The United States of Poetry, and also appeared on NOW with Bill Moyers. In January 2010 she was elected to the board of chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.
—from “Famous”