One Writer’s Journey

May 16, 2019

Naomi Shihab Nye: Young People’s Poet Laureate

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:26 am
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I’m not going to lie.  When I found out that Naomi Shihab Nye had been selected by the Poetry Foundation as the next young people’s poet laureate, I did a little dance.  I may have even squealed and jumped up and down.  Maybe.

The purpose of this position is to “raise awareness that young people have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.” Past recipients of this award include Jacqueline Woodson and Margarita Engle but Nye is the first Arab-American to be chosen for this honor.

As is the case with many poets, not all of Nye’s work is for young readers.  Nor is all of her work poetry.  Thus the list of her work that I’ve included here is partial and incomplete but is composed of her poetry, picture books, essays and novels for children and young adults.

  • Baby Radar, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2003. Picture book.
  • Benito’s Dream Bottle, illustrated by Yu Cha Pak. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995. Picture book.
  • Come with Me: Poems for a Journey, with images by Dan Yaccarino. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2000.
  • Habibi. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.  Young adult novel.
  • Is This Forever, or What? Poems and Paintings from Texas. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2004.
  • Lullaby Raft, illustrated by Vivienne Flesher. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997. Picture book.
  • A Maze Me: Poems for Girls (poetry; for young adults). New York: HarperCollins, 2005.
  • Never in a Hurry. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.   Essays.
  • Nineteen Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, New York: Greenwillow Books, 2002.
  • Sitti’s Secrets, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. New York: Macmillan, 1994.  Picture book.

If you don’t already know her work, visit your local library or place an order with your local independent book store.  It will definitely be worth your while.

For more on Nye, her work and her appointment, check out this story at School Library Journal and this article by the poetry foundation.



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