March 7, 2011 — Naomi Shihab Nye, a Rea Visiting Writer at the University of Virginia, will give a poetry reading on March 24 at 8 p.m. at the U.Va. Bookstore. The event is free and open to the public.
Nye is the author of several poetry collections, including "You and Yours," which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award; "19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East," "Fuel," "Red Suitcase" and "Hugging the Jukebox." Her poems and short stories have appeared in various journals and reviews throughout North America, Europe and the Middle and Far East.
In addition to her poetry collections, Nye has written fiction and poetry for children, translated poetry and been a music producer. She has also published a book of essays, "Never in a Hurry," and edited several anthologies, including the award-winning "This Same Sky," which presents 129 poets from 68 countries.
She was born in 1952 in St. Louis to a Palestinian father and an American mother. She has lived in Ramallah on the West Bank, Jordan, the Old City in Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas, where she received her B.A. in English and world religions from Trinity University.
Nye's work has been described as giving voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace. About her work, the poet William Stafford said, "Her poems combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight. She is a champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life."
Nye was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2010. She has received awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Academy of American Poets and the International Poetry Forum, as well as four Pushcart Prizes. She has held several fellowships, among them a Guggenheim.
She has traveled to the Middle East and Asia for the United States Information Agency three times, promoting international goodwill through the arts.
Rea Visiting Writers spend up to a week in residence at U.Va., working closely with graduate students in the master of fine arts writing program in the College of Arts & Sciences. Nye will give a talk for creative writing students on March 22 at 4 p.m. in the Bryan Hall faculty lounge.
The Rea Visiting Writers series of the U.Va. Creative Writing Program in the College of Arts & Sciences is sponsored by the Dungannon Foundation and Elizabeth Richebourg Rea, in memory of her husband, the late Michael Rea.