Naomi Shihab Nye

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Naomi Shihab Nye
Born: March 12, 1952
St. Louis, Missouri
Occupation: Poet, Songwriter
Genres: Poetry
Website: Naomi Shihab Nye at

Naomi Shihab Nye (born March 12, 1952) is a poet, songwriter and a novelist. She was born to a Palestinian father and American mother. Although she regards herself as a "wandering poet", she refers to San Antonio as her home.


Her first collection of poems, Different Ways to Pray, explored the theme of similarities and differences between cultures, which would become one of her lifelong areas of focus. Her other books include poetry collections 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East,A Maze Me, Red Suitcase, Field Trip and Fuel; a collection of essays entitled Never in a Hurry; a young-adult novel called Habibi (the autobiographical story of an Arab-American teenager who moves to Jerusalem in the 1970s) and picture book Lullaby Raft, which is also the title of one of her two albums of music. (The other is called Rutabaga-Roo; both were limited-edition.) Nye has edited many anthologies of poems, for audiences both young and old. One of the best-known is This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from around the World, which contains translated work by 129 poets from 68 different countries. Her most recent anthology is called Is This Forever, Or What?: Poems & Paintings from Texas.

She is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and still resides in that city.

She has won many awards and fellowships, among them four Pushcart Prizes, the Jane Addams Children's Book award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and many notable book and best book citations from the American Library Association.

  • Shihab Nye's open "Letter to Potential Terrorists"
  • Bill Moyers interview with Shihab Nye
  • Interview with Shihab Nye in Pif Magazine
  • Shihab Nye's page at the Barclay Agency
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