Top Palestinian-US poet-author to speak at GU-Q

February 18, 2014 - 6:16:54 am

Doha: Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) will host a public lecture by award-winning Palestinian-American poet and writer Naomi Shihab Nye (pictured) tonight at 6pm at GU-Q auditorium in Education City.

Through the years, while creating her notable and prolific body of work, Nye’s writing has been motivated by her experiences of cultural diversity: her father is Palestinian and her mother is American. Nye grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio.

She describes herself as a “wandering poet” and has spent decades leading writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages around the world. Nye is frequently praised for using her writing to demonstrate our shared humanity.

Although she is well-known for her poetry, Nye also publishes essays, novels for young readers, and picture books, such as Sitti’s Secrets. Some say Nye’s best-known work is actually the young adult novel Habibi, a semi-autobiographical book about a teenage girl whose father moves the family from St. Louis to his native Jerusalem.

“I am very much looking forward to meeting students, faculty, and community members at Georgetown University in Qatar and discussing the place of poetry and story in our lives, our shared interests in reading and writing, and ways to nourish our practices of both,” said Nye.

“I will share some poems, stories, and discussion, and hopefully a brief writing workshop with participants. I look forward very much to being back in hospitable Doha.”

GU-Q English professor Amy Nestor said, “Naomi Shihab Nye says that her mission is to make poetry more accessible to everyone. Tonight is an opportunity to help make that happen. Naomi’s poetry truly awakens that which is human inside all of us and makes us more aware of how alike, rather than different, we all are. 

“Because of this I strongly encourage the public to come to tonight’s talk. It is an exceptional opportunity to bring our community together in a shared and deeply moving experience.”

Nye’s poetry collections include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East and a best-selling poetry book, You & Yours. One of Nye’s eight prize-winning poetry anthologies for young readers is The Space Between Our Footsteps: Poems & Paintings from the Middle East. Her collection of poems for young adults, Honeybee, won the 2008 Arab-American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category.

The Peninsula

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