MIDDLE EAST STUDIES PROGRAM SPONSORING VISIT OF DISTINGUISHED AUTHOR NAOMI SHIHAB NYE

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Acclaimed author Naomi Shihab Nye, whose work has been featured numerous times on National Public Radio, Prairie Home Companion, and on two PBS specials hosted by Bill Moyers, will read from her poetry and fiction January 30-31. She will serve as a visiting guest writer sponsored by the King Fahd Middle East Studies Program at the University of Arkansas.

She will offer two public readings: at 7:30 p.m., January 30 at Uncle Gaylord’s Mountain Café, 315 W. Mountain, and at 3 p.m., January 31 in Rooms 507-508 of the Arkansas Union. Both are free and the public is invited. While on campus, she will also participate in a poetry workshop for creative writers in the Department of English.

Her books of poetry include What Have You Lost?, winner of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, Fuel, Red Suitcase, and Words Under the Words: Selected Poems. She is also the author of eight books for young readers, published by Simon & Schuster, including Sitti’s Secrets, a School Library Journal Best Book for 1994, Benito’s Dream Bottle, and Lullaby Raft. Habibi, a novel for teens, won the Book Publishers of Texas Award from the Texas Institute of Letters and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award.

"She is an author whose talents have been appreciated by a wide audience in the U.S. and abroad. She has won four Pushcart Prizes and received both the Mahrajan Al Fan Achievement

Award and the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Literature Award," said Vince Cornell, Director of the Middle East Studies Program. "I am pleased that while she is here, she’ll have a chance to discuss poetry with students as well as read before other writers and members of the community."

Nye, whose father was Palestinian and whose mother was American, grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. In addition to serving as poetry editor for The Texas Observer, she has traveled widely as a visiting writer, offering readings at The Kennedy Center, the United Nations, the Talking Book Festival in New York City, and the Poetry Center and the Guild Complex in Chicago.

She has traveled abroad on three Arts America tours, been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was named by poet laureate Robert Pinsky to serve as the Witter Bynner Fellow for the Library of Congress in 2000.

 

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