Naomi Shihab Nye نعومي شهاب ناي, born March 12, 1952) is a poet, songwriter, and 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 semi-autobiographical story of an Arab-American teenager who moves to Jerusalem in the 1990s) 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 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, and a 2000 Witter Bynner Fellowship. In June 2009, Nye was named as one of PeaceByPeace.com's first peace heroes.
Nye graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and still resides in that city. She and her photographer husband, Michael Nye, have one son, Madison.
Nye's father, Aziz Shihab, wrote books such as A Taste of Palestine: Menus and Memories.
At the age of six, Nye began writing poems as soon as she learned how to write. She was influenced by her mother who read to her all the time. At first her early works were based on childish things such as cats, squirrels, friends, teachers, etc. It wasn't until she was fourteen that she visited her Palestinian grandmother; this would eventually become part of the messages in her many collections of poetry. Her book "Fuel" is an example. Some of her earlier works were published in Seventeen, Modern Poetry Studies, and Ironwood.
(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)