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Teaching Multicultural Literature : A Workshop for the Middle Grades
Workshop 1 Workshop 2 Workshop 3 Workshop 4 Workshop 5 Workshop 6 Workshop 7 Workshop 8
Workshop 1: Engagement and Dialogue
Overview
Authors and Literary Works
Julia Alverez
Biography
Work
Gish Jen
Biography
Work
Tina Lee
Biography
Work
Khot T. Luu
Biography
Work
James McBride
Biography
Work
Lensey Namioka
Biography
Work
Lensey Namioka
Biography
Work
Key References
Video Summary
Teaching Strategies
Commentary
Student Work
Resources
Interactive Workbook -- Explore two poems using strategies from these workshops. Go.
Channel-Talk -- Share your views on the discussion board. Go.


Authors and Literary Works
Biography

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1952 to an American mother and a Palestinian father, poet Naomi Shihab Nye seems able to feel at home almost anywhere in the world. She lived in old Jerusalem for a time, and then settled in San Antonio, Texas. For the U.S. Information Agency, Ms. Nye promoted international goodwill through the arts on assignments to the Middle East and Asia. She assimilates the voices of her Mexican American neighbors into her work, as well as the perspectives of Arab Americans. Naomi Shihab Nye calls herself a "wandering poet."

She was just seven years old when her first poem was published. She has gone on to create many collections of poetry, including Different Ways to Pray; Hugging the Jukebox; Yellow Glove; Red Suitcase; Fuel; Come With Me; Words Under the Words: Selected Poems; and A Maze Me.

Nye specializes in poetry that takes inspiration from small things and everyday events. She has a long-standing habit of keeping a notebook "because I wanted to remember everything. The quilt, the cherry tree, the creek. The neat whop of a baseball rammed perfectly with a bat. My father's funny Palestinian stories."

Nye also gives people who find poetry intimidating something to think about in the ALAN review:

"Anyone who feels poetry is an alien or ominous force should consider the style in which human beings think. "How do you think," I ask my students. "Do you think in complete, elaborate sentences? In fully developed paragraphs with careful footnotes? Or in flashes and burst of images, snatches of lines leaping one to the next, descriptive fragments, sensory details?" We think in poetry. But some people pretend poetry is far away.

Ms. Nye's honors include several Pushcart Prizes, a Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and the Jane Addams Children's Book Award. The American Library Association has awarded her numerous citations. She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Wittner Bynner Fellow (Library of Congress). She has appeared on PBS specials about poetry, The Language of Life with Bill Moyers and The United States of Poetry, and is a regular columnist for Organica.

Naomi Shihab Nye writes essays and children's books, and does poetry translations as well as music and poetry recordings. She has also written a novel, and has edited many anthologies. She is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.


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