Author: Megan Fisher
Date: October 20, 2017

Award-winning Palestinian-American poet, writer, anthologist, and educator Naomi Shihab Nye will speak at Houghton College on October 27, 2017. Events include a luncheon from 12:00 – 12:45 p.m. in the Houghton College Lennox Dining Room, followed by a Q&A session from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Recital Hall.

Nye describes herself as “the wandering poet.” Born in the United States to Palestinian-American parents, she spent time in St. Louis, San Antonio, and Jerusalem (Israel) during her youth. Nye has spent 40 years traveling around the United States and the world, teaching writing workshops and inspiring students of all ages. Her travels in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East, as well as the time she spends at her home in the culturally diverse Texas, have helped inspire her writing.  

Nye has authored and/or edited more than 30 volumes of poetry books, essays, picture books, short story collections, and novels. Her works – such as 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, Red Suitcase, You & Yours, and The Turtle of Oman – feature themes of heritage, peace, and cultural exchange and appreciation. Nye’s first full-length poetry collection, Different Ways to Pray, highlighted the differences between cultures from California and Texas, and Central to South America. One of her novels, Habibi, is semi-autobiographical and tells the story of a young Arab-American teen who migrated with her family to her father’s native home of Palestine. In recent years, Nye has focused her writing on addressing terrorism and injustice with a poetic response.

She has received numerous awards in recognition of her literary works, in addition to being a Guggenheim Fellow, a Witter Bynner Fellow at the Library of Congress, and her election to the Board of Chancellors of the American Academy of Poets.

For more information, please contact Lori Huth, assistant professor of creative writing, at or 585.567.9467.