The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award, one of the most distinguished honors conferred by the American Library Association, is announced each year at the ALA Midwinter meeting, happening this week in Atlanta. The award recognizes “an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature” – a broad category and a high honor.
Just yesterday the Association announced that the 2018 Arbuthnot Lecture will be delivered by poet and writer Naomi Shihab Nye. In the announcement of the Arbuthnot honor sponsors describe Nye as “an active voice for Arab-Americans who explores her heritage in her work and speaks out against both terrorism and prejudice.”
The announcement of the Arbuthnot award has special meaning for Minnesota bibliophiles who will have an opportunity this March to renew acquaintances or to get to know the poet during Nye’s week-long residency in St. Paul.
Naomi Shihab Nye’s heritage is Palestinian-American. The nomination for the Arbuthnot award describes her as “a wise and lyrical observer” who “draws on her heritage and writing to attest to our shared humanity.” Nye is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes of poetry, essays, short stories, YA novels and picture books. In Nye’s words “the primary source of poetry has always been local life, random characters met on the streets, our own ancestry sifting down to us through small essential daily tasks.”
Nye will conduct a residency at Wisdom Ways, the lifelong learning ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. (http://wisdomwayscenter.org/about.html)
“The Poetic Conversation of Being Human: A Week with Naomi Shihab Nye” is scheduled for March 26-31. Nye’s robust agenda includes five public programs, a self-guided writing retreat and several informal conversations with local readers and writers. Click here for a full agenda of the week’s varied programs. http://wisdomwayscenter.org/events-with-naomi-shihab-nye.html)
For more about the author click here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/naomi-shihab-nye — if you problems with the link (as I did) go to the Poetry Foundation then the bio for Naomi Nye.
For a video of Nye reading her own work, click here: