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Naomi Shihab Nye <3 Barack Obama
Poet Naomi Shihab Nye will read her work this Thursday night as at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her numerous books of poetry include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East, A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, Red Suitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, and You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006).
What line or poem do you find yourself sharing again and again?
William Stafford‘s “Evening News” – the last line begging the grass to help “everything go deep again.”
On your bookshelf but unread:
Approximately 158 lovely-looking books—waiting patiently.
Can you remember the first poem you read and really liked?
I recall feeling a calm sizzle and a dazzle deep inside when my mom read Emily Dickinson poems to me—I must have been 4 or 3. I asked her to read them again and she did. The air felt more spacious, so suddenly.
A cause you would attach your name to:
Palestinian statehood, end of the occupation.
The picture that comes to mind when you hear the word “poetry”
Wide air, sky, open-ness, calm, spacious gazing at horizons, clouds…
If forced to quote your own writing, what line or poem would you provide?
Walk around feeling like a leaf. (“The Art of Disappearing”)
Expression you greatly dislike:
“No problem” instead of “You’re welcome” – when someone says thank you.
The longest amount of time you’ve gone without writing [creatively]?
Not long at all! A day? Two days, when we were having our son?
Favorite public figure:
President Barack Obama
Favorite literary device:
When I think of Chicago, I think of:
The first poem I ever wrote, age 6, which was called Chicago, had 4 humble lines, and made me feel satisfied and happy. I love your city! It was my first great city, besides St. Louis, where I was born (St. Louis always had a much more melancholy air — and very different pace – slower!)
What can we expect from your reading on Thursday?
I will be reading a few old but mostly newer poems in Chicago and am so happy about being there again. I would hope my reading style is informal, relaxed, friendly.