Naomi Shihab Nye

Jewel Slack

Naomi Shihab Nye was born on March 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, to a Palestinian father and an American mother. During her high school years, she lived in Ramallah in Palestine, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received her BA in English and world religions from Trinity University.

She's the author of a lot of books & poems including Transfer You and Yours , which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award & 19 Varieties of Gazelle Poems of the Middle East , a collection of new and selected poems about the Middle East; Fuel ; Red Suitcase ; and Hugging the Jukebox 1982.

She is also the author of several books of poetry and fiction for children, including Habibi , for which she received the Jane Addams Children's Book award in 1998. Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit. About her work, the poet William Stafford has said, "her poems combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight. She is a champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life.


Different Ways to Pray: Poems. Breitenbush Publications. 1980.

Hugging the Jukebox. Dutton. 1982.
Yellow Glove. Breitenbush Books. 1986.
Red Suitcase: Poems. Consortium Book Sales & Dist. 1994.
Fuel: poems. BOA Editions, Ltd.. 1998.
19 varieties of gazelle: poems of the Middle East. HarperCollins. 2002.
You & yours: poems. BOA Editions, Ltd.. 2005.


Habibi. Simon and Schuster. 1999.


Naomi Shihab Nye, ed (1996). This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World. Aladdin Paperbacks.
Naomi Shihab Nye, Ashley Bryan, ed (2000). Salting the Ocean: 100 Poems by Young Poets. HarperCollins.

Critical Studies

Gómez-Vega, Ibis. "The Art of Telling Stories in the Poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye." MELUS 6.4 (Winter 2001): 245-252.
Gómez-Vega, Ibis. "Extreme Realities: Naomi Shihab Nye's Essays and Poems." Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 30 (2010): 109-133.
Mercer, Lorraine, and Linda Strom. "Counter Narratives: Cooking Up Stories of Love and Loss in Naomi Shihab Nye's Poetry and Diana Abu-Jaber's Crescent." MELUS 32.4 (Winter 2007): 33-46.
Orfalea, Gregory. "Doomed by Our Blood to care: The Poetry of Naomi Shihab Nye." Paintbrush 18.35 (Spring 1991): 56-66.