“Naomi Shihab Nye.” Poetry Foundation.
In her work, according to Jane Tanner in the Dictionary of Literary Biography, “Nye observes the business of living and the continuity among all the world’s inhabitants … She is international in scope and internal in focus.” Nye is also considered one of the leading female poets of the American Southwest.
Tippet, Krista “Your Life Is a Poem” On Being Podcast, March 15, 2018.
“When you’re in a very quiet place, when you’re remembering, when you’re savoring an image, when you’re allowing your mind calmly to leap from one thought to another, that’s a poem.” Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Kindness” has traveled around the world. She grew up between Ferguson, Missouri, Ramallah, and Jerusalem. She insists that language must be a way out of cycles of animosity. She’d have us notice “petite discoveries” that embolden us to choose human nourishment over division. “Before you know what kindness really is / you must lose things.”
Heritage Maza, Jill. “Voices in the Air” School Library Journal, January 18, 2018.
Nye invokes the voices and spirits of countless inspirational figures past and present in her latest poetry collection. From Bruce Springsteen and Langston Hughes to Yehuda Amichai and Vera B. Williams to her own grandfather and a barber in Honolulu, Nye has utilized poetry as an equalizer and shows, without saying, that raised, wise, creative voices are powerful and vital.
Shihab Nye, Naomi. “So Much Happiness.” Poets.org.
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.