Naomi Shihab Nye, the Award-winning Palestinian-American Poet, Essayist and Educator, has been announced by the Southwest Alumni Association as the keynote speaker at the 2023 Blandy Lecture. The 55th Blandy Lecture will happen on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, and includes a day long series of events, as well as an Alumni reunion hosted by the Alumni Association the evening before. Partnering with the Southwest Alumni Association, the Iona Collaborative at Seminary of the Southwest is a co-presenter for this event.
“Here at Seminary of the Southwest, we have long hoped to welcome Naomi Shihab Nye to our campus,” said the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge. “We are delighted that she will bring her person and her poetry to us for this year’s Blandy Lecture.”
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The author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes, her books of poetry for adults and children include 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (a finalist for the National Book Award), A Maze Me: Poems for Girls, RedSuitcase, Words Under the Words, Fuel, Transfer, You & Yours (a best-selling poetry book of 2006), Mint Snowball, Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners, Come with Me: Poems for a Journey, Honeybee (awarded the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the Children’s/Young Adult category), The Tiny Journalist (Best Poetry Book from both the Texas Institute of Letters and the Writers League of Texas), Cast Away: Poems for Our Time (one of the Washington Post’s best children’s books of 2020), and Everything Comes Next: Collected and New Poems. Her collections of essays include Never in a Hurry, and I’ll Ask You Three Times, Are you Okay? Tales of Driving and Being Driven. She has also edited nine poetry anthologies including I Feel a Little Jumpy Around You, Time You Let Me In, This Same Sky, The Space Between Our Footsteps, and What Have You Lost?. Her fiction books for young people include Habibi, Going Going, There Is No Long Distance Now, and The Turtle of Oman. The Turtle of Oman was chosen a Horn Book Best Book of 2014, a 2015 Notable Children’s Book by the American Library Association, and was awarded the 2015 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature. Her picture books include Baby Radar, Sitti’s Secrets, and Famous. Her new book is The Turtle of Michigan (Greenwillow Books, March 15, 2022) a sequel to The Turtle of Oman. In 2022 she edited, with David Hassler and Tyler Meier, an anthology of poetry reflecting on the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine through poetry titled Dear Vaccine: Global Voices Speak to the Pandemic.
Now in its 55th year, the Blandy Lecture was created to honor the Very Rev. Gray M. Blandy for his ministry and work as the first dean of the Seminary of the Southwest.