2015 Festival Details

For Immediate Release:  December 2014

nnyeNationally and internationally recognized Palestinian-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye will open the Chippewa Valley Book Festival in October 2015.

Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” Having spent 37 years reading her poetry and conducting workshops for writers throughout the world, Nye has earned accolades from fellow poets and the general public. Poet William Stafford says that Nye “is a champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life.” The Grand Rapids Press offers, “Nye breathes poetry like the rest of us breathe air. When she exhales, the world becomes different. Better.”

For the more than 30 books that Nye has published, she has drawn her inspiration from her Palestinian roots, experiences while traveling, observations of those close to her, and an awareness of the way the known and unknown shape our everyday lives.

A winner of numerous awards for her poetry, fiction, and children’s literature, Nye received the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2013. The Neustadt signaled, according to Roberto Con Davis Uniano, that “Nye may be one of the most complete and accomplished writers in the world.”

For readers of poetry and singers of songs, Nye has offered this advice: “Read it slowly, and more than once, if you love the poem.”

EVENT:  “NO ONE HAS EVER SEEN INSIDE THIS PEANUT BEFORE: A Lifetime of Pleasures with Poetry.”   10.15.2015  at 7:30 pm

For Nye, poetry is the means of carrying on an exploration of life. She knows the power of language. She understands the need for more information as we cross paths with each other.

She sings poems of simple achievements set in recognizable locations—kitchens, grocery stores, back yards. She celebrates the lives and insights of children, understands the complexity of being adults at home and in a world full of tensions and conflict.

Nye is known for turning the lore of her heritage into subtle, compelling verse, as in the opening lines of “Red Brocade”:

The Arabs used to say,
When a stranger appears at your door,
feed him before asking who he is,
where he’s come from,
where he’s headed.
That way, he’ll have strength
enough to answer.
Or, by then you’ll be
such good friends
you don’t care.

More details, including the location, will follow this spring!

Admission: Free and Open to the Public

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