library news

April 6, 2021

In addition to National Poetry Month, this is National Library Week, we thought we’d highlight some library-linked poetry news, and, in particular, poetry for young people.

To begin, check out the Seattle Public Library list of recent books of poetry for kids.

From Western Washington University, the Children & Teen Poetry Collection (Poetry CHaT) has a busy lineup of good news. They will be highlighting the Oral History Collection throughout the month, beginning on April 4, 2021, with Naomi Shihab Nye. Other featured poets are Nikki Grimes (April 7), Sara Holbrook/Michael Salinger (April 10), Kwame Alexander (April 13), Marilyn Singer (April 16), Joyce Sidman (April 20), Rebecca Kai Dotlich (April 23), Janet Wong (April 26), and Melissa Sweet (April 29). Look for details on Facebook throughout the month.

In more PoetryCHaT news, the much-celebrated poet and author of children’s poetry books, Jack Prelutsky, has donated his Children’s Antiquarian Poetry Collection worth over $30,000 to PoetryCHaT, with an additional $8,000 for cataloging expenses. This is a treasure trove of children’s poetry, with items that date back to the 1700s, and an enormous resource for scholars. Cataloging of the Jack and Carolynn Prelutksy Manuscript and Rare Book Collection is underway, with a gala to follow as conditions allow.

virtual town hall

April 20, 2020

Since 2016, more than 175 writers, artists, scientists, and political and community leaders have offered their impassioned Letters to America in Terrain.org. These are now collected — with 50 new letters — in the book Dear America: Letters of Hope, Habitat, Defiance, and Democracy.

On Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, 2020, at 5:00pm Pacific, you can celebrate the launch of the book and the first of a new Dear America Virtual Town Hall event series. The event features Alison Hawthorne Deming, Naomi Shihab Nye, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and Ellen Bass, and is moderated by Terrain.org editor-in-chief Simmons Buntin. The event is free but pre-registration is required.

Dear American Virtual Town Hall on Facebook.

awards

March 19, 2020

The National Book Critics Circle last week announced awards for “the finest books published in English in six categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Biography, Autobiography, Poetry, and Criticism.”

The award for poetry went to Morgan Parker, Magical Negro (Tin House) and Naomi Shihab Nye received the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.

See the complete list of winners and finalists. And congratulations to one and all.

April

April 1, 2019

It’s April, and that means it’s National Poetry Month, and, of course, that means it’s National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo), and yes, that means: get busy!

The 2019 poster (above) features artwork by tenth grader Julia Wang from San Jose, California, who has won the inaugural National Poetry Month Poster Contest. Wang’s artwork was selected by contest judges Naomi Shihab Nye and Debbie Millman from among twelve finalists and more than 450 student submissions. It incorporates lines from the poem “An Old Story” by current U. S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.

We love this new poetry device that’s part of San Antonio’s Luminaria Contemporary Arts Festival. Word Salsa is a kiosk that was created by Rick Stemm and Stevan Živadinovic, who fed 110,000 words of poetry by San Antonio poets throughout the ages (nearly half from an enthusiastic Naomi Shihab Nye) into their magic machine, then taught it how to compose lines similar to those of real San Antonio poets. At the press of a button, Word Salsa produces a brand new, unique poem, reads it out loud and prints it on a numbered card. Read more about Word Salsa in the San Antonio Express-News.

On April 28, 2018, Naomi Shihab Nye delivered the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture at Western Washington University in Bellingham. She was inspiring and gracious. The June 2018 issue of Children & Libraries is a special issue devoted to the Arbuthnot Lecture and it includes the full text of Shihab Nye’s talk. Enjoy!

Workshop!

March 2, 2018

NOTE: As of March 9, 2018, this event has been CANCELLED.

We previously posted about the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye. In conjunction with the lecture, but on a different date, Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong will offer a three-hour workshop at Western Washington University: A World of Poetry: Featuring Contemporary Poems by Naomi Shihab Nye and Others.

Vardell and Wong, co-creators of The Poetry Friday Anthology series and Poetry Friday Power Book series (representing the work of 150 poets in 800+ poems), will present a world tour of poetry. There will be hands-on activities designed for anyone interested in reading, writing, sharing, teaching, and exploring contemporary poetry for young people, with a particular focus on the work of Naomi Shihab Nye.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018, 8:30am to 12:00pm.

See the complete workshop schedule on the PoetryCHaT website as well as a registration link.

planning ahead

January 20, 2018

We mentioned back in July that Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System had been selected to host the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye. Since National Poetry Month is likely to be busy, we’re giving you advance notice of the confirmed date for this event, which is FREE and open to the public: Saturday, April 28, 2018, 7:00pm, at the Performing Arts Center, Western Washington University, Bellingham. Her lecture is entitled, “Refreshments Will Be Served: Our Lives of Reading & Writing,” and while the event is free, advance registration is required at WCLS. Read more about the poet and the lecture on the PoetryChat website.

got 33 minutes?

December 3, 2017

This conversation about The Civic Responsibility of the Poet in America Today between Jane Hirshfield, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Naomi Shihab Nye took place more than two years ago, but it seems acutely relevant today. When you have a half-hour, have a look.

Congratulations!

July 22, 2017

Congratulations to Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System, which have been selected to serve as the host site for the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring Naomi Shihab Nye.

May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master’s degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers for children — better known as the “Dick and Jane” series. The annual lecture series was created in her honor.

The lecture will be held in the spring of 2018 and will be announced here as soon as a date is confirmed.

Read the announcement here.

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