Winner of the 2013 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature
“With her powerful vision and high-quality poetry, fiction, and young-adult literature, Ms. Nye may be one of the most complete and accomplished writers in the world.”—Roberto Con Davis Undiano, Executive Director of World Literature Today
Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952) is an American author and poet. Born to a Palestinian father and an American mother, Nye grew up straddling the lines between diverse cultures, a theme that would heavily influence her poetry. She began composing her first poems at the age of six and has published or contributed to over thirty volumes. Her work includes poetry, young-adult fiction, picture books, and novels. Nye is celebrated as a children’s author for her unique sensitivity to difficult and culturally based social issues such as the post–9/11 treatment of Arab Americans in the United States.
In her nominating statement for Nye, poet Ibtisam Barakat wrote, “Naomi’s incandescent humanity and voice can change the world, or someone’s world, by taking a position not one word less beautiful than an exquisite poem.”
Nye is the author of several collections of poetry for both adults and children. Her most notable collections include Yellow Glove (1986, Far Corner Books), Fuel (1998, BOA Editions Ltd.), and 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (2002, Greenwillow Books). In 1997 Habibi (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing), Nye’s first young-adult novel, was published.
In addition to the NSK Prize, Nye has won many awards for her work, including four Pushcart Prizes, two Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards, and the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award. Nye was also a Guggenheim Fellow in 1997 and was a finalist for the National Book Award for 19 Varieties of Gazelle.
Jury & Finalists for the 2013 NSK Prize
|Ibtisam Barakat||Naomi Shihab Nye||Habibi|
|Lari Don||Joan Lingard||The Twelfth Day of July|
|Maggie Meacham||Lois Lowry||The Giver|
|Susan Lynn Meyer||Zilpha Keatley Snyder||The Changeling|
|Minfong Ho||Laurence Yep||Dragon’s Gate|
|Mitali Perkins||Lois Lowry||The Giver|
|Naheed Senzai||Tamora Pierce||Song of the Lioness: Alanna:The First Adventure|
|Rita Williams‐Garcia||Walter Dean Myers||Lockdown|
“I have always thought about how stupid and boring violence seems in this world where we could just listen to more stories instead, right? We could ask people who trouble us, Could you tell me your story? Usually I have found when you ask someone to do that, you end up feeling closer to them, even if their story in no way mirrors yours. Find a better thing to do.”
—Naomi Shihab Nye (USA), “Landscapes We Learn to Love”