NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University faculty, staff and preservice teachers, as well as local teachers and high school students, will have a rare opportunity to work with Naomi Shihab Nye, the Young People's Poet Laureate of the United States, Jan. 21-22.
The author of poetry collections, including "19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East," "You and Yours" and "The Tiny Journalist," Nye also will perform a reading for the public.
"I can't overstate how incredible it is to have her visit SFA and Nacogdoches," said Dr. Heather Olson Beal, professor of secondary education in SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education. "To have such a prolific, renowned writer here is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."
From 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 21, Nye will conduct a free, interactive professional development training for SFA faculty, staff and preservice teachers, as well as local teachers, in Room 212 of the Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center. Participants will work in small groups using Nye's poetry across content areas and grade levels.
On Jan. 22, Nye will lead a writing workshop at Nacogdoches High School for participants of the SFA Barrio Writers program. As a chapter of the national Barrio Writers organization, SFA's program has hosted 30 East Texas students for a week every summer since 2015 to focus on literature and creative writing. Olson Beal is a writing advisor for the program, which is tailored to students ages 13 through 21.
After the workshop, SFA Barrio Writers program participants will help Nye conclude her visit with a free, live reading for the community from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Judy B. McDonald Public Library in Nacogdoches.
Nye is a Palestinian American and the first Arab American to be selected as the Young People's Poet Laureate. She spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio and lived several years in Iran and the United Arab Emirates.
Nye is considered a "wandering poet," one interested in travel, place and cultural exchange.
"Her work, which includes children's picture books, young adult fiction, poetry collections and novels, is particularly timely considering recent events in Iran," Olson Beal said.
Nye lives and works in San Antonio.
For more information on these events, contact Olson Beal at firstname.lastname@example.org.