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Naomi Shihab Nye Supper Club Highlights

About Supper Club guest Naomi Shihab Nye, the poet William Stafford has said: “her poems combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight.” The same might be said of this award-winning Palestinian-American’s author’s intimate Supper Club talk with Lucy Calkins. In this interview, Naomi exudes warmth and positivity and humanity, while serving as an ambassador for peace and goodwill in these particularly tumultuous times. We feel inspired by her proclamation: “I am not interested in power, in glory. I am interested in kids and little things, and life, and how we get along.”

What a treat it is to take a glimpse into the mind of an accomplished writer as Naomi describes her thoughts, feelings and process while writing her 2022 novel, The Turtle of Michigan. And we lean in as Naomi recites her poems, “Moon Over Gaza” and “Separation Wall.”

Savor Naomi’s kernels of wisdom about the importance of connection with others, the belief that children need to write about things that matter to them, how poetry can serve as a “coping stone,” and the words she has long lived by: to use her “voice as a ticket.” These philosophies align beautifully with RWP-M’s guiding principles and are described and explained by Naomi in a way that only a talented poet can.

Finally, Naomi reminds us to always remember the little things – “the daily things that tie us to life” and to recall that “what makes us human, what makes other people human are those little things that matter.” She shares that through poetry, we can let our love be known. In a world often torn apart, these words serve as an important reminder for us to make efforts to be more connected with one another. Wise words indeed.

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