Naomi Shihab Nye to Speak @WWU

Posted on: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:48am

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System chosen as sites for 2018 Arbuthnot Lecture

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System will serve as hosts for the 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture featuring acclaimed poet and author Naomi Shihab Nye. The lecture will be held in the spring of 2018.

The daughter of a Palestinian father and an American mother, Nye grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas.  Her experience of different cultures has influenced much of her work, and she is often described as having a talent for writing about everyday life while also addressing cultural issues. She has written and edited more than 30 books for adults and children, and her latest for young people, “The Turtle of Oman,” was chosen as a 2015 Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association (ALA). Amongst her many honors, she has also received four Pushcart Prizes, was a National Book Award finalist, and has been named a Guggenheim Fellow. 

Sylvia Tag, curator of the Children's Literature Interdisciplinary Collection at Western Libraries, noted “Naomi Shihab Nye spreads hope and light through her poetry and prose. Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System are honored to host the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, and invite her particular brilliance to illuminate our diverse and word-hungry communities.”

The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture celebrates May Hill Arbuthnot, who served as a strong voice for children’s literature. Each year a lecturer is chosen who will prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each spring, and is subsequently published through Children & Libraries, the journal of Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). 

ALSC, a division of the ALA, is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. Members of the 2018 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee are: Chair Elizabeth Ramsey Bird, Evanston Public Library (Ill.); Timothy D. Capehart, Beavercreek (Ohio) Community Library; Monica Edinger, The Dalton School, New York; Wendy Lukehart, District of Columbia Public Library, Washington, D.C.; and Sharon McKellar, Oakland (Calif.) Public Library.

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