Naomi Shihab Nye to Speak @WWU

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

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

Photo of author Naomi Shihab Nye positioned behind a microphone and holding a book

Western Washington University and the Whatcom County Library System invite you to  the 49th annual May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture to be delivered by author and poet Naomi Shihab Nye.

In poetry and prose for children, teens, and adults, Naomi Shihab Nye explores themes of identity and belonging, building literary bridges of empathy across which strangers can meet and connect.

The Arbuthnot Lecture, considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature, is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children, a Division of the American Library Association.

The 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture will take place at 7:00pm on Saturday, April 28, at the Western Washington University Performing Arts Center. A reception will follow in the Performing Arts Center Foyer.

The lecture is FREE and open to the public, but registration is requested. Click here to register

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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