Author and poet Naomi Shihab Nye has joined Texas State’s creative writing faculty as a creative writing professor for two years to share her expertise with students.
For nearly 20 years, Nye read manuscripts for master’s of fine arts candidates and has conducted many workshops and readings at Texas State. She has published 35 books and currently resides in San Antonio.
According to the Poetry Foundation, Nye has received the Lavan Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Carity Randall Prize, and multiple Pushcart Prizes, and has served in fellowships for the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Witter Bynner Foundation. She also served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets for five years.
Her most famous volumes include Fuel (1998), 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (2002), which talked about the Middle East and her experience as an Arab-American, and The Same Sky (1992) which represents 129 poets from 68 countries.
“I’ve always had a really positive feeling about [the creative writing] program at Texas State,” Nye said. “I’m very happy to be a visiting writer this year and get to do workshops.”
In the past, Nye has taught classes at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in Austin for over 23 years and is currently conducting a seminar open to multi-genre creative writing students at the Katherine Ann Porter House in Kyle.
“[In these workshops], we have discussions and we look at people’s work they bring,” Nye said. “Depending on how many people come, we look at as much work as we possibly can and discuss it while I make suggestions and talk about things (that matter) to me in the field.”
Nye said during her time at Texas State, she wants to organize programs to have students present their work at Texas State. Additionally, Nye will be visiting children’s literature classes taught at Texas State, as many of her works are children’s books.
For those who write poetry or prose, Nye said it is important to read as many different voices as possible and finds those which feel very meaningful, establish a regular writing habit and share their work.
“I’ve visited a lot of places but this is the first time I feel I am at home at Texas State, although I’ll still be doing other jobs,” Nye said. “It is a great honor to be part of the faculty in the way I am.”