BOA Editions, Paperback, 9781934414521, 127pp.
Publication Date: August 23, 2011
"In the current literary scene, one of the most heartening influences is the work of Naomi Shihab Nye. Her poems combine transcendent liveliness and sparkle along with warmth and human insight. She is a champion of the literature of encouragement and heart. Reading her work enhances life." William Stafford
where is the name no one answered to
gone off to live by itself
beneath the pine trees separating the houses
without a friend or a bed
without a father to tell it stories
how hard was the path it walked on
all those years belonging to none
of our struggles drifting under
the calendar page elusive as
residue when someone said
how have you been it was
strangely that name that tried
Naomi Shihab Nye has spent thirty-five years traveling the world to lead writing workshops and inspire students of all ages. In her newest collection Transfer she draws on her Palestinian American heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her extensive travel experiences to create a poetry collection that attests to our shared humanity.
Among her awards, Naomi Shihab Nye has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Witter Bynner Fellow. She has received a Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and four Pushcart prizes. In January 2010, she was elected to the board of chancellors of the Academy of American Poets.
"Other Arab-American, Arab, and Islamic poets are of course presenting work concerned with the crucial intersections of faith, politics, culture and war, but what makes Nye very special and worthwhile in this book is her constant focus on her own experience and the personal journey she’s undertaken. Beyond the emphasis on the Middle East, she has a more personal focus on her own father and his journey to America." Coal Hill Review
"Transfer alludes to the life journey we all take" Chron.Com
The metaphor here is transfer: not a destination, but an unsettled state of being. To explore this state in the person of her father, Nye brings in elegy, stories, documents, odes, translations, and history to reveal the forces and mysteries that shape a lifeWhat makes the poems so artful, and go further, is that they engage with what is there as much as what is not.”The Philadelphia Inquirer