Poems for Our Time
“Nye at her engaging, insightful best.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Acclaimed poet and Young People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye shines a spotlight on the things we cast away, from plastic water bottles to those less fortunate, in this collection of more than eighty original and never-before-published poems. A deeply moving, sometimes funny, and always provocative poetry collection for all ages.
“How much have you thrown away in your lifetime already? Do you ever think about it? Where does this plethora of leavings come from? How long does it take you, even one little you, to fill the can by your desk?” ?Naomi Shihab Nye
National Book Award Finalist, Young People’s Poet Laureate, and devoted trash-picker-upper Naomi Shihab Nye explores these questions and more in this original collection of poetry that features more than eighty new poems. “I couldn’t save the world, but I could pick up trash,” she says in her introduction to this stunning volume.
With poems about food wrappers, lost mittens, plastic straws, refugee children, trashy talk, the environment, connection, community, responsibility to the planet, politics, immigration, time, junk mail, trash collectors, garbage trucks, all that we carry and all that we discard, this is a rich, engaging, moving, and sometimes humorous collection for readers ages twelve to adult.
Includes ideas for writing, recycling, and reclaiming, and an index.
Praise For Cast Away: Poems for Our Time…
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“[Nye] challenges readers to become activists and to gain deeper awareness of their surroundings. . . . Her poetic polemic on trash is truly a treasure for readers.”
— Booklist (starred review)
“Rich variety and impressive scope. . . . Nye’s beautiful and timely collection [is] filled with haunting, sensory images. A must-have for all poetry collections.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
“A sharp look at what we choose to discard and at our blinkered belief in our right to do so. Yet it’s also gentle, affectionate, and at times subtly funny . . . Young readers looking for an alternative to cli-fi may embrace this thoughtful cli-po.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“Nye finds inspiration in those things we throw away—as well as in the act of throwing things away and that of picking them up again. . . . Pick up a poem, why don’t you?”
— Horn Book Magazine
"Naomi Shihab Nye documents and reflects on the leavings of our existence in keenly observant, probing, unabashed poems.”
— Cooperative Children's Book Center
“Trash is poetic treasure in this intriguing collection of verse by the current Young People’s Poet Laureate. Nye’s keen eye for the small, revealing detail — a comforting pine cone, a lost mitten — encourages us to notice and perhaps write about the odd, stray things that surround us.”
— Washington Post
Greenwillow Books, 9780062907691, 176pp.
Publication Date: February 11, 2020
About the Author
Naomi Shihab Nye is a poet and anthologist and the acclaimed author of Habibi: A Novel and Sitti's Secrets, a picture book, which was based on her own experiences visiting her beloved Sitti in Palestine. Her book 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has taught writing and worked in schools all over the world, including in Muscat, Oman. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.