Photo courtesy of World Literature Today. It seems there are not enough words in any language to adequately praise Naomi Shihab Nye, who just claimed World Literature Today's 2013 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature! While an important contribution to the world, her children's literature isn't all that is getting attention from the award. Ibtisam Barakat, the judge who nominated Nye for the award, said: "Naomi's incandescent humanity and voice can change the world, or someone's world, by taking a position not one word less beautiful than an exquisite poem. Naomi's poetry masterfully blends music, images, colors, languages, and insights into poems that ache like a shore pacing in ebb and flow, expecting the arrival of meaning." Nye will be awarded $25,000, a certificate, and a silver medallion next Fall at the official ceremony at the University of Oklahoma. The goal of the NSK Prize is to foster high-quality writing for children. As the author and editor of no less than thirty-three books, Nye is the sixth winner of this prestigious prize. A list of previous winners can be found here. R.C. Davis-Undiano, executive of World Literature Today, remarks: "With her powerful vision and high-quality poetry, fiction, and young-adult literature, Ms. Nye may be one of the most complete and accomplished writers in the world." Nye graduated from Trinity University with a BA in English and world religions. From that point onward, her creativity has poured into collections of poetry, novels, essays, and picture books (one of which, Sitti's Secrets, is the recipient of the Jane Addams Children's Book Award). Nye continues to deliver award-worthy material, having already received the honor of the Charity Randall Prize from the International Poetry Forum, awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, four Pushcart prizes, and the Academy of American Poets' Lavan Award, chosen by W.S. Merwin. According to poet William Stafford, Nye's 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." Nye provides words of wisdom on an individual level, as well as a global level. Her writing has the ability to inspire people of all ages and walks of life, providing them with invaluable "sparkle," "warmth," and "human insight." Naomi Shihab Nye is the author of poetry collections Transfer, You and Yours, Fuel, and Red Suitcase. See her titles here.
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