Rochester, N.Y. — BOA Editions is delighted to announce that The Tiny Journalist by Naomi Shihab Nye has been selected as the Poetry Winner for the 2019 Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards. The Writers' League of Texas announced the winners of the 2019 WLT Book Awards this morning in their newsletter.
The Tiny Journalist is Naomi Shihab Nye’s fifth poetry collection from BOA Editions. It was named a Best Poetry Book of 2019 by The Washington Post and previously won the 2020 Helen C. Smith Memorial Award for Best Book of Poetry from the Texas Institute of Letters. The collection is inspired by the story of Janna Jihad Ayyad, the “Youngest Journalist in Palestine,” who at age 7 began capturing videos of anti-occupation protests using her mother’s smartphone. Nye draws upon her own family’s roots in a West Bank village near Janna’s hometown to offer empathy and insight to the young girl’s reporting. Long an advocate for peaceful communication across all boundaries, Nye’s poems in The Tiny Journalist put a human face on war and the violence that divides us from each other.
Naomi Shihab Nye is the author and/or editor of more than thirty books, including five collections of poetry from BOA Editions: Red Suitcase (1994), Fuel (1998), You & Yours (2005), Transfer (2011), and The Tiny Journalist (2019). She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow and a Witter Bynner Fellow. Her numerous awards include a Lavan Award from the Academy of American Poets, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award from BOA, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, the Patterson Poetry Prize, four Pushcart Prizes, the Robert Creeley Prize, the Betty Prize from Poets House for her service to poetry, and the Lon Tinkle Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Texas Institute of Letters. She served on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets from 2010–2015, and in May 2019 she was named the 2019–2021 Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation.
The WLT Book Awards recognize outstanding books published in 2019 written by Texas authors (both current and former residents). The Writers’ League of Texas Book Awards were established in 1991 as the Violet Crown Awards (later renamed in 2008) to recognize the year’s best among those stories and to celebrate the exceptional writers behind them. The Tiny Journalist was one of six finalists in the poetry category for the 2019 award. Winners receive a $1000 prize and a commemorative award.
The WLT Book Award winners, finalists, and Discovery Prize winners will be celebrated at the Texas Book Festival, which will take place online this year. Details for the awards ceremony will be announced in October. Visit writersleague.org for more information about this year's winners.