Naomi Shihab Nye
This is the reading I didn't want to tell anyone about for fear it would be packed—Naomi Shihab Nye at the historic Longfellow House in Cambridge on the first nice day after a week on rain. Who wouldn't want to enjoy her words on a billowy, 80-degree afternoon?
As you might imagine, the event was standing room only, but I would expect nothing less from the author of more than 25 books. Naomi was the 2011 recipient of the Golden Rose Award from the New England Poetry Club. She was visibly moved by being added to the impressive list of recipients, and reading at Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's house clearly meant a lot to her.
Naomi not only read her poetry but also from a variety of other poets, including a five-year-old poet who wrote a poem about presidents and planets (now that’s a combination!). As someone who writes about the extraordinary in the everyday, her poetry speaks to me in a way that I can’t adequately explain. She has always been one of my influences, and her words I consider a wellspring. Naomi always extends her generous and open spirit through before a crowd. I think her poems ultimately point out the common good in us all. She reminds us to think about the larger world and our place in it.
At the book signing, I was able to thank Naomi for her words, slip her a copy of Underlife, and snap this photo. *smile*