Friday, April 5, 2013

How Far Would You Drive for Poetry?

My answer: Round trip 260 miles. And let me tell you it was well worth the trip.

Today I drove a great distance because I wanted to hear Naomi Shihab Nye present a poetry reading and writer's workshop at a community college in Brainerd. She is a poet, author and songwriter. I have always admired her work and in person I was even more dazzled with her stage presence. Nye captured the audience's attention with her earnestness, self-deprecating humor and writing wisdom as she shared personal stories, experiences and favorite poems with the group.

Nye noted that to be a writer one only needs the simplest of tools; pencil, pencil sharpener and paper to get started. Her words of advice to those in the audience (many were students) that if they really didn't like poetry try to find a poet's voice that speaks to you and go from there. 

Naomi Shihab Nye was born in 1952 to a Palestinian father and an American mother. She regards herself as a “wandering poet” but calls San Antonio her home. She is considered one of the leading female poets of the American Southwest.

Nye’s literary work reflects her travels and her experiences in a family of mixed religion and culture. She explores diversity in all of her poetry and fiction, weaving in personal stories against the background of cultural confrontation. After the World Trade Center attack in 2001, she became an active voice for Arab-Americans speaking out against both terrorism and prejudice.

Nye has edited and written many poetry anthologies. One of her best-known works is The Same Sky, a collection of poems from around the world. She has won numerous awards and fellowships including 4 Pushcart Prizes, Jane Addams Book Award and Paterson Poetry Prize.

The Rider by Naomi Shihab Nye
A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn't catch up to him,

the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.

What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.

A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.                             

Poetry tip for the  day:

Play a game of scrabble and be the first to spell out poetry

Pastry Wrapped Asparagus with Balsamic Dipping Sauce

This recipe is from Country Living  April 2013

It is such an easy appetizer. Check out the link for cooking instructions

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