For 2010

Honeybee by Naomi Shihab Nye

Published by Greenwillow Books

Honey. Beeswax. Pollinate. Hive. Colony. Work. Dance. Communicate. Industrious. Buzz. Sting. Cooperate.

Where would we be without them? Where would we be without one another?

In eighty-two poems and paragraphs, Naomi Shihab Nye alights on the essentials of our time—our loved ones, our dense air, our wars, our memories, our planet—and leaves us feeling curiously sweeter and profoundly soothed.

Bees, Nye contends, could clearly teach us humans a thing or two. HONEYBEE is a rallying cry for us to rediscover interconnectedness, strong community, and honest communication—a call for us to discover ourselves and the wonder of the world we live in.

The NCV Foundation selects Honeybee for the 2010 Storylines Award for its profound vision, beautiful insight, and elegant prose.  The book invokes critical thinking, joyous laughter, and a humane view of the universe.  Once again, the powerful, vital words of Naomi Shihab Nye elevate readers and bring us all closer together.

Naomi Shihab Nye is the Storylines Award recipient and student submission judge for 2010.

She is the author of numerous books of poems, including You and Yours (2005), which received the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, as well as 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East (2002), a collection of new and selected poems about the Middle East, Fuel (1998), Red Suitcase (1994), and Hugging the Jukebox (1982).  Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit. About her work, the poet William Stafford has said, “her 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.” 

She has edited many anthologies of poems, for audiences both young and old. One of the best-known is This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from around the World, which contains translated work by 129 poets from 68 different countries.

Nye has received awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Carity Randall Prize, the International Poetry Forum, as well as four Pushcart Prizes, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and many notable book and best book citations from the American Library Association.  She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Wittner Bynner Fellow. In 1988 she received The Academy of American Poets’ Lavan Award, selected by W. S. Merwin.

Nye has traveled to the Middle East and Asia for the United States Information Agency three times, promoting international goodwill through the arts.  Today, she lives in San Antonio, Texas with her family. She characterizes herself as a “wandering poet,” and says that much of her poetry is inspired by her childhood memories and her travels. She was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2010.