Naomi Shihab Nye: A Border-Crossing Voice

  • Anan Alkass Yousif University of Baghdad


The author writes: Acknowledging her Palestinian and American origins, Naomi Shihab Nye (1952–) once said: “I didn’t fear differences. In fact, I loved them. This is one of the best things about growing up in a mixed family or community.” 1 Being born to a Palestinian father and an American mother, she came to be multiculturally oriented. For the past decades, Nye has gained great recognition for her poetry and prose writings about cultural differences, heritage, and peace. Her wide and multiple perspectives of a world of various ethnic traditions were crucial not only to her poetic groundwork for a new network of human relations but also to her interest in the multifaceted identities of people. It is the purpose of this article to explore Nye’s poetic voice that pursues to cross the cultural divide, arguing that the poet’s Arab-American lineage is the very means by which to implement a language of communion, not a language of division.