Poetry Friday: Celebrating Naomi Shihab Nye, Young People’s Poet Laureate

Mary Lee Hahn at A Year of Reading has all the poetry goodness of the world. This week many in the Poetry Friday Literasphere are celebrating our new Young People’s Poet Laureate, Naomi Shihab Nye.

I was thrilled to hear of Naomi’s appointment. She’s been a mentor for me since the late 80’s when she taught a poetry class for a week. It was magical. Below are the numerous posts I’ve had on either this blog or CHECK IT OUT.

At the March AWP conference, I discovered this new book by Nye, THE TINY JOURNALIST.

It’s a collection of poems that reflect her father’s experience of being a Palestinian refugee from Jerusalem, Nye’s ongoing research and personal experiences along with channeling( Nye says she’s imagining Jann’a circumstances via Facebook postings) Janna Jihad Ayyad, the tiny journalist.

Ayyad is the world’s youngest registered journalist. You can find and follow her through Facebook.

I’m sharing two snippets from each section here.

The book opens:

Morning Song For Janna

“The tiny journalist
will tell us what she sees.

Document the moves, the dust
soldiers blocking the road…”


And then there is the poem

Gratitude List

“Thank you for insulting me.
You helped me see how much I was worth.

Thank you for overlooking my humanity.
In that moment I gained power…


(P. 49)

Part II

Facebook Notes

“Many say to Janna,Take care of yourself.
We are praying for you. Janna, you are so brave.
You run outside, our spirits go with you.

Others say you are too young to do this on your own…

(P. 67)

And the book ends with this poem.

Tiny Journalist Blues

Nothing to give you
that you would want.

Nothing big enough
but freedom.

(P. 114)

It’s a book that everyone should read. Poignant, present, and powerful.

A response found haiku:

Tiny journalist
what does she see? Tell us.
soldiers, guns, dust

humanity ignored
Too brave, young
my worth is power

Amid mint,

Lemons, and almonds
for freedom

~jone rush macculloch (2019, draft)

Other Naomi Shihab Nye posts:

Poetic Form Challenge

Nye Golden Shovels

Naomi Shihab Nye


DMC Nye Challenge

Arbuthnot Lecture

Voices in the Air

Because of Libraries

Poetry Collages

New Book by Naomi Shihab Nye

Love Edition

Poem for These Times

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12 Responses to Poetry Friday: Celebrating Naomi Shihab Nye, Young People’s Poet Laureate

  1. Hello dear Jone. Appreciations for this generous NSH tribute page. And also for her & your introduction to Ms. Jana Jihad, the young journalist in Palestine. I am so grateful to you for collecting your links. And how nourishing that you experienced a weeklong class. I’m thinking one of these links today is about that experience. Such spark. Such opportunity. Jealous in the best way.

  2. Tara Smith says:

    Thanks for sharing these poetry goodies, Jone – so much to love about Nye!

  3. Thanks for sharing “The Tiny Journalist Jone. I like your response haikus to them especially, “Lemons, and almonds
    for freedom”

  4. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    Thanks for the peek, Jone! Another to look forward to diving into.

  5. margaretsmn says:

    Book ordered! Thanks for this post. I am amazed by the work of Naomi. I had the privilege of being in an intimate workshop with her a few years ago. She’s the perfect choice for our new Young People’s Poet.

  6. cweichel says:

    Thanks for educating me about Janna Jihad Ayyad. What is going on in Palestine is a nightmare.

  7. haitiruth says:

    Can’t wait to check out this new book! Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

  8. Linda Mitchell says:

    Jone, this post (and all the linked posts) are a wealth of NSN goodness. I must get The Tiny Journalist. My heart hurts thinking about it. But, I refuse to look away. How special that you got to take that class. You have also been mentor to so many, many, many, many. I am grateful.

  9. maryleehahn says:

    This book is on order from the library in 3, 2, 1…click! Thanks for the heads up — it sounds amazing! Janna sounds amazing!

  10. lindabaie says:

    Thank you for sharing about The Tiny Journalist, Jone. It is new to me & I will look for it & her!

  11. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Long Lost Treasures – Check It Out

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