A couple of years ago — almost exactly — I got invited to visit a classroom of Emirti women who were studying young adult lit in Abu Dhabi. They were working on writing a children’s story, and the teacher wanted me to talk to them about creative writing and to walk them through some exercises. But I also found out they were reading Naomi Shihab Nye’s novel Habibi, and on a whim, I contacted the author. (She lives in San Antonio, near where I grew up. I liked to think we shared something.) To my great delight, she replied, and we swapped a few emails about writing and what the Emirati women were working on. I found Nye beautifully generous and encouraging.
You should read this poem, “A Well Traveled Woman,” that is going viral. You can see her generosity, and her beauty.
One thought on “You need to read this poem”
I do love the poem. It has the same narrative quality that I find in your writing (though your fiction and her poetry are different in so many other ways). Some poems teeter on the edge of prose; the register and lexicon of this poem is very prose-like, and indeed if she set it in paragraphs instead of lines it could pass as prose. But it just… isn’t! It’s poetry, and that’s that. 🙂