The Norman Transcript

University

November 1, 2013

NSK Neustadt speakers discuss love of poetry

NORMAN — Naomi Shihab Nye, NSK Neustadt Prize laureate, and Ibtisam Barakat, NSK Neustadt Prize juror, spoke Thursday at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History of their craft and poetry’s ability to connect with readers by its brevity and subtly.

Nye is an American author with Palestinian roots on her father’s side. She is celebrated for her sensitivity to difficult and culturally based social issues, such as the post-Sept. 11 treatment of Arab Americans in the United States.

Nye has published several collections of poetry for adults and children, including “Yellow Glove,” “Fuel,” “19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East” and “Habibi.”

Barakat’s memoir, “Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood,” is about being a child in war and living under occupation. It has won more than 20 awards and honors, including the International Reading Association’s Best Non-Fiction for Young Adults and the Middle East Council’s Best Literary Book.

To begin the event, Pioneer Library staff members Valerie Kimble, Leah Kenton-McGaha and Alex Batchelor read an excerpt from Nye’s work about a teenage American girl who moves to Palestine and some of Nye’s poetry, including “Torn Map.”

“Once by mistake she tore a map. In half. She taped it back together. But crookedly. Now all the roads end in water. There were mountains right next to her hometown. Wouldn’t it be nice if it were true? I’d tear a map and be right next to you,” Kimble said as she recited Nye’s poem.

“I love the brevity of a poem,” Nye said. “It speaks of our time.”

Nye and Barakat went on to discuss how poetry leads and trusts a reader; it doesn’t tell them what to think or know.

“I liked poetry because it trusted that I had a brain. That it didn’t explain; it just gave me the idea,” Nye said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
University
  • Holocaust survivor tells her story

    Eva Unterman saw black boots, guns and dogs. She did not understand the yelling or the violence. A young girl of 7, she only saw monsters in SS officers. Unterman did not understand until she was older that those SS officers were actually ...

    April 25, 2014

  • Forum teaches community about culture

    As strangers sat casually at round tables, the conversations heard at each were difficult for those speaking, but attendees at the University of Oklahoma’s Teach-In on Race on Wednesday kept talking as they chose to educate, agitate, ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Water carry 5 Water Walk opens discussion about difficulties in obtaining safe H2O

    With large white plastic buckets upon their heads, two gallons of water sloshed to the brim and over the side, but the students trudged on down the South Oval. The farthest feat was to the Seed Sower, and as the sun glared down, heat ...

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Contemporary Dance Oklahoma to perform at OU

    The University of Oklahoma University Theatre and School of Dance will present Contemporary Dance Oklahoma, a mixed program of new choreography, works from the CDO repertory and guest choreographer Jessica Lang’s “A Solo in Nine Parts.” ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Brad Burnett receives the 2014 Regents’ Award for Superior Staff

    Brad Burnett, University of Oklahoma associate vice president for enrollment and student financial services, has been selected as the 2014 Regents’ Award for Superior Staff on the OU Norman campus. In the nomination letter written by his ...

    April 23, 2014

  • OU College of Architecture explores new service learning opportunity in Zambia

    The University of Oklahoma College of Architecture is exploring new ways to help students gain unique experiences through study-abroad opportunities. To complement the successful Sooners in Rome program — a semester-long study in an ...

    April 22, 2014

  • OU Faculty Senate adopts resolution against guns on campus

    The University of Oklahoma Norman campus Faculty Senate recently approved a resolution opposing the presence of firearms on campus, other than those of duly authorized law enforcement officials.  The resolution states that faculty members ...

    April 22, 2014

  • OU no longer accepts AP Statistics for course

    The University of Oklahoma recently made a change in credit opportunities that may affect Norman Public Schools’ students who plan to take the Advanced Placement exam for statistics. The AP statistics exam will no longer be accepted as ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Five receive honorary degrees

    Four individuals will join University of Oklahoma Commencement speaker Wendy Kopp, CEO and co-founder of Teach For All, and Founder and chair of Teach For America, in being awarded honorary degrees at OU’s 2014 Commencement Ceremony, ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Sooner awarded Truman Scholarship

    A University of Oklahoma National Merit Scholar and Honors student has been selected as a recipient of the Truman Scholarship. Alexis Taitel won the prestigious award based on her leadership potential, intellectual ability and the ...

    April 21, 2014