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Internationally acclaimed poet to open Chippewa Valley Book Festival Oct. 15

| Alison Wagener

Internationally recognized poet Naomi Shihab Nye will speak at the opening event of the Chippewa Valley Book Festival Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The event is a special presentation of UW-Eau Claire’s Forum series.

Nye is a Palestinian-American author of numerous works of poetry, fiction and children’s literature, including her two most recent books, the novel “The Turtle of Oman” and “A Maze Me: Poems for Girls.”

Nye’s presentation, “No One Has Ever Seen Inside This Peanut Before: A Lifetime of Pleasures with Poetry,” will include reading and discussion of a selection of her poetry. A reception will follow the presentation in the Dakota Ballroom of Davies Center. Books will be sold for signing by the speaker during the reception.

Nye has received worldwide attention for her writing, including the prestigious 2013 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, a prize intended to recognize an author of children’s literature whose works contribute to the quality of their readers’ lives. Others considered for the 2013 prize included renowned authors Walter Dean Myers and Lois Lowry, among others.

However, Nye remains modest about her success, referring to herself as a “wandering poet” who explores the world through poetry. She has spent the last 37 years authoring and conducting writing workshops to inspire budding writers around the world.

Nye’s writing reflects her Palestinian roots; her experiences traveling in Asia, Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Middle East; and her wisdom of how people’s lives are shaped by the world around them. While her works vary by genre, they all convey faith in a universally shared humanity.

The UW-Eau Claire Forum Series is funded by the students of UW-Eau Claire. Wisconsin Public Radio and WHYS Radio have contributed promotional support.

This Forum event will be signed for the deaf and hard of hearing. Assistive listening devices and large-print programs are also available upon request.

While admission to Nye’s presentation is free, tickets are required and must be picked up in advance at the UW-Eau Claire Service Center in the east lobby of Davies Center or at the door. Tickets also may be reserved by phone at 715-836-3727. Telephone orders will incur a charge of $1.