Naomi Shihab Nye honored with lifetime achievement award from National Book Critics Circle

Featured Faculty

Jayme Blaschke | January 21, 2020

nye speaking at podium
Poet Naomi Shihab Nye joined Texas State University in 2018 as a professor of creative writing.

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has named Naomi Shihab Nye, a professor of creative writing in the Department of English at Texas State University, recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The Sandrof Award, named after NBCC’s first president, is given to a person or institution — a writer, publisher, critic or editor, among others — who has, over time, made significant contributions to book culture. Previous winners include Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates and Studs Terkel. 

As a poet, novelist and songwriter, Nye has authored or edited more than 30 books, including three novels and 12 collections of poetry. She has won four Pushcart Prizes, the Jane Addams Children's Book Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, and many notable book and best book citations from the American Library Association. She received the Robert Creeley Award in 2013 and received the 2013 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature. 

Her collection of poems for young adults, “Honeybee,” won the 2008 Arab American Book Award in the children’s/young adult category. Her novel for children, “The Turtle of Oman,” was chosen both a Best Book of 2014 by the Horn Book and a 2015 Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association. Nye was named Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation in 2019, and was awarded the 2019 Lon Tinkle Award by the Texas Institute of Letters.

Her most recent collection, “Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners,” was published in 2018.  

The NBCC awards will be presented March 12 at the New School in New York City. The ceremony is free and open to the public. 

For more information, visit

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922