Naomi Shihab Nye was born on March 12, 1952, in St. Louis, to a Palestinian father and an American mother. During her high school years, she lived in Ramallah in Jordan, the Old City in Jerusalem, and San Antonio, Texas, where she later received her BA in English and world religions from Trinity University.
Nye gives voice to her experience as an Arab-American through poems about heritage and peace that overflow with a humanitarian spirit. Her poems and short stories have appeared in various journals and reviews throughout North America, Europe, and the Middle and Far East. She has traveled to the Middle East and Asia for the United States Information Agency three times, promoting international goodwill through the arts.
Nye has received awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Carity Randall Prize, the International Poetry Forum, as well as four Pushcart Prizes. She has been a Lannan Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a Wittner Bynner Fellow. In 1988 she received The Academy of American Poets' Lavan Award, selected by W. S. Merwin. She currently lives in San Antonio, Texas.