Nye was born on March 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, to an American mother and a Palestinian father. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, Jerusalem, Israel, and Texas. Both roots and sense of place are themes in her works. In a PBS interview with Bill Moyers, Naomi Shihab Nye said: “You know during the Gulf War I remember two little third-grade girls saying to me—after I read them some poems by writers in Iraq—You know we never thought about there being children in Iraq before. And I thought, ‘Well those poems did their job, because now they’ll think about everything a little bit differently.’ They’ll feel closer to that place in a different way.”
This Same Sky contains works by 129 different poets from sixty-eight different countries. The anthology’s title comes from the poem “Under This Sky” from Bangladesh (the poet is comforted that we are all “under the same sky”). It and Once I got a postcard from Estonia set the tone for the poems chosen for this collection. “This poet compares exotic cultures to poetry and says that things that seem very exotic are actually very ordinary, close up. You will find in this collection some exotic sights and sounds and smells, but you will also find thoughts and feelings that you have experienced yourself, in your own culture. We are in some ways all the same, while in other ways we are very different. We can celebrate both our common nature and our different expressions of it, in poetry!”—Brenda S. Cox
This edition includes notes on the poets, world map, suggestions for further reading, and indexes to poets and countries. This is part of Hewitt’s Lightning Literature & Composition curriculum.