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The tiny journalist : poems
2019
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  Library Journal Review

National Book Award finalist Nye (19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East) explains that she joined Facebook to follow Janna Jihad Ayyad, who at age seven began documenting antioccupation protests in the occupied West Bank using her mother's smartphone, and this latest collection pays homage to the "youngest journalist in Palestine" while also reflecting on the journalism career of Nye's father and her own writing practices as they relate to her identity as a Palestinian American. From its dedication to "all young people devoted to justice and sharing their voices" all the way through to its final pages, the collection is brave and direct without ever losing the beautiful opacity of poetry. Nye draws on the tools of a poet with her careful deployment of litotes, her formal sophistication, and her economical language, and she counterbalances longer, more narrative poems with concise works that, in their brevity, have an almost atemporal accessibility, as in "No Explosions." VERDICT These are poems to read and reread. They are also reminders that words have power-and that when people use them wisely, as Janna does, we should support their work by listening and truly hearing the truths being bared.-Emily Bowles, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

This latest collection finds the acclaimed Nye (Transfer), daughter of a Palestinian refugee, arguably disproving William Carlos William's adage that "it is difficult to get the news from poems." In 70 lyrical meditations populated by protesters, students, street sweepers, carpet weavers, and others seeking to endure the unendurable, Nye demonstrates poetry's ability to vividly portray the lives behind the headlines. The speakers of these poems are most effective when matter-of-fact: "I knew the man down the alley by the market/ who dragged his leg. He was out there, smoking,/ almost my whole life." Such snapshots immerse the reader in a Palestinian village community, bringing home the devastation of tear gas, bombs, and international indifference. Nye is critical of euphemistic reportage ("''Deadline for Demolition'/ as if cruelty had its own calendar/ a banker or a businessman") and at times plainspoken and aphoristic in the manner of Szymborska, effectively conveying conflict's human cost. In "No Explosions," the speaker observes, "To enjoy/ fireworks/ you would have/ to have lived/ a different kind/ of life." Even when using a more lyrical register, Nye's desire for poetry to break the fourth wall and challenge the reader's complacency is palpable. "When Facebook says I have 'followers,''" she says in the voice of Janna Ayyad, the young Palestinian activist from whose story the collection draws inspiration, "I hope they know I need their help." (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p> "Nye demonstrates poetry's ability to vividly portray the lives behind the headlines." -- Publishers Weekly , starred review </p> <p>Internationally beloved poet Naomi Shihab Nye places her Palestinian American identity center stage in her latest full-length poetry collection for adults. The collection is inspired by the story of Janna Jihad Ayyad, the "Youngest Journalist in Palestine," who at age 7 began capturing videos of anti-occupation protests using her mother's smartphone. Nye draws upon her own family's roots in a West Bank village near Janna's hometown to offer empathy and insight to the young girl's reporting. Long an advocate for peaceful communication across all boundaries, Nye's poems in The Tiny Journalist put a human face on war and the violence that divides us from each other.</p>
Table of Contents
I
Morning Songp. 17
Moon over Gazap. 19
Exotic Animals, Book for Childrenp. 20
Jannap. 21
Separation Wallp. 23
Dareen Said Resistp. 24
In Northern Ireland They Called It "The Troubles"p. 25
How Long?p. 26
For Palestinep. 27
Small Peoplep. 29
Women in Blackp. 30
And That Mysterious Word Holyp. 32
Netanyahup. 33
Studying Englishp. 34
Losing as Its Own Flowerp. 35
Pinkp. 38
Mothers Waiting for Their Sonsp. 39
"Israelis Let Bulldozers Grind to Halt"p. 40
Harvestp. 41
Shadowp. 42
Dead Seap. 43
Tattoop. 44
Sometimes There Is a Dayp. 45
Advicep. 46
America Gives Israel Ten Million Dollars a Dayp. 47
Gratitude Listp. 49
It Was or It Wasn'tp. 50
Gaza Is Not Far Awayp. 51
My Wisdomp. 53
Each Day We Are Given So Many Giftsp. 57
Jerusalemp. 58
Missing Itp. 59
A Person in Northern Irelandp. 60
38 Billionp. 61
Better Visionp. 62
The Space We're Inp. 63
No Explosionsp. 64
II
Facebook Notesp. 67
Mediterranean Bluep. 68
To Netanyahup. 69
Pharmacyp. 70
My Father, on Dialysisp. 71
Blood on All Your Shirtsp. 72
My Immigrant Dad, On Votingp. 73
You Are Your Own State Departmentp. 74
Elementaryp. 76
On the Old Back Canal Road by the International Hotel, Guangzhoup. 78
Gray Road North from Shenzhenp. 79
Stunp. 80
All I Can Dop. 81
In Some Countriesp. 82
Seeing His Facep. 83
Walesp. 84
Peace Talksp. 85
Freedom of Speech (What the head-of-school told me)p. 86
Jerusalem's Smilep. 87
On the Birthday of Dr. Martin Luther Kingp. 88
False Alarm Hawai'ip. 89
A Palestinian Might Sayp. 90
Alien Rescuep. 91
The Sweeperp. 93
Arab Festival T-shirtp. 94
One Small Sack in Syriap. 95
Positivismp. 96
Regretp. 97
Salvationp. 98
The Old Journalist Talks to Jannap. 99
Grandfathers Sayp. 100
The Old Journalist Writes...p. 101
Friendp. 104
Happy Birthdayp. 105
Stay Afloatp. 106
To Sam Maloof's Armchairp. 108
Unforgettablep. 109
Rumor Millp. 110
Patience Conversationsp. 111
Livingp. 113
Tiny Journalist Bluesp. 114
Acknowledgmentsp. 116
About the Authorp. 118
Colophonp. 124
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