Naomi Shihab Nye was Shangri La’s Artist in Residence in 2016. She and her husband, Michael, lived in Shangri La's playhouse for a month in the summer of that year.
Naomi, an award-winning poet, editor and professor, recently inquired if Shangri La still had her “little chapbook of poems.” When we asked her to describe it greater detail, she guided us to look for a “sheaf of handmade papers, on which I hand-copied my poems for Doris which I wrote during that month.”
Naomi told us said she was “taken with the great creative spirit of Doris Duke and a project of immense beauty and vision which took so long to develop and was never quite finished, as creative projects never are. I wanted to honor that.”
Shortly after, Naylor Finnerty, a Shangri La Public Engagement Assistant, found “Poems in Progress” tucked away in the library. The staff has been passing it around ever since, in awe and appreciation.
Naomi obliged us in answering a few questions…