Gannon University celebrated its 37Th Annual English Awards Night Thursday, in the Yehl Ballroom of the Waldron Campus Center. Award-winning writer and poet Naomi Shihab Nye will be the guest speaker.

English Awards Night honors the winners of national and Erie County high school poetry contests sponsored by the University, as well as the poetry, journalism and research writing contests for Gannon students.

Nye has written or edited more than 30 books of poetry, fiction, essays and children’s books. She has been a recipient of the Lavan Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, four Pushcart Prizes, two Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards and the Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature.

Born to a Palestinian father and an American mother, Nye has led workshops around the world and served in the Middle East and Asia for the United States Information Agency, promoting international goodwill through the arts.

The new edition of Gannon’s award-winning “Totem,” the student-produced literary arts magazine, was unveiled at the event as well. The 2013 edition of “Totem” received two ADDY awards, a gold ADDY for collateral material, publication design-book design and an ADDY for printing excellence at last week’s Erie Ad Club awards show.

Berwyn Moore, professor in the English department and adviser to “Totem,” said that the event is a great way to commemorate students’ accomplishments and share in Nye’s poetry.

“Students will be honored for their accomplishments in writing poetry, journalism, and research,” Moore said. “This event, which is free and open to all, will feature a reading by Naomi Shihab Nye, a writer who is renowned known for her generous spirit, distinctive voice, and precis -and surprising-use of imagery.”