Sunday read: The Poet X

The Poet X is a novel-in-verse by award-winning slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. To truly appreciate it’s beauty you The Poet X should not be read but spoken. Take a look at Acevedo’s video to understand how this beautiful piece of writing was conceived.

Afro-Latina

Xiomara Batista is an Afro-Latina heroine growing up in Harlem. On the streets, she’s learnt to talk with her fists. But her words are bubbling in her. She has plenty to say – her only outlet being the pages of her leather notebook.

The Poet X is a teen drama played out in a world that is not often written about. It’s a world Acevedo is immersed in as a teacher. She wrote this novel for her students who questioned why the texts they were reading at school did not reflect their own lives. The Poet X is an important novel, especially now.

In a world that seeks to silence her, Xiomara feels unheard and isolated. When she is invited to join the slam poetry club at school, it is her a chance to be heard, to share her poetry and break the silence.

But how does she negotiate her Mami’s determination to force her daughter to be a good Christian? How can she be heard without her family finding out?

This is a hard-hitting debut and a welcome voice for the Latina girls of the streets of America.

Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X is published by HarperCollins.

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