El Centro > Common Book > The Poet X - Spring 2019

The Poet X - Spring 2019

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother's religion and her own relationship to the world.


Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.


But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami's determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.


So when she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she doesn't know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can't stop thinking about performing her poems.


Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.


Elizabeth Acevedo is the New York Times best selling author of the award-winning novel, The Poet X. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion, winner of the National Book Award, and winner of the Boston Globe Hornbook Award Prize for Best Children's Fiction of 2018.


Elizabeth hails from New York City and is the youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants. Currently, she resides in Washington, DC with her partner.