The Poet X
Electric Monkey (12+)
Xiomara is proud, strong and creative. She stoop-sits and watches life as it unfolds and unravels in her Harlem neighbourhood, storing up stories and images for her slam poetry. She is an artist in the making, who scopes out the world around her and tries to make sense of where she fits within her family and community. A devout, zealous mother, a secretive twin brother and a father who is largely absent all come under her scrutiny. When Xiomara falls in love for the first time, she not only has to hide her writing but her feelings. The devastating consequences of living a lie resound throughout this compelling debut novel.
Powerful, vibrant writing gives this verse narrative a sense of authentic voice. Xiomara comes alive on each page in a way which is compelling and full of tenderness. Her shame, defiance, passion and protectiveness are expressed in the only way she knows – through her treasured notebook of poetry. Xio is “brava” in every sense: fierce and tenacious. She launches herself into life battle-ready and the structure of the novel underpins this. Every poem in this stunning novel expertly peels back another layer in the life of a remarkable girl who tries to break the cycle, to find a way beyond using knuckles and anger.
Elizabeth Acevedo was born and raised in New York City and her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over twelve years of performance experience, Acevedo has been a featured performer on BET and Mun2, as well as delivered several TED Talks. She has performed internationally, and she has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Elle, HuffPost and Teen Vogue. Acevedo is a National Slam Champion, Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C, where she lives and works.