Urban Classy Book Club Presents Our April Book
The Poet X
Novel by Elizabeth Acevedo
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. But she still 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.
To Be Completed By:
May 15th, 2018
Elizabeth Acevedo holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion as well as a Cave Canem Fellow, CantoMundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Notre Dame Review, Callaloo, Puerto Del Sol, Poet Lore, and Beltway Quarterly. Her manuscript, Blessed Fruit & Other Origin Myths, was a finalist for Yes Yes Books’ chapbook poetry prize and will be published in the fall of 2016. She lives in Washington, D.C.
“A story that will slam the power of poetry and love back into your heart.” (Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and Chains)
“Crackles with energy and snaps with authenticity and voice. Every poem in this stunningly addictive and deliciously rhythmic verse novel begs to be read aloud. Xiomara is a protagonist who readers will cheer for at every turn. As X might say, Acevedo’s got bars. Don’t pass this one by.” (Justina Ireland, author of Dread Nation)
“In The Poet X, Acevedo skillfully sculpts powerful, self-contained poems into a masterpiece of a story, and has amplified the voices of girls en el barrio who are equal parts goddess, saint, warrior, and hero.” (Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street)
“Though vivid with detail about family, love, and culture, The Poet X is more of an exploration of when the poet becomes the poem… Acevedo delivers an incredibly potent debut.” (Jason Reynolds, author of National Book Award Finalist Ghost)
“A glorious achievement. This is a story about what it means to be a writer and how to survive when it feels like the whole world’s turned against you.” (Daniel José Older, author of the Shadowshaper Cypher series)
“A powerful, heartwarming tale of a girl not afraid to reach out and figure out her place in the world.” (Booklist)
★ “Themes as diverse as growing up first-generation American, Latinx culture, sizeism, music, burgeoning sexuality, and the power of the written and spoken word are all explored with nuance. Poignant and real, beautiful and intense.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
★ “Debut novelist Acevedo’s free verse gives Xiomara’s coming-of-age story an undeniable pull, its emotionally charged bluntness reflecting her determination and strength. At its heart, this is a complex and sometimes painful exploration of love in its many forms, with Xiomara’s growing love for herself reigning supreme.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
★ “In nearly every poem, there is at least one universal truth about adolescence, family, gender, race, religion, or sexuality that will have readers either nodding in grateful acknowledgment or blinking away tears.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“The Poet X is beautiful and true—a splendid debut.” (Shelf Awareness)