Blog Tour: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (+Giveaway)

Hello, book lovers! Welcome to a new week with a spectacular read to start it with! Unfortunately I couldn’t read the book because it was an eBook and my eReader is broken, so today I’m hosting an Excerpt instead! I can’t wait to read this in physical form when I can.

Title: The Poet X

Author:  Elizabeth Acevedo

Published: March 6th, 2018

Publisher: HarperTEEN

Find the Author: Goodreads 

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A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet 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, 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.


The summer is made for stoop-sitting
and since it’s the last week before school starts,
Harlem is opening its eyes to September.
I scope out this block I’ve always called home.
Watch the old church ladies, chancletas flapping against the pavement,
their mouths letting loose a train of island Spanish as they spread he said, she said.
Peep Papote from down the block as he opens the fire hydrant
so the little kids have a sprinkler to run through.
Listen to honking gypsy cabs with bachata blaring from their open windows
compete with basketballs echoing from the Little Park.
Laugh at the viejos—my father not included—
finishing their dominoes tournament with hard slaps and yells of “Capicu!”
Shake my head as even the drug dealers posted up near the building
smile more in the summer, their hard scowls softening
into glue-eyed stares in the direction of the girls in summer dresses and short shorts:
“Ayo, Xiomara, you need to start wearing dresses like that!”
“Shit, you’d be wifed up before going back to school.”
“Especially knowing you church girls are all freaks.”
But I ignore their taunts, enjoy this last bit of freedom,
and wait for the long shadows to tell me
when Mami is almost home from work,
when it’s time to sneak upstairs.

I am unhide-able.
Taller than even my father, with what Mami has always said
was “a little too much body for such a young girl.”
I am the baby fat that settled into D-cups and swinging hips
so that the boys who called me a whale in middle school
now ask me to send them pictures of myself in a thong.
The other girls call me conceited. Ho. Thot. Fast.
When your body takes up more room than your voice
you are always the target of well-aimed rumors,
which is why I let my knuckles talk for me.
Which is why I learned to shrug when my name was replaced by insults.
I’ve forced my skin just as thick as I am.

Mira, Muchacha
Is Mami’s favorite way to start a sentence
and I know I’ve already done something wrong
when she hits me with that beginning: “Look, girl…”
This time it’s “Mira, muchacha, Marina from across the street
told me you were on the stoop again talking to los vendedores.”
Like usual, I bite my tongue and don’t correct her,
because I hadn’t been talking to the drug dealers,
they’d been talking to me. But she says she doesn’t
want any conversation between me and those boys,
and she better not hear about me hanging out
like a wet shirt on a clothesline just waiting to be worn
or she would go ahead and be the one to wring my neck.
“Oíste?” she asks, but walks away before I can answer.
Sometimes I want to tell her, the only person in this house
who isn’t heard is me.


To win a copy of The Poet X, open Internationally, click here!

Author Bio
ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is the youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants. 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 fourteen years of performance poetry experience, Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Cave Canem Fellow, CantoMundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. She has two collections of poetry, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) and winner of the 2016 Berkshire Prize, Medusa Reads La Negra’s Palm (Tupelo Press, forthcoming). The Poet X is her debut novel. She lives with her partner in Washington, DC.

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