Books Lifespan of a Reader Poetry Poetry Friday Young Adult (YA) Literature

[Poetry Friday] Excerpt from Elizabeth Acevedo’s “Poet X”

I was born all the hurricane he needed


Fats here.

Today’s post features an excerpt from a novel-in-verse by slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. The Poet X tells the story of Xiomara Batista, a young Afro-Latina who “feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood.” Deep down, Xiomara has a lot of things to say. Will she be able to let her voice heard?

I marked a few pages from the book but decided to share one that accurately paints a picture of Xiomara. I included the short excerpt below because I like the imagery that Elizabeth Acevedo used. If you haven’t already, check your local library and reserve a copy of The Poet X today!

My brother was birthed a soft whistle:
quiet, barely stirring the air, a gentle sound.
But I was born all the hurricane he needed
to lift—and drop—those that hurt him to the ground.


Poetry Friday is hosted this week
by Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink!


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.

Video courtesy of Epic Reads

Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

3 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Excerpt from Elizabeth Acevedo’s “Poet X”

  1. This is on my to-read list. Looks gorgeous.


  2. Powerful poet! I’ll have to read this book.


  3. Excellent book and excellent performer/writer. I gave that book to a student for free because I saw her in it. She read it and said she saw her whole family in it’s pages.


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