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 read more non-fiction books. She likes a good mystery but is not fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags.

2 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.


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