“The Poet X” marks the spot

“The Poet X,” by Elizabeth Acevedo, is not your typical novel. This debut novel will give the reader paper cuts from turning the pages so rapidly. It destroys all boundaries in the written world, creating an all-consuming and gripping novel in a new fashion.

Elizabeth Acevedo is a double threat, as she is both an accomplished novelist and poet. The daughter of Dominican immigrants, she is from New York and has two current published collections of poetry, “Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths,” and “Medusa Reads La Negra’s Plan” (forthcoming).

“The Poet X” follows Xiomara, who is growing up in Harlem, N.Y., under the supervision of a very strict, religious mother. She must fight against the traditions and culture of her mother to become the young woman she truly is. The novel covers several themes, including gender roles, culture, religion, the LGBT community, all as a coming-of-age novel.

This read will garner attention from any audience, whether readers are poetry lovers, religious, or those who just want to leave reality for a moment. This novel has the power to keep the reader engrossed until it has been read cover to cover. It is a must-read.

As an example of the flow within the poetic form, here is an excerpt from “In Translation:”

“How your lips are staples
That pierce me quick and hard.
And the words I never say
Are better left on my tongue
Since they would only have slammed
Against the closed door of your back.
Your silence furnishes a dark house.
But even at the risk of burning,
The moth always seeks the light,” (p. 234).

This piece uncovers the relationship Xiomara has with her mother, in which Xiomara is often forced into silence by the foreboding presence of her mother. Still, Xiomara is fighting against her close-minded mother to achieve her dreams and find her authentic self.

Because the book is written in poetry format, it reads rhythmically and easily. The powerful voice of Acevedo shines through the character of Xiomara. At every page, the reader is engaged, intrigued, and craving more.

After reading “The Poet X,” readers will be inspired to chase their own dreams and passions, regardless of any obstacles. The collection will help readers to see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that when all seems lost, a breakthrough may be ahead.

Acevedo has an upcoming novel set to be published on May 7, 2019. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, as well as a Cave Canem Fellow and CantoMundo Fellow.

“The Poet X” can be purchased at Barnes and Noble. To learn more about the author, visit her website, http://www.acevedowrites.com.

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