The Poet X
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.
The Poet X
The Poet X felt like coming home. I felt the presence of the bodegas as if I walked by them with my own two feet. I could almost hear the music, that plays from the speakers of a car that sits on the corner of the block--while the guys man the corner like the police, and the girls pretend not to notice them from the stoop of their building. It's NY personified--and not much has changed.
This book is a reflection of a child hood I've lived, in a similar fashion. I felt Xiomara's character as if it were something written by my own hand--because a lot of what she goes through, what she felt, what she does and doesn't say--is an accurate depiction of some of the ways I've felt, and continue to feel--written in short, succinct, purposeful and poetic prose.
The Poet X is one of those books that read you. You don't read it.
Disturbing, and impressive, The Poet X--is a stellar, and meaningful read. It rattled me, and encouraged me.
My one hope coming out of this, is that this book can fall into the hands of someone--that could be just as affected--thoroughly, and completely.
Acevedo, does a stellar job of reminding us of the both the purposefulness, of words if you listen, really listen--and the powerlessness of them, if you ignore--or silence them.
It's a reminder that you matter, you matter, you matter.