Elizabeth Acevedo Wins National Book Award for Young People’s Literature With Debut Novel ‘The Poet X’

Nov 15, 2018
4:00 PM

On Wednesday night, Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut novel The Poet X was named the winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The Poet X, written entirely in prose, is the story of a 15-year-old Dominican-American named Xiomara, who finds her voice through poetry. In the book, Xiomara struggles with being heard as she deals with body issues, her mother’s strict religious practice, and her relationship with her twin brother.

Poetry becomes her solace.

“Thank you to my family, to my homies, to my hood. I want to give thanks to my ancestors who are the reason I’m here,” Acevedo said during her acceptance speech.

This is a tremendous win for the AfroLatinas and Dominicanas everywhere who found themselves in the story of young Xiomara. Acevedo is herself a Dominican-American poet who’s been writing for over 14 years. The Poet X is also a New York Times Bestseller, and Acevedo’s second book. Her first was a poetry collection titled Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths. Her second novel, With the Fire on High, is set to be released in May of 2019.

Here are some reactions to last night’s win: