The Poet X (hannah)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is about a girl’s discovery of slam poetry “as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world.” The main character, Xiomara Batista, feels unheard and unable to hide in her home of Harlem. “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…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, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she 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” (from Acevedo’s website).

A National Book Award winner, this novel – written in poetry rather than prose – examines themes of religion, sexuality, immigration, and culture. In this class, we will read, discuss, analyze, and write about the book, including writing poems of our own.

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