Elizabeth Acevedo

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Elizabeth Acevedo
D03 9515 Elizabeth Acevedo.jpg
BornNew York, NY
CitizenshipDominican Republic
Alma materGeorge Washington University
University of Maryland
Notable awardsNational Book Award
Carnegie Medal

Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and author.[1] She is the author of The Poet X and With the Fire on High. The Poet X is a New York Times Bestseller,[2] National Book Award Winner,[3] and Carnegie Medal winner.[4] She is also the winner of the 2018 Michael L. Printz Award, the 2018 Pura Belpre Award, and the Boston-Globe Hornbook Award Prize for Best Children’s Fiction of 2018. She lives in Washington, DC.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Acevedo was born to Dominican immigrants and raised in New York.[1] She is the youngest child and only daughter.[6] By the age of 12, Elizabeth decided she wanted to be a rapper, but then quickly realized what she really wanted to do was perform poetry. At the age of 14, she competed on her first poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and then participated in open mics around the city, in such as venues Bowery Poetry Club and Urban Word NYC.[7] She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts at George Washington University and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Acevedo identifies as Afro-Latina.[9][1] Although raised Catholic, she no longer practices the religion.[10] Currently, she lives in Washington, D.C. with her partner.[7]


Following graduation from George Washington University, Acevedo went into the classroom as a 2010 Teach for America Corps participant. She taught eighth grade in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

She is a previous National Slam Champion, as well as former head coach for the D.C. Youth Slam Team.[11] She has performed at Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, South Africa’s State Theatre, Bozar in Brussels, and the National Library of Kosovo. She has also delivered several TED Talks, and her masterful poetry videos have been featured in Latina Magazine, Cosmopolitan,the Huffington Post, and Upworthy.

She is also the author of three young adult novels. Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths was published in 2016 and was a finalist for YesYes Chapbook Prize.[11]

The Poet X is a New York Times Bestseller.[12] The novel also won the 2018 Boston GlobeHorn Book Award,[13] the Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature[14] in the Teen category, the Michael L. Printz Award,[15] and the 2018 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.[16] It was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize.[17] The book highlights the struggles of growing up as a Latinx girl dealing with her sexuality and religion, and finding her own voice.

With the Fire on High is Acevedo's third novel, released in May 2019.[18] Her fourth, Clap When You Land, has been accepted for publication. It is about two sisters who grow up unaware of each other while living in different countries but who learn of each other after their father dies.[19]

Acevedo is both a CantoMundo fellow[20] and Cave Canem fellow.[20] Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming from Poetry, Puerto Del Sol, Callaloo, and The Notre Dame Review, among others.

She also works as a visiting instructor at an adjudicated youth center in Washington, DC, where she works with incarcerated women and with teenagers.[2]

Critical Response[edit]

Kirkus Reviews describes Poet X as “Poignant and real; beautiful & intense.” [21]

Cleyvis Natera's review of Poet X for Aster(ix) Journal relates to the main character, Xiomara. Natera writes that Poet X is relatable to teenage girls dealing with their first love and strict parents that just don't understand, and who are finding themselves or growing into the person that they’re meant to be. She urges its readers to buy the book.[22]


As writer[edit]

Young adult novels[edit]

  • Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) ISBN 9781936919451, OCLC 971187873
  • The Poet X (HarperTeen, 2018) ISBN 9780062662804, OCLC 989963667
  • With the Fire on High (HarperTeen, 2019) ISBN 9780062662835, OCLC 1099435562


  • "Hair" (2014)
  • "Afro-Latina" (2015)

In anthologies[edit]

As audiobook narrator[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "EXCLUSIVE: Afro-Latina Slam Poet, Elizabeth Acevedo, Debuts First Novel 'Poet X'". LATINA. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  2. ^ a b "Young Adult Hardcover Books - Best Sellers - April 22, 2018 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  3. ^ "Young Adult Hardcover Books - Best Sellers - April 22, 2018 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  4. ^ "The Poet X". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2019-09-28.
  5. ^ "About". Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  6. ^ "Biography". Elizabeth Acevedo. 2018-02-07. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  7. ^ a b "Elizabeth Acevedo". The Author Village. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  8. ^ Rock, Blog This (2014-04-11). "Split This Rock: Poem of the Week: Elizabeth Acevedo". Split This Rock. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  9. ^ "Elizabeth Acevedo's 'The Poet X' An Ode To Black Latinas: Interview". Vibe. 2018-03-15. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  10. ^ "Think you're not a poetry person? Let Elizabeth Acevedo change your mind". America Magazine. Mar 2, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  11. ^ a b "LIZ ACEVEDO—EMERITUS | PROJECT VOICE". www.projectvoice.co. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  12. ^ "Young Adult Hardcover Books - Best Sellers - April 22, 2018 - The New York Times". Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  13. ^ "Presenting the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners". The Horn Book. 2018-05-31. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  14. ^ "WNDB Announces the 2019 Walter Award Winners & Honorees!". We Need Diverse Books. 2019-01-14. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  15. ^ admin (2007-03-15). "Michael L. Printz Winners and Honor Books". Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  16. ^ "National Book Foundation - 2018 National Book Awards". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  17. ^ "The 2018 Kirkus Prize Finalists (pg. 18)". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  18. ^ "Exclusive: 'The Poet X' breakout author Elizabeth Acevedo previews her next book". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  19. ^ "Portrait Of: Elizabeth Acevedo". LatinoUSA.org. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  20. ^ a b "Spoken word poet Elizabeth Acevedo issues a challenge to rape culture". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  21. ^ "THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo". Kirkus Reviews.
  22. ^ Natera, Cleyvis. "Voice Thundering: A Review of The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo". Aster(ix) Journal. Retrieved 2019-06-03.

External links[edit]