The Author’s Bookshelf: Elizabeth Acevedo

Poet, novelist, and National Poetry Slam Champion, Elizabeth Acevedo was born and raised in New York City, the only daughter of Dominican immigrants. Her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit. She is the author of the New York Times best selling and award-winning novel, The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018), winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young Adult Fiction and the 2019 Michael L. Printz Award; and the poetry chapbook Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016), a collection of folkloric poems centered on the historical, mythological, gendered and geographic experiences of a first generation American woman. From the border in the Dominican Republic, to the bustling streets of New York City, Acevedo considers how some bodies must walk through the world as beastly beings. How these forgotten myths are both blessing and birthright.

Acevedo is the winner the Horn Book Prize for Fiction and Poetry for The Poet X. The Horn Book Magazine review of the novel calls Acevedo’s debut verse novel “an arresting portrait of a young poet coming into her own.” They write: “Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, whose name means “one who is ready for war,” has been fighting her whole life.… In nearly every poem, there is at least one universal truth about adolescence, family, gender, race, religion, or sexuality that will have readers either nodding in grateful acknowledgment or blinking away tears. ‘It almost feels like / the more I bruise the page / the quicker something inside me heals.’” In another review, Justina Ireland observes: “This book crackles with energy and snaps with authenticity and voice. Every poem in this stunningly addictive and deliciously rhythmic verse novel begs to be read aloud. Xiomara is a protagonist who readers will cheer for at every turn. As X might say, Acevedo’s got bars. Don’t pass this one by.”

Acevedo’s poems have been published or are forthcoming in Poetry, Puerto Del Sol, Callaloo, Poet Lore, The Notre Dame Review, and others. Acevedo is a Cave Canem Fellow, Cantomundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. She’s given TedTalks and has been a featured reader nationally and internationally, including appearance at renowned venues such as The Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, South Africa’s State Theatre, The Bozar in Brussels, the National Library of Kosovo and many others.

Acevedo holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. She resides in Washington, DC with her husband.

More from Elizabeth

Feature! Elizabeth Acevedo Wants You To Read These 32 Books From Her 'Author's Bookshelf' At The Strand Bookstore, Bustle

Books By Elizabeth Acevedo View All

The Poet X


With the Fire on Hight

$9.99 - $17.99

Elizabeth Acevedo’s Bookshelf:


  • An American Marriage

    By Tayari Jones

    Our Price: $8.50 - $15.25
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781616208684
    • Publisher: Algonquin Books
    • Published: February 2019
  • Another Brooklyn: A Novel

    By Jacqueline Woodson

    Our Price: $7.50 - $15.29
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780062359995
    • Publisher: Amistad, HarperCollins
    • Published: May 2017
  • Build Yourself a Boat

    By Camonghne Felix

    Our Price: $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781608466115
    • Publisher: Haymarket Books
    • Published: April 2019
  • Counting Descent

    By Clint Smith

    Our Price: $13.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781938912658
    • Publisher: Write Bloody Publishing
    • Published: September 2016
  • Dear Martin

    By Nic Stone

    Our Price: $9.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781101939529
    • Publisher: Ember
    • Published: September 2018
    Raw, captivating, and undeniably real--Stone boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut--a "New York Times" bestseller and William C. Morris Award Finalist. "Painfully timely and deeply moving."DJodi Picoult, #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author
  • Difficult Women

    By Roxane Gay

    Our Price: $8.00 - $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780802127372
    • Publisher: Grove Press
    • Published: November 2017
  • Down These Mean Streets

    By Piri Thomas

    Our Price: $6.95 - $14.35
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780679781424
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: November 1997
    Thirty years ago Piri Thomas made literary history with this lacerating, lyrical memoir of his coming of age on the streets of Spanish Harlem. Here was the testament of a born outsider: a Puerto Rican in English-speaking America; a dark-skinned morenito in a family that refused to acknowledge its African blood. Here was an unsparing document of Thomas's plunge into the deadly consolations of drugs, street fighting, and armed robbery--a descent that ended when the twenty-two-year-old Piri was sent to prison for shooting a cop. As he recounts the journey that took him from adolescence in El Barrio to a lock-up in Sing Sing to the freedom that comes of self-acceptance, faith, and inner confidence, Piri Thomas gives us a book that is as exultant as it is harrowing and whose every page bears the irrepressible rhythm of its author's voice. Thirty years after its first appearance, this classic of manhood, marginalization, survival, and transcendence is available in an anniversary edition with a new Introduction by the author. 352p.
  • Electric Arches

    By Eve L. Ewing

    Our Price: $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781608468560
    • Publisher: Haymarket Books
    • Published: September 2017
  • Friday Black

    By Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

    Our Price: $13.49 - $14.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781328911247
    • Publisher: Mariner Books
    • Published: October 2018
  • Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980

    By Lucille Clifton

    Our Price: $17.95
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780918526595
    • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
    • Published: November 1987
    A collection of poems focusing on the life of the author
  • Heavy: An American Memoir

    By Kiese Laymon

    Our Price: $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781501125669
    • Publisher: Scribner
    • Published: March 2019
  • I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

    By Erika L. Sanchez

    Our Price: $6.00 - $11.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781524700515
    • Publisher: Ember
    • Published: March 2019
  • If They Come for Us: Poems

    By Fatimah Asghar

    Our Price: $16.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780525509783
    • Publisher: One World
    • Published: August 2018
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

    By Bryan Stevenson

    Our Price: $15.30
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780812984965
    • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
    • Published: August 2015
    The executive director of a social advocacy group that has helped relieve condemned prisoners explains why justice and mercy must go hand-in-hand through the story of Walter McMillian, a man condemned to death row for a murder he didn't commit. 30,000 first printing.
  • Let It Rain Coffee

    By Angie Cruz

    Our Price: $18.85
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780743212045
    • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    • Published: April 2006
    Leaving her home in the Dominican Republic to pursue the glamorous American lifestyle, Esperanza struggles with the realities of everyday hardships in a cramped apartment where she lives with her husband, children, and critical father-in-law, who blames her for her family's ties to Trujillo's regime. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.