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:


  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

    By Bryan Stevenson

    Our Price: $14.40
    • 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.
  • No Matter the Wreckage

    By Sarah Kay

    Our Price: $13.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781938912481
    • Publisher: Write Bloody Publishing
    • Published: March 2014
  • Not Here

    By Hieu Minh Nguyen

    Our Price: $15.29
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781566895095
    • Publisher: Coffee House Press
    • Published: April 2018
  • On The Come Up (Garden Heights: Book 2)

    By Angie Thomas

    Our Price: $9.50 - $18.99
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780062498564
    • Publisher: Balzer + Bray
    • Published: February 2019
  • Shout

    By Laurie Halse Anderson

    Our Price: $9.00 - $17.99
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780670012107
    • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
    • Published: March 2019
  • Soledad

    By Angie Cruz

    Our Price: $9.00 - $15.25
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780743212021
    • Publisher: Scribner
    • Published: 2002
    At eighteen, Soledad couldn't get away fast enough from her contentious family with their endless tragedies and petty fights. Two years later, she's an art student at Cooper Union with a gallery job and a hip East Village walk-up. But when Tía Gorda calls with the news that Soledad's mother has lapsed into an emotional coma, she insists that Soledad's return is the only cure. Fighting the memories of open hydrants, leering men, and slick-skinned teen girls with raunchy mouths and snapping gum, Soledad moves home to West 164th Street. As she tries to tame her cousin Flaca's raucous behavior and to resist falling for Richie -- a soulful, intense man from the neighborhood -- she also faces the greatest challenge of her life: confronting the ghosts from her mother's past and salvaging their damaged relationship. Evocative and wise, Soledad is a wondrous story of culture and chaos, family and integrity, myth and mysticism, from a Latina literary light.
  • Song of the Water Saints

    By Nelly Rosario

    Our Price: $15.00
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780375725494
    • Publisher: Vintage Books
    • Published: September 2003
  • The Boy in the Black Suit

    By Jason Reynolds

    Our Price: $11.99
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781442459519
    • Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
    • Published: August 2016
  • The Closest I've Come

    By Fred Aceves

    Our Price: $17.99
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780062488534
    • Publisher: HarperTeen
    • Published: November 2017
    A talented debut author presents a raw and funny novel that is at once heartbreaking and heartwarming, with a story about traversing real and imagined boundaries, about discovering new things in the world, and about discovering one's self. 5 1/2 x 8 5/16
  • The Crown Ain't Worth Much

    By Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib

    Our Price: $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781943735044
    • Publisher: Button Poetry
    • Published: July 2016
  • The January Children (African Poetry Book Series)

    By Safia Elhillo

    Our Price: $14.36
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780803295988
    • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
    • Published: March 2017
  • The Poet X

    By Elizabeth Acevedo

    Our Price: $17.99
    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN-13: 9780062662804
    • Publisher: HarperTeen
    • Published: March 2018
  • The Wedding Date

    By Jasmine Guillory

    Our Price: $7.50 - $13.50
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9780399587665
    • Publisher: Berkley
    • Published: January 2018
  • When My Brother Was an Aztec

    By Natalie Diaz

    Our Price: $14.40
    • Format: Paperback
    • ISBN-13: 9781556593833
    • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
    • Published: May 2012
    "I write hungry sentences," Natalie Diaz once explained in an interview, "because they want more and more lyricism and imagery to satisfy them." This debut collection is a fast-paced tour of Mojave life and family narrative: A sister fights for or against a brother on meth, and everyone from Antigone, Houdini, Huitzilopochtli, and Jesus is invoked and invited to hash it out. These darkly humorous poems illuminate far corners of the heart, revealing teeth, tails, and more than a few dreams.I watched a lion eat a man like a piece of fruit, peel tendons from fascialike pith from rind, then lick the sweet meat from its hard core of bones.The man had earned this feast and his own deliciousness by ringing a stickagainst the lion's cage, calling out Here, Kitty Kitty, Meow!With one swipe of a paw much like a catcher's mitt with fangs, the lionpulled the man into the cage, rattling his skeleton against the metal bars.The lion didn't want to do it?He didn't want to eat the man like a piece of fruit and he told the crowdthis: I only wanted some goddamn sleep . . . Natalie Diaz was born and raised on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation in Needles, California. After playing professional basketball for four years in Europe and Asia, Diaz returned to the states to complete her MFA at Old Dominion University. She lives in Surprise, Arizona, and is working to preserve the Mojave language.