62 pages 2 hours read

The Poet X

Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | YA | Published in 2018

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Teacher Introduction

The Poet X

  • Genre: Fiction; young adult verse
  • Originally Published: 2018
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile HL800L; grades 9-11
  • Structure/Length: 3 parts with 2 chapters in each part; approx. 370 pages; approx. 3 hours, 30 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Xiomara Batista, 15, fills poetry journals in her Harlem apartment to express the things she doesn’t feel comfortable saying aloud. She shares her writing only with a trusted few until her English teacher invites her to participate in a spoken-word poetry club and later a citywide poetry slam.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Parental abuse; profanity; street harassment/verbal harassment; sexual assault (groping); sexual exploration and discussion

Elizabeth Acevedo, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1988; Afro-Dominican American poet, author and performer; National Poetry Slam champion; named Young People’s Poet Laureate in 2022; recipient of multiple awards for her novels, including a best book of the year by the New York Public Library and the School Library Journal
  • Other Works: With the Fire on High (2019); Clap When You Land (2020)
  • Awards: National Book Award for Young Adult Literature; Carnegie Medal

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Guilt, Shame, and Religion
  • Growing Up and Separating from Parents
  • Adolescent Sexuality

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the cultural and historical contexts behind the literary movement (slam poetry) and the religious concerns (Catholicism) that inform Xiomara’s coming of age in The Poet X.

Related Titles

By Elizabeth Acevedo