Elizabeth Acevedo


ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is a New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X, With the Fire on High, and Clap When You Land. Her critically-acclaimed debut novel, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She is also the recipient of the Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award. Additionally, she was honored with the 2019 Pure Belpré Author Award for celebrating, affirming, and portraying Latinx culture and experience. Her books include, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes 2016), The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018), & With The Fire On High (HarperCollins, 2019). She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo has been a fellow of Cave Canem, Cantomundo, and a participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshops. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and resides in Washington, DC with her love. Source

Hearing That  Joe Arroyo Song at Ibiza Nightclub, 2008

A boy I did not marry                  taught me to dance salsa on 2      placed

the fingers of his left hand            on my untutored spine;               you know what

it’s like to become someone’s clave



to love for the span           of the trombone’s long breath                  he      whispered

negra so I spun                my heart landing            on     the     rum-covered     linoleum

of a nightclub



on what used to be New York Ave              in what used to be Chocolate City

I let him turn & spin                                 my name             bella negra

             his hands were less tender but still I let them roam



              when I                  1, 2, 3             5, 6, 7     in front of my mirror

I was always la negra defended in the lyric                       and     you     can     forgive

searching hands when a mouth swells the biggest ache of your body


                                                                                                 into song





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Love & Relationships

Memory & The Past

Music & Sports

Pop Culture

Literary Devices:


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


a break between words within a metrical foot

Visual Poetry

Poetry written on the page with intentional form to add meaning to the poem.