Elizabeth Acevedo
Acevedo in 2018
Acevedo in 2018
BornNew York City, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, Poet, Writer
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipDominican Republic
EducationBeacon High School
University of Maryland
The George Washington University
Alma materGeorge Washington University
University of Maryland
Genreyoung adult fiction
Notable worksThe Poet X; With the Fire on High; Clap When You Land
Notable awardsNational Book Award
Carnegie Medal
SpouseShakir Cannon-Moye
Website
www.acevedowrites.com

Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and author.[1] In September 2022, the Poetry Foundation named her the year's Young People's Poet Laureate.[2]

Acevedo is the author of the young adult novels The Poet X, With the Fire on High, and Clap When You Land. The Poet X is a New York Times Bestseller,[3] National Book Award Winner,[3] and Carnegie Medal winner.[4] She is also the winner of the 2019 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][6]

Early life and education

Acevedo's parents are Dominican immigrants and she was raised in Harlem, New York.[1] She is the youngest child and only daughter.[7] By the age of 12, Acevedo decided she wanted to be a rapper, but then realized what she really wanted to do was perform poetry. She then attended the Beacon School, where she met English teacher Abby Lublin.[8] Lublin recruited Acevedo to join her after-school poetry club to further improve her work.[8] At the age of 14, Acevedo competed in her first poetry slam at the Nuyorican Poets Café, and then participated in open mics around the city, in venues including Bowery Poetry Club and Urban Word NYC.[9] She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts at George Washington University by designing her own degree using courses in performing arts, English, and Sociology.[10][8] She then earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland and served as an adjunct professor for bachelor level creative writing courses.[10][8]

Acevedo taught eighth grade in Prince George's County, Maryland. While coaxing a student to read more, the student said she wasn't reading because "These books aren't about us.’’[11] Acevedo realized her students were affected by the lack of diversity in their books and not by their capabilities.[11] She then bought books that her students could relate to, and realized that she had the power to write such books too.[11]

Career

Following graduation from George Washington University, Acevedo went into the classroom as a 2010 Teach for America Corps participant. She continued on to teach eighth grade English in Prince George's County, Maryland.[12] Although the school's population was 78 percent Latino and 20 percent black, she was the first Latino teacher to teach a core subject.[12]

She is a previous National Slam Champion, as well as former head coach for the D.C. Youth Slam Team.[13] 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.[13] Her first novel, The Poet X, was published in 2018. With the Fire on High is Acevedo's third novel, released in May 2019.[14] Her fourth, Clap When You Land, was published in May 2020. It is about two sisters who grow up unaware of each other while living in different countries, but learn of each other after their father dies.[15] The book was a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book.

Acevedo is both a CantoMundo fellow[16] and Cave Canem fellow.[16] 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, D.C., where she works with incarcerated women and with teenagers.[3]

Personal life

Acevedo identifies as Afro-Latina.[10][1] Although raised Catholic, she no longer practices the religion.[17] Currently, she lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Shakir Cannon-Moye.[9][18] Acevedo grew up in a conservative and devout household of Catholicism.[19] She went to church every Sunday with her mother and participated in every sacrament.[20] Acevedo does not practice Catholicism anymore, but still considers her relationship with her religion to be developing.[11] She questions the teaching of religion; her book With the Fire on High is influenced by the fact that religion is empowering but "sometimes makes women and young girls question their selves."[11]

Critical response

The Poet X

Main article: The Poet X

The Poet X is a New York Times Bestseller.[21] The book highlights the struggles of growing up as a Latina girl dealing with her sexuality and religion, and finding her own voice. Kirkus Reviews describes Poet X as "Poignant and real; beautiful and intense".[22]

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.[23]

The Poet X received the following accolades:

With the Fire on High

Main article: With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High received the following accolades:

Clap When You Land

Main article: Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land is a New York Times and Indiebound bestseller.[41] It also received "a standing ovation" from Kirkus Reviews.[41]

Clap When You Land received the following accolades:

Bibliography

As writer

Young adult novels

Adult fiction

In anthologies

As audiobook narrator

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "EXCLUSIVE: Afro-Latina Slam Poet, Elizabeth Acevedo, Debuts First Novel 'Poet X'". LATINA. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  2. ^ Schaub, Michael (2022-09-09). "Elizabeth Acevedo Is Young People's Poet Laureate". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2022-09-10.
  3. ^ a b c "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". 7 February 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  6. ^ Sutherland, Amy. "Bibliophiles: Elizabeth Acevedo talks about YA, sci-fi, and romance". Boston Globe. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Biography". Elizabeth Acevedo. 2018-02-07. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  8. ^ a b c d Stoss, Matthew. "Liz Acevedo Verses the Novel". GW Magazine.
  9. ^ a b "Elizabeth Acevedo". The Author Village. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  10. ^ a b c "Elizabeth Acevedo's 'The Poet X' An Ode To Black Latinas: Interview". Vibe. 2018-03-15. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  11. ^ a b c d e Eyre, Charlotte (June 21, 2019). "Acevedo 'thrilled and overwhelmed' by Carnegie win". The Bookseller: 12 – via Gale Literary Sources.
  12. ^ a b "Elizabeth Acevedo: 2018 National Book Festival". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  13. ^ a b "LIZ ACEVEDO—EMERITUS | PROJECT VOICE". www.projectvoice.co. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  14. ^ "Exclusive: 'The Poet X' breakout author Elizabeth Acevedo previews her next book". EW.com. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  15. ^ "Portrait Of: Elizabeth Acevedo". LatinoUSA.org. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  16. ^ a b "Spoken word poet Elizabeth Acevedo issues a challenge to rape culture". PBS NewsHour. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  17. ^ "Think you're not a poetry person? Let Elizabeth Acevedo change your mind". America Magazine. Mar 2, 2018. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  18. ^ Stoss, Matthew. "Liz Acevedo Verses the Novel". GW Magazine. Retrieved 22 February 2021.
  19. ^ Ashun, Kukuwa (Spring 2019). "Interview with Elizabeth Acevedo". Washington Square Review.
  20. ^ "Think you're not a poetry person? Let Elizabeth Acevedo change your mind". America Magazine. 2018-03-02. Retrieved 2019-12-17.
  21. ^ "Young Adult Hardcover Books - Best Sellers - April 22, 2018 - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  22. ^ "THE POET X by Elizabeth Acevedo". Kirkus Reviews. 2017-12-21.
  23. ^ Natera, Cleyvis. "Voice Thundering: A Review of The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo". Aster(ix) Journal. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  24. ^ Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) (2019-01-10). "2019 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  25. ^ Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) (2019-02-19). "2019 Top Ten Best Fiction". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  26. ^ Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) (2012-02-27). "Printz Award". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  27. ^ "The Poet X | Awards & Grants". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  28. ^ "The Poet X | Awards & Grants". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  29. ^ "SCBWI | SCBWI Announces 2019 Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Awards". Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  30. ^ "The Poet X | Awards & Grants". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  31. ^ "WNDB Announces the 2019 Walter Award Winners & Honorees!". We Need Diverse Books. 2019-01-14. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  32. ^ "Presenting the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners". The Horn Book. 2018-05-31. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  33. ^ "National Book Foundation - 2018 National Book Awards". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  34. ^ "The 2018 Kirkus Prize Finalists (pg. 18)". Kirkus Reviews. Archived from the original on 2018-10-12. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  35. ^ Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) (2020-01-06). "2020 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  36. ^ Lam, Anna (2020-02-11). "YALSA names 2020 Best Fiction for Young Adults". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  37. ^ "With The Fire on High | Awards & Grants". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-04.
  38. ^ a b "With the Fire on High". Goodreads. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  39. ^ Acevedo, Elizabeth (2019-05-07). With the Fire on High. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-266285-9.
  40. ^ "SCBWI | Announcing the Golden Kite and Sid Fleischman Winners". Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  41. ^ a b c Kirkus Reviews (2020-03-15). "Clap When You Land". Retrieved 2021-04-18.
  42. ^ a b "Clap When You Land". Goodreads. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  43. ^ Young Adult Library Services Association (2012-02-27). "Odyssey Award". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  44. ^ Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) (2021-01-14). "2021 Top Ten Best Fiction". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  45. ^ Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) (2021-01-05). "2021 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  46. ^ Schute-Cooper, Laura (2021-02-17). "ALSC announces 2021 Notable Children's Recordings". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  47. ^ a b "2021 Audie Awards® - APA (en-US)". Audio Pub. Archived from the original on 2021-03-23. Retrieved 2021-04-19.
  48. ^ Carr, Melissa (2020-12-14). "Booklist's 2020 Top of the List and Editors' Choice announced". American Library Association. Retrieved 2021-04-19.