The Carnegie Medal Awards announced on Tuesday, June 19th that Elizabeth Acevedo has won the CILIP Carnegie Medal for The Poet X. Elizabeth is the first writer of color to win this prestigious UK award in it’s 83-year history. The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually and judged solely by UK Librarians.
“In her speech, Elizabeth Acevedo paid credit to a particular student who inspired her to write the book: “I felt like this student had given me a challenge, or at least permission to grab the baton. She gave me permission to write a story about young people who take up space, who do not make themselves small, who learn the power of their own words.” Closing her speech with an empowering poem celebrating girls of colour, Acevedo said: “I think we should have poetry in every room as much as possible, and because I fundamentally believe in Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop’s words that children’s literature should be a mirror and a window.”
You can view Liz’s full speech here.