Growing up, Latina Magazine was one of the few magazines I bough consistently and to which I even had a subscription. I loved learning about powerful women who shared a similar cultural heritage as me, and as a huge reader I especially loved book recommendations for writers of Latinx descent.

So it is with great pride that I answered some questions for the magazine. Here’s the interview where we talk about THE POET X, Afro-Latindiad, erasure of certain narratives, and of course, Cardi B.

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“Poet Elizabeth Acevedo makes her laudable young adult fiction debut with this electric novel-in-verse that gives voice to Xiomara, a Dominican-American teen from Harlem. Her whole life Xiomara’s been told “Pero, tu no eres facil./ You sure ain’t an easy one.” On that same theme, she explains, “My parents probably wanted a girl who would sit in the pews / wearing pretty florals and a soft smile. / They got combat boots and a mouth silent / until it’s sharp as an island machete.” Her mother, a devout Catholic, expects her to receive the sacrament of confirmation. But Xiomara has questions about the religion that build up and ultimately explode out to Father Sean, the priest teaching her confirmation class.”

See the full review here.

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Hype to be included on Bustle’s list of BEST YA BOOKS OF MARCH! I’m looking forward to so many of these novels and I’m delighted to be shown love alongside them.

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Last fall I was published in the anthology Because I Was A Girl. It’s a collection of stories from different women, from different stages in their lives and careers, pondering a moment in time they faced adversity because of their gender.

I brainstormed on three different prompts before ultimately writing an essay about wanting to be a rapper growing up. When I was recently asked to write a short piece for the Barnes & Noble blog YA Open Mic, I returned to those initial prompts and decided to dust off of them off. Here’s my considering what it meant to grow up hearing that I was treated differently and had different expectations set upon me because I was “the girl of the house.”

Excerpt: “My mother was the one who used the stricture most often, and she unintentionally taught me a very important lesson with her famous phrase: my mother carried and often voiced traditions that she did not herself embody. I think when someone is an immigrant in a new country they hold their cultural heritage like a bouquet of wilting flowers in a too tight fist; they try to gift these blooms to their children, not knowing that not every tradition was meant to survive here.”

Read the full essay here.

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The Poet X has been receiving some lovely trade reviews! Currently it has four starred reviews, the industry’s way of saying they highly recommend it. Super excited for the enthusiastic reception of the novel.

Kirkus Reviews

Publisher’s Weekly

School and Library Journal

The Hornbook

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