What is the setting of The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo?

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The Poet X is a 2018 critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novel written by Dominican-American writer and slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo . It is actually the author's first novel and it tells the story of Xiomara Batista or "X"—a tall, curvy and fierce 15-year-old Dominican-American girl, who yearns to...

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The Poet X is a 2018 critically acclaimed and award-winning young adult novel written by Dominican-American writer and slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. It is actually the author's first novel and it tells the story of Xiomara Batista or "X"—a tall, curvy and fierce 15-year-old Dominican-American girl, who yearns to be heard and acknowledged. Because of her curvaceous body and attractive figure, Xiomara is often a victim of catcalling and sexually charged street harassment.

Angry at the fact that her environment and her Catholic upbringing practically forbid her to explore her sexuality and to feel comfortable in her own body, Xiomara decides to express her thoughts and opinions through slam poetry in the hopes that the words she writes and speaks will inspire others to be kinder and more accepting. In the end, Xiomara realizes that her poetry helped her to better understand her family, her friends and the world around her, but most importantly, it helped her to better understand herself.

Acevedo sets the story in a Dominican-American neighborhood in Harlem, New York City. Xiomara's apartment, which she shares with her religious parents and her twin brother, and her school, Chisholm High, are the two main locations in the novel. She feels fairly oppressed in both places at times.

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Elizabeth Acevedo's novel in verse The Poet X takes place in Harlem, a neighborhood in the northern part of New York City. The Harlem in which Xiomara and her family live is vastly different from the Harlem of the early 1900s, the time at which Harlem became a significant black community in America. Xiomara's family is Dominican, and many of her neighbors and friends are also of Afro-Caribbean descent, and they mingle with Harlem residents of all colors and backgrounds.

Many of the events in The Poet X take place in Xiomara's apartment, where she lives with her twin brother and their parents, as well as at her school, Chisholm High School. Xiomara spends a lot of time in her room at home, writing poetry and escaping the emotional turmoil that sometimes characterizes her life outside of her room. At school, important events happen in her English classroom, her Biology lab, and in the hallways, as well as during poetry club meetings. Sometimes, Xiomara goes to the local Catholic church where she attends confirmation class, but the church has deeper meaning for her mother than for Xiomara. Additionally, she goes to a party, an open mic night, and to the movies. All of these events take place in different parts of New York City, lending the settings a vibrant urban energy.

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The setting of The Poet X is Harlem, New York City. The protagonist of the novel, Xiomara, lives in a working class neighborhood of primarily folks of color. Many people in the neighborhood are of African and Caribbean descent, or are Afro-indigenous. While many areas of Harlem are gentrified, this neighborhood is described as existing in a much more traditional Harlem context. Kids play in the streets and at playgrounds or ball courts. Neighbors know one another and there is both great solidarity, culture, kinship, and closeness, as well as neighborhood tensions and violence.

Xiomara's mother is incredibly strict and attempts to shield Xiomara from any violence of the neighborhood by being incredibly controlling and judgmental towards her daughter. While Xiomara's mother's heart seems to be in the right place, she actively causes a consistent rift between her and her daughter throughout the novel with her strict and controlling behaviors.

The other major setting of the novel takes place at Xiomara's school, Chisholm High School, where she learns, through the help of a supportive teacher, to embrace her talent and love of poetry and spoken word. The school itself is heavily policed and locked down with metal detectors and other prison-like attributes as many schools in working class neighborhoods of color are. Xiomara rightly feels as though the school is a prison and the presence of the police in her school certainly bolsters this feeling.

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Elizabeth Acevedo’s novel is set in Harlem, a neighborhood in the northern part of Manhattan in New York, New York, in the United States. This is a highly diverse neighborhood racially and ethnically, with large populations of African-American and Latino people; among the latter, people of Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage are especially well represented. Xiomara Batista’s family is Dominican; not only are they poor, but her immediate neighborhood suffers the negative effects of poverty and social neglect; however, it also has a vibrant cultural life, such as youths playing basketball. There is also drug dealing and considerable violence on the streets; Xiomara has had to defend herself physically and show that she is willing to do so. Her mother, wanting to prevent her from both getting involved in the violence and possible sexual activity, criticizes her for talking to boys on the stoop.

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