The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

The Poet X is a book that defies categorization as it is a work of fiction but it is written exclusively in poetry form, much like Jason Reynolds's A Long Way Down. The unique format of the book mirrors the main plot and conflict of the story: The Poet X is about a teenage protagonist, Xiomara, who finds an outlet for expression in poetry and especially spoken word poetry, spurred on by her English teacher who is the poetry club adviser at her school. She is reluctant to join the club for much of the book even though she has plenty of talent and plenty to say. Whether Xio will end up performing her poetry in front of an audience is one of the primary conflicts in the book. Some of the other conflicts in the book include Xio's budding relationship with Aman, who is genuinely interested and appreciative of Xio's poetry. However, because of Xio's parents, specifically her mother's, disapproval of Xio engaging in relationships, Xio distances herself from Aman, even though she is deeply attracted to him. Xio's relationship to her mother and their differing views of religion is another major thread in the plot, as is Xio's relationship to her twin brother, who is engaged in an internal conflict of his own.

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