the poet x

the poet x

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  • By Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Comic by Celeste Kreilkamp
  • This is Xiomara Batista. She's never been super outgoing, and ever since she was little she's let her fists do the talking. Poetry and writing are the joys in her life that give her freedom. And that other woman is her mother, Mami, who is a devout churchgoer and "wanted prayer and the closest thing to an automatic heaven admission she could get." The biggest rule of all is no boys- at any cost.
  • "Are you thinking of joining the club?"
  • "I shake my head no."
  • When she starts 10th grade, Xiomara meets her wonderful English teacher,   Mrs. Galiano. For months, she encourages Xiomara to join the poetry club, but it conflicts with  her confirmation class for church. Xiomara's love of poetry grows and grows.
  • One day, Mami finds Xiomara's notebook full of poetry. Deeply angered by the words about Aman and Xiomara's conflicted feelings about religion, she burns her notebook, Xiomara watching and crying.
  • "The moment I sit next to him I calm down."
  • When Xiomara meets Aman in bio class, she starts hanging out with him and eventually begins a relationship. She is very happy, and manages to join poetry club. She writes all the time in a notebook her twin brother gave her.
  • Xiomara, traumatized and sad, talks to her best friend and Mrs. Galiano. She says "you need to figure out how to make a relationship with her work." Xiomara brings her pastor, Father Sean, to her house, and though Mami doesn't fully understand her daughter yet, they reconcile and Mami lets Xiomara compete at a Poetry Slam.
  •  Xiomara, though very nervous, performed at the slam, with her boyfriend, best friend, brother, pastor, and mom and dad cheering her on in the crowd. Xiomara found her life back through her poetry; she stood up for herself and defended her right to create beautiful writing. She threw a party afterwards for everyone and her mother began to realize her daughter's dream.
  • "There is power in the word!"
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