Elizabeth Acevedo became the first writer of color to win the Carnegie medal award in its 83-year history.

Photo by: Maison Valentino

Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and author of a young adult novel The Poet X; a New York Times Bestseller, National Book Award Winner, and Carnegie Medal winner. The Carnegie medal is an annual British literary award that recognizes just one outstanding new English language book for children or adults. No woman has won a Pulitzer since 2014. Overall only three of color have taken one home. Organizers promised to restructure the list to one that has diversity.

Acevedo won the prestigious children’s book award for her debut novel, The Poet X. Which is written in verse and it revolves around a Dominican girl named Xiomara Batista. Who struggles with body image and so much more. Desperate to find a way to deal with her emotions and turn them into something positive; she turns to her leather notebook. Where she writes her poems and verses.

She’s then asked to join the slam poetry club at her school in Harlem. The right place where she happens to find the comfort she needs. Acevedo said her novel was inspired on one of her students. She had taught during the time she worked as a teacher at a secondary school in Maryland. The student refused to read the books on the syllabus, which featured no characters of color, and argued “none of these books are about us.” She recently released her second book in May; “With the fire on High”.

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