62 pages 2 hours read

Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

Fiction | Novel/Book in Verse | YA | Published in 2018

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Character Analysis

Xiomara Batista

Xiomara Batista is the 15-year-old writer of the poems that comprise the novel. She lives in Harlem with her parents and her twin brother, Xavier. Through Xiomara’s poems, the reader learns that Xiomara’s deceptively-quiet manner at school disguises a strong-minded and passionate nature. She will fight anyone who threatens her brother, and she is just as quick to defend herself when under pressure. Xiomara is also curious, intelligent, and eager to experience all that life has to offer. Xiomara has a mature and womanly “big-body” (255) figure that draws a lot of unwanted attention from men and boys, and she struggles to reconcile this with her own deepening interest in boys and dating. Xiomara’s curiosity around the opposite sex meets with her parents’ disapproval, especially her mother’s: as the daughter of a devoutly Catholic mother, Xiomara is not allowed to date, which elicits resentment in Xiomara’s. Xiomara writes poetry to find peace, to find her voice, and to create something beautiful from all of the pain and struggle she experiences while attempting to become the young woman she desperately wants to be. In her own words, “writing is the only way I keep from hurting” (41).