Elizabeth Acevedo was born and raised in New York City and her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city’s tough grit. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over twelve years of performance experience, Acevedo has been a featured performer on BET and Mun2, as well as delivered several TED Talks. She has graced stages nationally and internationally including renowned venues such as The Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, and South Africa’s State Theatre, The Bozar in Brussels, and the National Library of Kosovo; she is also well known for poetry videos, which have gone viral and been picked up by PBS, Latina Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Upworthy. Acevedo is a National Slam Champion, Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C, where she lives and works. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Puerto Del Sol, Callaloo, Poet Lore, The Notre Dame Review, and others. Acevedo is a Cave Canem Fellow, Cantomundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer's Workshop. She is the author of the chapbook, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) and the forthcoming novel, The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018).
Poem 1: "Spear"
One of Elizabeth Acevedo’s poems, titled “Spear,” was performed at NPS in 2014. This poem is about Acevedo bringing and raising a daughter in this world where she may be tossed aside or treated lesser than human. She addresses the chilling topic of men that ignore consent and the fear of not being able to protect her daughter from it. This poem also speaks on why she should not have to raise her daughter in fear in order to protect her and that mothers should raise their sons to not harm women.
In the poem “Spear” Acevedo creates the image of her daughter being a spear. She gives us the mental image of how strong and durable her daughter will be. The language she uses to describe the spear such as “….to be chiseled. Prepared for rebellions against her flesh.” Crafts her daughter in such a way that tells us she will raise her daughter to be able to protect herself. Throughout the entire poem she gives us images of hypothetical situations that sort of allows the audience to put themselves in her shoes. This poem does a marvelous job of getting under your skin in order to make you understand the idea behind why she has to raise her daughter in such a way.
ENGL4302 Spoken Word Poetry & Pedagogy at LSU