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The Poet X's most famous spoken-word poem

Cover of Inheritance: A Visual Poem
A review of Inheritance: A Visual Poem by Elizabeth Acevedo

Inheritance, from Pura Belpré-winning Elizabeth Acevedo's most famous spoken-word poem, was named a 2023 Odyssey Honor Audiobook by the American Library Association on January 30. The Odyssey Award is given for the best audiobooks produced for children and young adults, available in English in the United States.  

Rachel L. recently reviewed the illustrated version and beautifully described the illustrations as creating an immersive experience that pulls the reader into the poem. This review pertains to the audiobook version, available from OverDrive. The sound of the words also pull the reader/listener into the poem.   

Some people tell me to "fix" my hair. 
And by fix they mean straighten, they mean whiten.

Inheritance explores Dominican heritage and what it means to have a history of hair that includes African slave ships, the children of children of fields, and breathing, spiraling curls that wave hello. The audiobook was read by the author and presented by Quill Tree Books and Harper Audio. It was recorded at Clean Cut Studios in Washington, DC, engineered by John Rigatuso, with executive producer and director Caitlin Garing. Acevedo's bold voice and tone allow the listener to soak up the seriousness and move forward with the author when she proclaims that "you can't fix what was never broken." 

Prejudice, racism, and the celebration of black hair takes place in just five minutes and fifteen seconds. For further discussion, the book and audio pair wonderfully with Frizzy, by Claribel Ortega, about a Dominican girl who feels betrayed by her family's reaction to her curly hair. Frizzy was recently awarded the Pura Belpré Children's Author Award, honoring Latinx writers and illustrators whose children's and young adult books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.

Feb 13, 2023