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Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths is a collection of folkloric poems centered on the historical, mythological, gendered and geographic experiences of a first generation American woman. From the border in the Dominican Republic, to the bustling streets of New York City, Acevedo considers how some bodies must walk through the world as beastly beings. How these forgotten myths b ...more
Paperback, 42 pages
Published October 15th 2016 by YesYes Books

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Average rating 4.35  · 
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Scarllet ✦ iamlitandwit
For superstitions: treat them like salt, scatter them before you leave
and let them impale themselves into the soles of your feet.
This chapbook was so different from The Poet X and just as beautiful. It was such a quick read but it packed a punch, I'd say my absolute top favorite of the collection has to be Conversations because of the way she displayed mother/daughter relationships in Dominican culture so damn well. Elizabeth Acevedo has this way with language that is otherworldly yet so utterly
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I absolutely loved the combination of origin stories and modern, personal stories. What a beautiful collection.
Meagan Cahuasqui
This is a incredibly short collection, a chapbook really, but these poems will haunt me. Such beautiful language and rhythm and insight to Afro-Latinx Dominican culture. Definitely a must read.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"La Negra is a beastgirl. From forehead to heel callused. Risen on an island made of shit bricks, an empire."

I know a lot of people praised The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Check out her poetry book Beastgirl as well. It was only 30 pages but the poems are an amazing take on Dominican culture with a splash of folklore/mythology.

May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Acevedo,

Beastgirl by Elizabeth Acevedo is a phenomenal poetry book. This book is more about real world problems and things that people do that are shameful the reality of the world.

I personally did not understand all of the poems I think that the concepts were more for adults than for children. The poems imagery was really good and that made me understand more of what was going on in each poem. The poems weren’t all part of the same story they were almost completely differ
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I appreciated Beastgirl for what it was, even though my expectations of what it would be were different. I initially anticipated Acevedo making more blatant use of Dominican folklore and legend, but upon reflection, can see that even if she didn't directly recount those tales, the ghosts and enduring presence of them are ones she wove into the poems about her own life experiences. It was also interesting to see how some of these poems ("Conversations," "Pressing," "It Almost Curdles My Dry Womb, ...more
Amy Layton
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredible book!  Each poem was rife with amazing description and themes that felt personal and culturally informed.  It was beautiful, to experience these poems, and to be able to gain more insight into Acevedo's mind and how it works.  My favorite poem was the one about Dominican superstitions and how they differ from American superstitions.  This is a fantastic compilation of poetry, and if you liked The Poet X, you absolutely cannot miss out on this.

Review cross-listed here!
Kelsey  May
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This 32-page edition from YesYes Books‘ Vinyl 45 Series is a quick read but demands an almost-immediate re-read, with many lingering tales of superstitions and personal anecdotes. Many pieces paint a beautiful homage to Acevedo’s Dominican ancestry and cultural traditions, with a little imagination sprinkled in. Poems that explore Trujillo, La Ciguapa, and brujeria mingle with pieces that take on a more personal note, from her family’s immigration to her own body. One of my favorite themes of Be ...more
Bill DeGenaro
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of hearing Acevedo read her work in Detroit the other night and immediately wanted to hear more. "Beastgirl" has such a distinct, accessible (but not "easy") voice. Almost every poem has a moment of real surprise, and there are a few shocks too. Acevedo beautifully integrates Dominican tradition into much of "Beastgirl," while also telling contemporary stories that feel new and immediate. Hoping to read even more of her work--including a forthcoming (soon, I understand) collec ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was very rough, but also very important. I had originally been introduced to this poetry collection with the idea of the anthology being Teen or Young Adult and was therefore very surprised during my reading. I am very glad that this was read before it was put out and was moved to the Adult section, because while it is very moving and important, it is also very, very graphic and sometimes heartbreaking or triggering.
Dec 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Elizabeth Acevedo's chapbook is a lovely and encapsulating collection of poems. They are powerful sometimes sweet, sometimes morose. They go back and forth between Dominican folklore and experiences in today's America. I especially admired Acevedo's reflections on Afrolatinx identity. My favorite poems were "Beloved" and "For the Poet Who Told Me Rats Aren't Noble Enough Creatures for a Poem."
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a short but powerful collection reflecting deep into what it means to be Afro-latinx and the experiences that go along with that. I haven’t met a poem by Elizabeth Acevedo that I don’t love and these are no exception.
South Brunswick High School Library
To me, this slim volume reads as though I am examining the beloved journal of Xiomara from The Poet X. The poems shared capture Dominican myths, family traditions, and adolescent truths and makes a great companion for Acevedo’s debut novel.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Short, but containing so many strong poems.

"Beloved" and "For the Poet Who Told Me Rats Aren't Noble Enough Creatures for a Poem" stood out--plus others. "Mami Came to this Country as a Nanny," too.
Worthwhile coming-of-age collection, the highlights being the poem(s) regarding or alluding to rape culture, growing up being Dominican-American, and the rich intermingled poems on Dominican culture, superstitions, and mythologies.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetree
we who have forgotten all our sacred monsters - "la ciguapa"

also la ultima cacique
la sant maria
the dictator's brujas
Dominican superstitions

vivid & searing & debilitating & etc & etc

Marcy Muñoz
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Liz writes what I felt my whole life, but could not put into words. A brilliant work of art.
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
As with all collections some poems I loved, some were okay, and some flew right over my head.
Monica Bond-Lamberty
While I'm not a huge fan of reading books of poetry, I did enjoy this one.
Helps to know a little about the D.R.
Mario Pimental
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Oct 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I like Acevedo's poetry. My favorite poem in this book is called 'For the Poet Who Told Me Rats Aren't Noble Enough Creatures for a Poem'.
Sofia Araya
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A short, quick read of poetry. Beautifully written. I had to read several of them over and over again! The poem "Pareja" really stuck with me!
Jennifer Perez
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t really care for poetry books.. but this one- was phenomenal!!
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Acevedo’s poetry is magic.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Ashley Kempkes
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poc, poetry
The first one was amazing, there were one or two others that were good, but it was so short that I feel like I wasn't able to really get into the grove of the message of the book.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Afro-latinx poetry lovers
short poetry collection with a punch! My favorite poems: "Brother Myth"; "It Almost Curdles My Womb Dry"; and "For the Poet Who Told Me Rats Aren't Noble Enough Creatures for a Poem." That last one is my overall favorite, made me cry. The cover for this little book is amazing!
Lewis Hughes
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful collection with some hard-hitting topics.

Edit upon reread:
Acevedo's prose is so perfect; it ensnares me with every single line. Every single myth, story, superstition and issue she speaks about in these poems are spoken with such clarity - I highly recommend this short little collection.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
I really liked the mythical elements, the infusion of Dominican culture, the weaving of Spanish and discussions on la isla y Trujillo, aspects of Dominican history. I'm excited for Acevedo's full length collection
Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2019
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ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is a New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X and With the Fire on High. Her critically-acclaimed debut novel, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She is also the recipient of the Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award. Additionally, she was honored with the 2

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