The poet and young adult author, who won a National Book Award for ''The Poet X,'' sees reading as nourishment :

I get book hangry ; crabby and mean when I go too long without going into a text.''

What books are your night stand?

Naima Coster's ''What's Mine and Yours'' is a novel I blurbed but that I'm reading for pure pleasure, and Clint Smith's forthcoming nonfiction book, ''How The Word Is passed.''

What's the last great book you read?

I adored Safia Eihillo's novel in verse, ''Home Is Not a Country.'' She's a transcendent writer.

Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time?

I recently began ''The Joy Luck Club'' on audiobook and I can't believe it's taken me this long to enjoy this story! Being someone who is obsessed with the interconnected stories of women and the communities they build and occupy, I know I've long been  remiss not to have arrived at this novel.

Can a great book be badly written? What other criteria can overcome bad prose?

Ahh. This is an interesting question. I think a great story can be poorly written, right? The story an author carries in their head or heart might not transcribe onto the page in a way that the narrative in a rich way.

I find ultimate delight when a story is matched by equally riveting language, but people read like they eat : Sometimes we want comfort, sometimes we want to work to  crack something open. And so I know that the writing pivots I might dislike and someone else's  bonbons.

Describe your ideal reading experience [when, where, what, how].

Underneath all of the covers, before I put on my contacts or check my phone, ideally midmorning on a Saturday. And if it's raining outside - not a storm, but loud enough to create ambience? be still, my heart.

What kind of reader were you as a child? Which books and authors from childhood still stick with you the most?

Most people describe their childhood reading habits as voracious, no? And in my case it still applies.

Mami would take me to the library every Saturday, and as I grew older she attempted to shoo me outside more since I could lie in bed and read the day away.

I wound up taking the books with me and reading on the stoop instead.

I loved all things. ''The Baby Sitters Club'' books, ''Because of Winn Dixie,'' ''Miracle's Boys,'' Jacqueline Woodson.

''The House on Mango Street'' was a game changer, as was Julia Alvarez's ''Before We Were Free.''

You're organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive you would invite?

Invite #1 : The O.G.Toni Morrison.

Invite #2 : The Beloved Lucille Clifton.

Invite #3 : The Prophet Octavia Butler.

Oh, goodness! I would need a to sneak in a last guest because Audre Laudre, Audre Laudre, Audre Laudre has to be seated at the table!

The World Students Society thanks interview author, Elizabeth Acevedo.


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