Elisabet Velasquez is a Boricua writer, mother of two children from Brooklyn, New York, now living in Jersey City, New Jersey. Velasquez uses poetry to share her own transformative narrative, illustrating how life’s diverse experiences—especially her experiences, growing up in Bushwick, Brooklyn as a first generation Puerto-Rican teen mother and GED recipient have been instrumental in shaping her unique insights and approach to learning and writing. Her compelling story challenges traditional notions of success and emphasizes the profound value embedded in life’s journey.
Her love for sharing personal narratives using poetry led her to spoken word, becoming a member of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe National Slam Team in 2009.
Since then Velasquez has read her work at and collaborated with various venues and institutions including Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Public Library, Lincoln Center, Lehman College, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Harvard University, John Hopkins University, Wesleyan University, Dodge Poetry Festival, Bronx Book Festival, Miami Book Festival, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Palante Radio, Cafe Con Pam Podcast. She has also collaborated with corporations such as Nordstrom, Mailchimp and NBC for Latinx Heritage Month & corporate staff events.
She is a Poets House Fellow, Dodge Poetry Fellow and New Jersey Council for the Arts Fellow.
In 2021 after 12 years of sharing her poems publicly she debuted her young adult novel in verse, When We Make It – an auto-fiction which gained wide recognition including: Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2021 Best Audiobook © AudioFile 2021, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Indies Introduce and Next List selection, Kirkus Reviews Best Books, School Library Journal Best Books, Chicago Public Library Best Teen Fiction, Américas Award Commended Title, ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project selection, In the Margins Book Award Top Ten selection, NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books, The News & Observer Best Books for Kids, Gotham Book Prize finalist and was a 2021 Goodreads Readers Choice Nominee. The New York Times named it a Young Adult Book to Watch For.
When she is not writing she is busy living the life she wants to write about.