How the Boogeyman Became a Poet


Product Details

$19.99  $18.59
Katherine Tegen Books
Publish Date
5.85 X 8.54 X 0.96 inches | 0.84 pounds

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About the Author

Tony Keith Jr. is a Black American gay poet, spoken word artist, and hip-hop educational leader from Washington, DC. He is author of the YA memoir in verse How the Boogeyman Became a Poet. Tony's writings have appeared in the International Journal of Critical Media Literacy, the Journal of Black Masculinity, and many others. A multiyear Fellow of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities with a PhD in education from George Mason University, Tony is CEO of Ed Emcee Academy and lives with his husband, Harry Christian III, in his DC hometown. Visit him at


"In this debut, Keith has penned not just a memoir, but also a blazing proclamation of existence for any child that feels like a mere figment of the world's imagination. Yes, readers will complete this experience believing they have more skin on their bones, more air in their lungs, and hearts beating new rhythms, in new meters, all their own. What a life-affirming masterpiece." -- Jason Reynolds, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Daring. Bold. Liberating. A recanting of a story that took a world of courage to live, becoming crystallized in all its Black boy glory now that we get to behold it. Tony Keith's How the Boogeyman Became A Poet is a coming of age story so many of us have searched for and are lucky to find." -- Candice Iloh, author of Every Body Looking, a National Book Award finalist

"Searing honesty and deft wordplay create a vivid impression of this enormously talented and multifaceted writer and performer. Teens will relate to Keith's story and celebrate his conquering of the Boogeyman: his own doubts and fears." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Keith offers a vulnerability within these pages that's reminiscent of George M. Johnson's All Boys Aren't Blue (2020) and Candice Iloh's Every Body Looking (2020) and will especially speak to young people who are dealing with similar educational, familial, and interpersonal pressures. An emotionally honest and self-reflective debut." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Candid, sweet and written in paragraphs constantly melting into stanzas, Boogeyman is a vibrant story about a boy coming out and discovering his voice. High school kids: Get a copy before it's banned." -- Ron Charles, Washington Post Book Club

"Keith's love of poetry and language--and the power of wielding both--radiates from the pages. . . . Teens will find solace in his survival and flourishing as well as obtaining a glimpse of a fascinating time gone by." -- BookPage