Friday, April 08, 2011


Did you know that Ron Silliman--with that very recognizeable NAME!--got his name "Silliman" through the adoption of his grandfather? I didn't ... or perhaps had forgotten (didn't he mention this detail in one of his books?)

Anyway, it's heartening to see POETS ON ADOPTION get so much attention. For many years, I'd not found the complexities of poetry to be matched by any single issue (I found it matched only by the larger "life"). But a few years ago when I started getting involved with orphans and adoption, I also found an issue that I thought finally mirrors poetry's complicated expanse.

One of the topics not as explored in depth as other (more hip) poetry topics is healing--indeed, redemption. And one of the more meaningful responses I've received to POETS ON ADOPTION is the following comment:
[the site allows] an important fact to be shown: that we're all happy differently, but we suffer the same. And that realization is the beginning of compassion, and healing.

This touches on how I hope readers read ALL of the contributions on the site. What will surface is how the sum is greater than its already great parts. The combination of everyone's stories surfaces a forest that's just ... well, to quote someone else, "BIG."

Yep. I know each of the contributions is powerful. But, together? No less than BIG, Baby.

I just uploaded five more poets onto the site (and more power is coming!):
Jim Benz April 2011
(was adopted as an infant domestically in the U.S.    brother to adopted sister)

Mary Anne Cohen April 2011
(surrendered baby son for adoption and is an adoption reform activist)

CB Follett April 2011
(adopted two baby boys and one baby girl domestically within the U.S.)

Joy Katz April 2011
(adopted a baby boy from Vietnam)

Dee Thompson April 2011
(adopted 13-year-old girl from Russia. 3 years later, adopted 10-year-old boy from Kazakhstan)

Don't just read one or a few. Do yourself a favor and read them all!


There's a humongous amount of adoption-related poems out there. Tons. But it takes a special backbone to be able to answer the two simple questions that infrastructure-izes (yay: made another verb out of a noun! now, that's a poetics!) the site: What is your adoption experience? How has your adoption experience affected your poetry? So, I want to thank again--and list again the inaugural issue's poets. They dug deep and were the first to reveal, together, the possibilities of the project. Read them all, too!
Ned Balbo March 2011
(placed as a baby with his birth mother's sister and raised as her son)

Nick Carbo March 2011
(in the Philippines, was adopted as an infant. later, his parents adopted his biological younger sister)

Dana Collins March 2011
(was adopted as a baby from Korea by U.S.-American parents. sister to adopted brother)

Marcella Durand March 2011
(adopted an infant domestically within the U.S.)

Lee Herrick March 2011
(was adopted as a baby from Korea by U.S.-American parents. brother to adopted sister. as a parent, adopted baby from China)

Natalie Knight March 2011
(was adopted as an infant domestically in U.S.    became sister at age five to adopted brother)

Michele Leavitt March 2011
(was adopted as an infant domestically in the U.S.)

Amanda Mason March 2011
(in process of adopting 11-year-old boy from Colombia)

Sharon Mesmer March 2011
(sister to adopted sibling)

Allison Moreno March 2011
(was adopted as a baby domestically in the U.S.    sister to two adopted brothers)

Christina Pacosz March 2011
(gave up infant daughter for adoption)

Judith Roitman March 2011
(was half-adopted. adopted two baby boys domestically within the U.S.    relatives also adopted)

Susan M. Schultz March 2011
(adopted 12-month-old boy (now 11 years old) from Cambodia and 3-year-old girl (now 9 years old) from Nepal. husband and a number of other relatives were adopted)

Michael D Snediker March 2011
(brother to a sister adopted as an infant from Korea. became close to someone who adopted a son from Vietnam)

Rosemary Starace March 2011
(was adopted as a baby domestically within the U.S.    three years later became sister to adopted brother)

Eileen R. Tabios March 2011
(adopted a 13-year-old boy (now 15) from Colombia. in process of new adoption process for a 12-year-old girl also from Colombia)

Craig Watson March 2011
(adopted 1-year-old girl from Ecuador)

The best part? There are more poets to come! Adoption, for poetry, is a motherlode!

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