About the Work
Adoptee Song is a chapbook about transnational adoption conceived around three organizing themes - a childhood of longing and belonging, wings of flight and journey that center the decisions of parents and guardians, and the names and language summoned by this - that explore the cleft between what a life may have been and what it is.
Praise for Adoptee Song
"In this confrontational collection, Maria Picone tunes her lyric to dissect and interrogate the transnational and transracial adoptee experience of a Korean child adopted by a white American family. From the opening lines, we learn that this is not An American Tail with a happy ending, but that the speaker is "like a good villain" who will "rail against [her] ending." Here are poems which plumb the facts of an adoptee's life, a foreign language which could have been a mother tongue; Picone's startling enjambments reflect the fractures of identity at the levels of language, culture, and race, and her poems, despite their frankness ("You weren't an abortion"), contain multitudes, contradictions, and dualities: "I have two names. I do not have two names." With Adoptee Song, Picone has composed a masterful epic: these poems exist as a primer of resilience and survival not only for the speaker, but for all those who don't feel like they belong."
-Diana Khoi Nguyen, author of Ghost Of
"Adoptee Song is an instant fixture in my Korean American and adoption poetry canon. Maria Picone's stunning poems seem effortless but began, I imagine, a hundred years ago: to know the self, erasure, guardian angel, love. This is a singular, brilliant music of grace, survival, and self-acceptance, that is to say: a new, redemptive, breath-taking poetry."
-Lee Herrick, California Poet Laureate and author of Scar and Flower