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The Adoption Papers Paperback – 3 Jan 1998
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About the Author
Jackie Kay was an adopted child of Scottish/Nigerian descent brought up by white parents in Glasgow. She is one of Britain's best-known poets, appearing frequently on radio and TV programmes on poetry and culture. In 2007 Bloodaxe published Darling: New & Selected Poems, which included almost all of her four previous books of poetry from Bloodaxe, The Adoption Papers (1991), Other Lovers (1993), Off Colour (1998) and Life Mask (2005). Her epic poem The Lamplighter, adapted for both radio and stage, was published by Bloodaxe in 2008, was followed by Fiere from Picador in 2011.
Jackie Kay's fiction and non-fiction (from Picador) has been massively popular: her novel Trumpet (1998), two collections of short stories, Why Don't You Stop Talking? (2002) and Wish I Was Here (2006), and her memoir Red Dust Road (2010), which won the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book of the Year Award in 2011. She won the Somerset Maugham Award with Other Lovers, the Guardian Fiction Prize for Trumpet, Decibel Writer of the Year for Wish I Was Here and has twice won the Signal Poetry Award for her children's poetry. Her fourth book of poetry for children, Red Cherry, Red, was published by Bloomsbury in 2007. The Adoption Papers is a set text on numerous school and university courses. She lives in Manchester, and was awarded an MBE for services to literature in 2006.
She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University, and co-edited the anthology Out of Bounds (Bloodaxe Books / Newcastle University, 2012) with James Procter and Gemma Robinson.
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Top customer reviews
The Adoption Papers is split into two halves; the first, the eponymous poem 'The Adoption Papers', detailing the poet's own emotional journey through finding out about being adopted and how she, her foster mother and her birth mother came to deal with that. The poem is written from the three females' points of view, denoted through different font faces. The story is well detailed, the poem is not what you expect, and, most of all, is riveting.
The second half of the collection is a series of individual poems, which are also good reads; though I much preferred the first half of the collection. There are multiple poems grappling with the idea of homosexuality and the effect on one's life this has.
I heartily recommend the collection to new poetry readers, experienced readers and everything in between.
This is an highly enjoyable, original, stimulating, accessible collection. A must have for your poetry library, even if you don't normally read poetry.
Both of the sections deal with issues such as the question of how important origins are to peolpe as they grow up as well as what constitutes a 'normal' family unit.
What I liked about this collection of poetry is that it is modern, it deals with issues which remain to be very relevant to today's society. Contentious issues are discussed instead of being shied away from, and are done so in a way which makes you stop as you read the poems, in order to consider what is being said.
Although Kay may not have the same direct humour as other poets, such as Carol Ann Duffy, her poetry is still very entertaining. A good read generally.
If you like thought provoking poetry that grasps you from the first page than I would highly recommend 'The Adoption Papers'.