The People They Brought Me
Poems in the Adoption Community
by Penny Callan Partridge
Penny Callan Partridge, 2009

Reviewed by Barbara Free, M.A.

     Penny Partridge, a well-known author and speaker at adoption conferences, sent us a review copy of her latest book. It consists of nineteen poems, fourteen of which are accompanied by prose explanations of how they came to be written, the people to whom they are connected, and the things that happened as a result of her writing the poems.
     This is an unusual format, and one that most people in the adoption world will find enjoyable. They tell part of her own story as an adoptee, in a different way from straightforward prose narratives.
     The poems themselves are in a style that some will find “not like poems,” that is, they do not rhyme nor have a regular rhythm.
     This is a slim little book of fewer than a hundred pages, but it contains volumes of thoughts and feelings when one sits down and reads the poems and stories, and compares them with one’s own thoughts and feelings. After reading it, one might be inspired to write similar poems/stories.
     It might be interesting to read some of Ms. Partridge’s poems aloud to an adoption group and then have some time for the hearers to not only discuss them, but write their own at that time. Other readers might want to savor the poems and stories, one at a time, by themselves.
     As a writer, this reviewer felt moved to write. As a birth mother, she wished adoptees would read Ms. Partridge’s poems and have their own thoughts and feelings validated.
     This book will be in the Operation Identity Lending Library and can be purchased through the author. It would make a lovely gift for an adult adoptee who is searching or who has searched, or for any adoption triad member who enjoys reading.
     To order your own copy from the author, send $20, plus $3 S/H, to: Penny Callan Partridge, P.O. Box 3193, Amherst MA 01004.

Excerpted from the January 2010 edition of the Operation Identitiy Newsletter
© 2010 Operation Identity