Dr. Adam Falkner is an artist, researcher and educational consultant. He is the author of Adoption, winner of the 2017 Diode Editions Chapbook Award, and his work has appeared in a range of literary and academic publications as well as on programming for HBO, NBC, NPR, BET, Upworthy, in the New York Times, and elsewhere. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the pioneering diversity consulting initiative, the Dialogue Arts Project, and Special Projects Director for Urban Word NYC, a nationally acclaimed youth literary arts organization. A former high school English teacher in New York City’s public schools, Adam has toured the United States as a guest artist, lecturer and trainer for thousands of students, educators and culture workers, and was the featured performer at President Obama’s Grassroots Ball at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. He holds a Ph.D. in English and Education from Columbia University, and B.A. in Creative Writing & Sociology from the University of Michigan.
Photo Courtesy of the Author
Adoption revolves around a series of dueling narratives connected to queerness, masculinity and addiction. Beyond a personal meditation on those themes, it attempts topose a number of larger questions about what Andrew Solomon refers to as “vertical and horizontal identities”—namely, identities we inherit from our families, versus those forged outside of and often in spite of them—and the violence, shame and confusion that occur when those disparate selves conflict. In a broader sense, these poems challenge us to reconsider what it means to at once be seen and not seen, celebrated and silenced, thriving and disappearing.