Adoptee Representation Is a Human Rights Issue

Room 447-448, Summit Building, Seattle Convention Center, Level 4
Saturday, March 11, 2023
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


This panel discussion examines the ways adoptees are represented across media in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, film, and television. Adoptee stories are often misrepresented as flat tropes which only drive the plot forward. Five adoptee writers identify common tropes across genres, illuminate the complex dynamics of adoption, highlight the human rights implications, advocate for adoptees to own their stories, and share tips for how nonadoptees can more accurately represent adoptees in their work.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: AWP_2023_Event_Outline.pdf
Supplemental Document 1: Adoptee_Representation_Is_a_Human_Rights_Issue_Supplemental_Resources.pdf



Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox, winner of the Donald Hall Poetry Prize, and co-translator of Yi Won's The World's Lightest Motorcycle. She has received fellowships from the NEA, Kundiman, and ALTA, and is a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair.

Alice Stephens is the author of the novel Famous Adopted People; a book reviewer; editor of Bloom; cofounder of the Adoptee Literary Festival; cofacilitator of Adoptee Voices; and writes a column, Alice in Wordland, for the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Sarah Audsley—an adoptee born in South Korea and raised in rural Vermont—is a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and a member of The Starlings Collective. She lives and works in Johnson, Vermont, where she is the writing program manager at Vermont Studio Center.

Tiana Nobile is the author of Cleave (Hub City Press, 2021). She is a Korean American adoptee, Kundiman fellow, recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, and a finalist of the National Poetry Series and Kundiman Poetry Prize. She lives in New Orleans.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center