Detail View: RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive: Interviews

Filename: 
ds_0027_durrchristie_cap_01.mp4
Identifier: 
ds_0027_durrchristie_cap_01.mp4
Title: 
Interviews
Creator: 
Durr, Patti, 1963-
Subject: 
Durr, Patti, 1963- Interviews
Subject: 
Christie, Karen, 1954- Interviews
Subject: 
American Sign Language literature
Subject: 
Deaf, Writings of the, American
Subject: 
Deaf artists
Subject: 
Deaf Poetry
Subject: 
American poetry 20th century
Subject: 
ASL poetry
Summary: 
Part of a collection of interviews made for a film on ASL poetry, "The Heart of the Hydrogen Jukebox." In this interview, Patti Durr and Karen Christie discuss their work at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, including their work with Deaf poets such as Ella Mae Lentz.
Publisher: 
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Digital Publisher: 
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - RIT Archive Collections
Contributor: 
Christie, Karen, 1954-
Contributor: 
Lerner, Miriam Nathan
Date of Original: 
2007
Date of Digitization: 
2018
Broad Type: 
moving image
Digital File Format: 
mp4
Physical Format: 
DVD
Dimensions of Original: 
79 minutes
Language: 
American Sign Language
Language: 
English
Original Item Location: 
RITDSA.0027
Library Collection: 
Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections
Library Collection: 
Miriam and Kenneth Lerner ASL Poetry Collection
Digital Project: 
2018-2019 CLIR Grant-ASL Poetry and Literature
Catalog Record: 
https://albert.rit.edu/record=b3955299
Catalog Record: 
https://twcarchivesspace.rit.edu/repositories/2/resources/815
Place: 
New York - Rochester
RIT Spaces and Places: 
Henrietta Campus
Rights: 
RIT Libraries makes materials from its collections available for educational and research purposes pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.
Rights: 
CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Transcript: 
DURR: HELLO, MY NAME IS PATTY DURR. I'M A PROFESSOR AT NTID IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AND CREATIVE STUDIES. -I AM, TOO. -WELL, TELL THEM YOUR NAME. CHRISTIE: OK, I'LL DO THAT. HELLO. I'M KAREN CHRISTIE. KC. I'M ALSO A PROFESSOR HERE AT NTID IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AND CREATIVE STUDIES. DURR: OK. I CAN GIVE YOU SOME BACKGROUND FIRST. MANY DISENFRANCHISED OR OPPRESSED CULTURES HAVE A DOMINANT CULTURE WHO DEFINES THEM. AND THAT OPPRESSION PERSISTS UNTIL THEY DECIDE TO BECOME INDEPENDENT OF THAT DEFINITION THAT'S FOISTED UPON THEM, AND THEN THEY START TO EXPRESS THAT THROUGH ART, THROUGH VISUAL ART. FOR EXAMPLE, THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE, THAT'S A GREAT EXAMPLE. IN NEW YORK CITY, THAT REALLY SPREAD INTO A LOT OF DIFFERENT AREAS, AND IT WAS EVIDENCED IN POETRY, STORIES, PLAYS, AND A LOT OF VISUAL ART THAT REPRESENTED THE BLACK EXPERIENCE. SO EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE STILL OPPRESSED, THEY SHOWED THROUGH ENTERTAINMENT AND ART THAT THEY WERE TRYING TO BECOME INDEPENDENT OF THAT DOMINANT CULTURE AND THAT CO-OPTION OF THEIR IDENTITY. NOW, WITH DEAF PEOPLE, THEY HAVE A SIMILAR EXPERIENCE. IT'S A LITTLE BIT LATER COMPARED TO OTHER GROUPS. FEMINIST ART IS A LOT EARLIER. THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE, OF COURSE, WAS A LOT EARLIER WITH BLACK PEOPLE. CHICANO, LATINO, ALL THOSE DIFFERENT GROUPS, GAY AND LESBIANS, HAVE THE SAME SORT OF WAY OF EXPRESSING THEMSELVES, BUT IT OCCURRED EARLIER THAN DEAF PEOPLE. THE DEAF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET TOGETHER AND COIN THIS TERM UNTIL 1989. THERE HAD BEEN DE'VIA ART PREVIOUS TO THAT, BUT NOT REALLY MUCH KNOWN. THE FIRST RECOGNIZED DEAF ARTIST IN THE DE'VIA FRAMEWORK WAS BETTY G. MILLER. VERY BRAVE. SHE DID A LOT OF ARTWORK, CREATED IT FOR YEARS. AND THEN IN 1972, SHE HAD A ONE-WOMAN SHOW AT GALLAUDET WHERE SHE SHOWED ALL HER WORK. AUDIENCES CAME, AND IT'S REALLY INTERESTING. A LOT OF PEOPLE FELT THEY GOT IT, AND OTHER PEOPLE SAID, "WHY ARE YOU SHOWING THIS WORK? "IT'S SO OFFENSIVE TO HEARING PEOPLE. IT'S NOT NICE." PEOPLE WHO WORK IN DIFFERENT FIELDS, LIKE DEAF EDUCATION, WHATEVER, WERE LIKE, "HEY, YOU'RE MAKING FUN OF US, "BUT WE'RE HELPING YOU. YOU'RE INSULTING US." BUT HEARING PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE DEAF WORLD WHO WERE ARTISTS SAW IT AND THEY GOT IT IMMEDIATELY AND THOUGHT IT WAS AMAZING, BECAUSE THEY COULD SEE OTHER CULTURAL GROUPS WHO HAD BEEN OPPRESSED DOING THE SAME SORT OF THING. THE RESPONSE TO HER WORK WAS SO OVERWHELMING AND OFF PUTTING THAT SHE DECIDED NOT TO SHOW IT ANYMORE. NO MORE EXHIBITS. SHE DID KEEP CREATING IT, BUT SHE DIDN'T EXHIBIT IT. SO SHE STILL WANTED TO KEEP PRODUCING IT, AND IT STILL SEEMS IMPORTANT TO SHOW OUR COLLECTIVE EXPERIENCE TOGETHER THROUGH ART. THERE WAS AN ARTISTS' COLONY IN TEXAS DURING THE 1970s. IT WAS CALLED SPECTRUM. AND ARTISTS GOT TOGETHER FROM ALL OVER THE U.S. POETS AND ACTORS, DANCERS, VISUAL ARTISTS ALL CAME TOGETHER AT DIFFERENT TIMES. AND THEN THE SEED MONEY THAT THEY HAD RAN OUT. 1989 BEFORE DEAF [INDISTINCT], 9 DIFFERENT ARTISTS GOT TOGETHER TO TALK ABOUT LIKE WHAT ART BY DEAF PEOPLE SHOULD BE CALLED. IT'S OUR DEAF-THEMED ARTWORK, BUT WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT IT THAN JUST ARTWORK MADE BY DEAF PEOPLE? YOU SEE DEAF ART ALL THE TIME. YOU SEE VISUAL ART THAT PEOPLE CREATE, AND DEAF PEOPLE USUALLY COPY IT OR COPY THOSE STYLES AND NOT DOING ANYTHING DEAF THEMED, AND THAT'S FINE, BUT WHERE'S THE ART CREATED BY DEAF PEOPLE WHERE THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT THE DEAF EXPERIENCE? THAT SEEMS TO BE HIDDEN. SO THIS GROUP WAS BECOMING AWARE OF IT AND SHOWING THAT AS GROUPS BECOME AWARE OF WHO THEY ARE, THEY EVIDENCE THAT. THEY DECIDED THEY NEEDED TO COME UP WITH A CERTAIN TERM TO DENOTE THIS, AND THEY CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF DEAF VIEW/IMAGE ART-- THE WAY THEY SHOW THEIR EXPERIENCES ON THIS CANVAS, AND THAT'S THE EXPERIENCE THAT THEY'RE SHOWING TO THE WORLD. IT'S CALLED DE'VIA. D-E-V-I-A. DEAF VIEW IMAGE ART. SOME OF THE OTHER ARTISTS SIGN IT IN A DIFFERENT WAY, BUT IT MEANS THE SAME THING. BETTY HERSELF SIGNS IT THIS WAY. DEAF VIEW IMAGE ART. SO DE'VIA CHUGGED ALONG, AND IT'S BEEN GOING SINCE AROUND 1989 AS THE NAME OF IT. IN THE DEAF ART WORLD SOME PEOPLE SAID, "NAH, WE DON'T BUY IT." YOU KNOW, "I DON'T FEEL OPPRESSED. I DON'T FEEL I'M EXPRESSING MYSELF THAT WAY." AND THAT'S FINE. THAT'S FINE. BUT THERE IS A GOOD COHORT OF PEOPLE WHO BELIEVE REALLY IT DOES EXIST. THEY WANT TO DOCUMENT IT. THEY WANT TO SHARE IT. THEY WANT TO ANALYZE IT. THEY THINK THAT IT'S GOT A POLITICAL MESSAGE OF KIND OF SHIRKING OFF THE OPPRESSION AND THE COMMUNICATION DIFFICULTIES. I MEAN, IT'S VERY CLEAR WORKS TO TRY TO WAKE UP THE WORLD IN A SENSE. DEAF STUDIES HAS LOOKED AT IT AT LENGTH. FOR EXAMPLE, SUSAN DUPOR'S WORK. SHE'S GOT ONE PIECE THAT'S A FAMOUS PIECE THAT SHOWS IT VERY CLEARLY. IT'S CALLED "THE FAMILY DOG." IT'S GOT THE DEAF GIRL UNDERNEATH A TABLE LIKE A DOG. THE FAMILY MEMBERS ARE SITTING ON A COUCH, AND THEIR MOUTHS ARE BLANKED OUT LIKE THE STATIC ON AN OLD TV SCREEN. AND THAT'S TO SHOW THAT SHE DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY WERE SAYING. THEIR ARMS ARE CROSSED IN FRONT OF THEM BECAUSE, OF COURSE, THEY'RE NOT SIGNING. AND SHE'S IN THE POSITION OF A DOG BECAUSE SHE'S BEING TREATED LIKE A BELOVED PET. A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOK AT THAT AND UNDERSTOOD IT RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE THEY'RE TREATED LIKE THAT BY THEIR HEARING FAMILIES. SO THIS WORK STARTED TO GROW AND SPREAD. AND A LOT OF PEOPLE FELT, WOW, THIS VALIDATES MY EXPERIENCE. THIS REALLY SHOWS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A DEAF PERSON IN A HEARING WORLD. WHAT IT'S LIKE. THERE'S SORROW, THERE'S ANGUISH, THERE ARE CHALLENGES, THERE ARE STRUGGLES, BUT THERE'S ALSO JOY AND CELEBRATION AS WELL. BOTH OF THOSE COEXIST. THE STRUGGLING KIND OF ARTWORK IS CALLED RESISTANCE AND THE MORE CELEBRATORY IS CALLED AFFIRMATION ARTWORK. SO WE HAVE BOTH OF THOSE CATEGORIES. AND WITHIN THIS AFFIRMATION ARTWORK, SOMETIMES THERE'S SOMETHING CALLED LIBERATION ART. VISUAL ART IS DIFFICULT TO SEE. IT'S A FROZEN FORM BECAUSE ONCE IT'S ON THE PAGE OR THE CANVAS, WHATEVER, IT'S STATIC. IT'S NOT MOVING. OFTEN THEY'LL SHOW THE STRUGGLES ON THE BOTTOM PART OF THE CANVAS OR THE ARTWORK, AND THEN THINGS GET LIGHTER AND MORE CELEBRATORY AS IT MOVES ON THE HIGHER PARTS OF IT. THINGS CAN BE, IN THE ART WORLD, EITHER AFFIRMATION OR RESISTANCE OR A LITTLE BIT OF BOTH. OR LIBERATION. CHRISTIE: OR IT COULD MOVE FROM ONE TO THE OTHER. DURR: RIGHT. AND WHAT KAREN IS REFERRING TO IS CHUCK BARRETT'S ARTWORK. HE HAS A HUGE MURAL THAT'S AT GALLAUDET IN THE CAFETERIA. AND THERE'S A VARIETY OF DEAF PEOPLE THAT ARE REPRESENTED AS ALIENS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO HAIR. AND A LOT OF ARTISTS USE THAT IMAGE. THE WORD "ALIEN" HAS TWO MEANINGS. SOMETIMES IT MEANS PEOPLE WHO ARE FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY AND SOMETIMES IT MEANS PEOPLE FROM ANOTHER PLANET. AND SO IT SEEMS THAT THAT SYMBOL'S USED AS A METAPHOR BECAUSE QUITE OFTEN DEAF PEOPLE DON'T FEEL THEY'RE TREATED AS AMERICANS. THEY'RE SHUNTED ASIDE. THEY ARE AMERICANS, BUT THEY'RE TREATED LIKE THEY'RE FOREIGNERS. THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE AND THEY'RE TREATED DIFFERENTLY. SO ON THIS MURAL THERE'S PEOPLE WITHOUT HAIR, AND THERE'S A REAL MIXTURE OF FOLKS DEPICTED IN IT. THERE'S SOME PEOPLE VERY PROUD OF THEIR DEAFNESS. THEY'RE SAYING, "YES, CAN. DEAF POWER." THEY'RE SIGNING THOSE KINDS OF THINGS. SOME ARE IN POSITIONS OF SUPPLICATIONS, PRAYING, OR SOME ARE STRUGGLING. THERE'S ONE MAN SHOWN WITH A LITTLE BOY, AND THE LITTLE BOY'S SIGNING "DEAF" QUESTIONINGLY AND THE ADULT IS SAYING "SAME," THAT WE'RE BOTH THE SAME. IN ONE CORNER THERE ARE GLOWING HANDS AS IF THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE'S BEING BLESSED BY GOD. SO THERE'S A LOT OF DIFFERENT THINGS DEPICTED IN THIS FROM AFFIRMATION, RESISTANCE, LIBERATION ALL ACROSS THE BOARD IN THIS ONE MURAL. IN 1989, THERE WAS THIS GROUP OF DEAF ARTISTS THAT GOT TOGETHER TO DECIDE WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT OUR ARTWORK. AND THAT'S WHEN THEY CAME UP WITH THE TERM DE'VIA, AND THEY COINED IT. THEY CREATED A MANIFESTO, AND THEY ALL SIGNED IT. SO THERE ARE 9 SIGNATORIES OF THAT. AND IN THIS MANIFESTO THEY DESCRIBE WHAT ELEMENTS THE WORK HAS TO HAVE, THE CRITERIA TO SATISFY TO BE CONSIDERED DE'VIA. IT COULD BE CREATED BY A HEARING PERSON, BUT IT HAS TO BE DEAF THEMED. AND THE ARTIST MUST APPROACH THE WORK WITH THE INTENTION OF DEPICTING THE DEAF EXPERIENCE. SO IT'S AN IMPORTANT CONCEPT OF INTENTION. THE INTENTIONALITY NEEDS TO BE OBVIOUS. SOMETIMES THERE'S ABSTRACT WORK. YOU LOOK AT IT AND THERE'S JUST NO WAY YOU'LL BE ABLE TO FIGURE IT OUT. YOU ASK THE ARTIST, AND THEN THEY EXPLAIN. YOU REALIZE THAT THEY DID HAVE THAT INTENTION. SOMETIMES IN DEAF STUDIES YOU'LL SEE PIECES OF ARTWORK WHERE THE ARTIST WAS DEAF, AND YOU TRY TO READ INTO THEIR WORK AND PEOPLE INTERPRET IT AND GO, "OH, YES, "YOU CAN SEE THERE WAS A LOT OF DEAF STUFF THERE. THE CHILDREN HAVE EYES THAT LOOK LIKE DEAF EYES" OR WHAT HAVE YOU. AND YOU CAN ASK THE PERSON. THEY'LL SAY THAT'S NOT TRUE. OR YOU HAVE TO REALIZE WAS THAT THEIR INTENTION OR NOT, OR ARE WE SUPERIMPOSING OUR ASSUMPTIONS ON THAT? I DON'T KNOW. BUT IN 1989, THIS GROUP GOT TOGETHER AND SAID INTENTIONALITY IS IMPORTANT. IT COULD BE CONSCIOUS. IT COULD BE SUBCONSCIOUS. BUT THAT'S ONE IMPORTANT ELEMENT. DE'VIA TENDS TO USE LOUD, BOLD COLORS. IT TENDS TO HAVE A CENTRAL FOCUS IN THE CANVAS AND SOMETIMES EXAGGERATED FEATURES, ESPECIALLY CERTAIN MOTIFS THAT RECUR. ONE IS THE USE OF DIFFERENT BODY PARTS. THE MOUTH CAN BE OVERLY EXAGGERATED OR IT CAN BE PRESENTED LIKE A MARIONETTE MOUTH, AND THAT'S TO REPRESENT ALL THE SPEECH TRAINING PEOPLE UNDERGO. SOMETIMES THERE'S NO MOUTHS TO SHOW THEY CAN'T TALK. SOMETIMES THEY'RE TAPED SHUT OR GLUED SHUT. SOMETIMES THERE'S BIG EYES TO SHOW THAT WE'RE VISUAL PEOPLE. SOMETIMES THERE'S NO EYES TO SHOW THAT COMMUNICATION IS BLOCKED AND THERE'S NO STIMULATION VISUALLY. EARS CAN BE PART OF IT, TOO. SOMETIMES EARS CAN BE REALLY BIG OR OUT OF A FRAME OR FRAMED IN A PARTICULAR WAY TO SHOW THAT DEAF PEOPLE ARE FRAMED A CERTAIN WAY. IT MEANS WE'RE BIFURCATED AND PEOPLE ONLY LOOK AT OUR MOUTHS OR OUR EARS AND NOT THE REST OF US. HANDS, OF COURSE, ARE USED QUITE OFTEN. SO IT'S THAT KIND OF THING. CHRISTIE: YEAH, I THINK THIS RELATES TO POETRY ALSO. IF YOU LOOK AT THE IDEA OF COLONIALISM AND POST-COLONIALIST THEORY, IT FITS VERY WELL IN THE REALM OF ART. ALL OF OUR EXPERIENCES WERE CO-OPTED BY AN IMPERIALISM, A COLONIALISM OF SORTS. IT'S A THEORY THAT YOU CAN USE TO ANALYZING PAINTING, ARTWORK, AND POETRY AS WELL. SO THAT'S A DIFFERENT WAY TO APPROACH THE WHOLE SUBJECT. DURR: ONE COMMON THEME THAT RECURS IN DE'VIA ART AND THE RESISTANCE ART IS THAT OF LANGUAGE RIGHTS. IT'S TIED TO THE POST-COLONIALIST IDEA. COLONIALISM MEANS THAT AN OPPRESSOR TAKES OVER A GROUP, AND QUITE OFTEN THEY DO THAT BY ATTACKING THEIR LANGUAGE FIRST. THEY TELL THEM THEIR LANGUAGE IS NO GOOD, IT'S INFERIOR, IT'S DIRTY, IT'S SUBHUMAN, WHAT HAVE YOU, AND THE DOMINANT CULTURE IS WHAT THE NORM SHOULD BE. THAT'S THE WORST KIND OF OPPRESSION BECAUSE LANGUAGE ITSELF IS NEVER FULLY ACCESSIBLE FOR DEAF PEOPLE. SO WHEN THIS DOMINANT CULTURE TAKES OVER-- SUPPOSE YOU LOOK AT SOUTH AMERICA. OH, THAT'S REALLY STRONG THERE. THE IDEA IS WE WANT THEM TO LEARN ENGLISH. SO PEOPLE LEARN ENGLISH, THEN THEY'LL TAKE ON THE WAYS OF THE OPPRESSOR. AND THE MORE ENGLISH THEY KNOW, THEN THEY THINK THAT THEY RAISED AN ESTIMATION OF THEIR OPPRESSOR. THEY'RE BRAINWASHED IN A SENSE. BUT THEY'VE LOST THEIR MOTHER TONGUE. THEY'VE LOST THAT CULTURAL ELEMENT. IN VISUAL ART, QUITE OFTEN WE SEE THAT DEAF PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO SHOW RESISTANCE THROUGH LOVING AND ADORING THEIR SIGN LANGUAGE. DE'VIA WORK, ESPECIALLY BETTY G. MILLER'S EARLY WORK, AMESLAN PROHIBITED. AMESLAN WAS THE OLD WORD FOR AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE BACK IN THE DAY. A-M-E WAS AMERICA AND SLAN WAS SIGN LANGUAGE. BUT IT'S PRETTY SIMPLE PENCIL DRAWING OF A PAIR OF HANDS THAT ARE BROKEN AND CHAINED TOGETHER. LOT OF DEAF PEOPLE, WHEN THEY SAW THAT IDENTIFIED WITH IT RIGHT AWAY BECAUSE OF THE IDEA OF HAVING THEIR HANDS SLAPPED WITH RULERS DURING SPEECH THERAPY ALL THE TIME. THEY COULDN'T EXPRESS THEMSELVES. THEY WEREN'T ALLOWED TO SIGN. ANOTHER FAMOUS PIECE OF ARTWORK IS "MILAN, 1880." IT WAS DERIVED FROM A GOYA COMPOSITION, "THE THIRD OF MAY 1808," WHICH SHOWS SPANISH SOLDIERS KILLING CIVILIANS. IT'S COMPOSED, THIS NEWER PAINTING, THE SAME WAY THE OLDER ONE WAS. WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE BEING KILLED WERE STANDING, INSTEAD THEY HAVE THE LETTERS A-S-L. SO THIS IS PAINTED TO SHARE AND DEPICT THE COMMON EXPERIENCE OF PEOPLE. THIS ARTWORK IS REALLY BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE THE "L," THE LAST LETTER, IS YELLOW. THE FIRST TWO LETTERS, "A" AND "S," SHOW HUGE CRACKS AND FRACTURES, BUT THE "L" IS YELLOW AND WHOLE WITHOUT CRACKS TO SHOW THAT ASL WILL PREVAIL NO MATTER WHAT, THROUGH MILAN, THROUGH 1880, THROUGH SPEECH BEING DECLARED THE PREDOMINANT THEORY OF EDUCATION FOR DEAF PEOPLE AND WHAT HAVE YOU. IT'S GOING TO PERSIST. IT'S GOING TO PREVAIL. AND SO SOMETIMES RESISTANCE ART HAS LIBERATION ELEMENTS WITHIN IT, AND THAT RELATES TO THE IDEA OF POST-COLONIALISM. CELEBRATION FOR ME IS UNDER THE LABEL OF AFFIRMATION ART. AND RESISTANCE... LOOKS AT THE PAIN, THE SUFFERING. LIBERATION ART-- WE'RE NOT SURE IS IT REALLY A SEPARATE CATEGORY? IT'S REALLY UNDERNEATH AFFIRMATION. CHRISTIE: AND I THINK AFFIRMATION-- LIBERATION IS A KIND OF AFFIRMATION ART, WHETHER IT WAS A POEM OR A PIECE OF ART. RESISTANCE AND CELEBRATION ARE SEPARATE, BUT IN THE END, CELEBRATION BECOMES AFFIRMATION OR AFFIRMATION BECOMES CELEBRATION. IT IS A TRANSITION FROM THAT RESISTANCE, FROM BEING OPPRESSED TO FINALLY CELEBRATING IN THE END. IT SHOWS HOPE. DURR: IT'S A DISCOURSE STYLE. IT'S A WAY OF TELLING A STORY AND A WAY OF SHOWING THAT TRAJECTORY FROM BEING OPPRESSED TO NOT BEING OPPRESSED ANYMORE. SHOULD I GET DOWN? SHOULD I STAY? WELL, PATTY'S WORK RELATED TO DE'VIA ARTWORK AND THOSE TWO CATEGORIES-- AFFIRMATION AND RESISTANCE. WHEN I WAS FIRST INTRODUCED TO THEM... IT SEEMED THAT IT FELT FAMILIAR TO ME, AND THEN I REALIZED THAT YOU CAN FIND THIS IN POETRY AS WELL. SO IT JUST STARTED ME THINKING ABOUT THESE CATEGORIES UNDER DE'VIA ARTWORK, BUT IT JUST SEEMED LIKE IT MIGHT APPLY TO ASL POETRY, TOO. IT SET MY MIND WANDERING ABOUT THAT. THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE, AS SHE WAS MENTIONING BEFORE, THAT WAS ART, BUT THERE WAS A LOT OF POETRY INVOLVED IN THAT AS WELL. SO I STARTED THINKING ABOUT HOW THE IDEAS IN DE'VIA ARTWORK MIGHT APPLY TO POETRY AND HOW PEOPLE WRITE ABOUT THE DIFFERENT THINGS IN THEIR LIVES THAT SHOW THOSE CATEGORIES AS WELL. I STARTED WATCHING A LOT OF DIFFERENT TAPES OF PERFORMANCES, ALL THESE DIFFERENT POEMS, A WHOLE CANON OF POETRY. SOME OF THEM WERE VERY STRONGLY ABOUT THE DEAF EXPERIENCE. AND THERE WERE OTHERS THAT WERE REALLY COOL, BUT THEY WEREN'T ABOUT THE DEAF EXPERIENCE. I DECIDED TO FOCUS MY ENERGIES ON THE ONES THAT WERE SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE DEAF EXPERIENCE AND DETERMINE WHETHER THEY FIT INTO THE CATEGORIES OF AFFIRMATION OR RESISTANCE. AND I FOUND THAT SURE ENOUGH, THE WHOLE THEORY FIT BEAUTIFULLY. THERE ARE THESE TWO CATEGORIES. THERE'S AFFIRMATION. YOU COULD FIND A LOT OF POEMS. THERE WAS RESISTANCE. THE RESISTANCE POETRY WAS REALLY OBVIOUS. "THE DOOR" BY ELLA MAE LENTZ, IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL POEM. VERY, VERY CLEAR. AND IT TELLS OUR HISTORY, OUR DEAFHOOD, WHAT HAPPENED ALONG THE WAY OVER THE COURSE OF TIME, THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF AND THEN MAINSTREAMING, ALL IN ONE POEM. BUT IT'S PRIMARILY A RESISTANCE POEM. SOMETIMES A PERSON CAN'T GET OUT INTO THE DEAF COMMUNITY, AND MAINSTREAMING STIFLES THEM. HEARING PEOPLE HAVE FORCED US. YOU KNOW, THEY'VE BEEN SEEING US IN THIS PARTICULAR WAY, AND THEN WITH MAINSTREAMING, WE BECOME MORE ISOLATED. SO THERE'S A STRONG RESISTANCE TO HEARING CULTURE IN THIS POEM BY TAKING OFF THESE SHACKLES OF THE EDUCATIONAL PARADIGMS AND STICKING WITH DEAF CULTURE. SO "THE DOOR" IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THAT AND ANOTHER EXAMPLE, MAYBE, OF CELEBRATION. I THINK MY FAVORITE ONE-- IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL POEM BY CLAYTON VALLI, AND IT'S CALLED "HANDS." "THE HANDS." IT'S ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CELEBRATION POEMS I'VE EVER SEEN. IT WORKS CYCLES. HE TALKS ABOUT THE SEASONS. SO HE USES THE 4 SEASONS AS A METAPHOR. IT'S PERFECT BECAUSE IT RELATES TO THE THINGS THAT WE HOLD DEAR MOST IN OUR LIVES AS DEAF PEOPLE. IT CONNECTS TO THE IDEA OF SIGNING AND ASL... AND THAT WE'RE NATURAL BEINGS. ASL's A NATURAL LANGUAGE. IT NEEDS TO PERSIST. IT KEEPS GOING AND GOING JUST LIKE THE SEASONS DO. IT'S JUST BEAUTIFUL, THE WHOLE THING. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL METAPHOR, BUT IT'S ENCAPSULATED IN A VERY SHORT POEM, IN A REALLY SUCCINCT EXPRESSION. AND I THINK THAT ASL FOR DEAF PEOPLE IS A PERFECT TOOL FOR THIS KIND OF EXPRESSION BECAUSE IT CAN INCORPORATE SO MANY DIFFERENT ELEMENTS TO SHOW THE WHOLE IDEA. WHILE I WAS DOING ALL MY ANALYSIS OF RESISTANCE POEMS AND CELEBRATION POETRY AND ASL, I STARTED TO NOTICE THAT IN THE CELEBRATION POETRY, THERE WERE SOME ELEMENTS OF RESISTANCE THAT WERE EMBEDDED WITHIN IT. SO I DIDN'T KNOW WHICH CATEGORY ACTUALLY TO PUT IT IN SINCE IT SEEMED TO BE BOTH. SOME OF THE POEMS HAVE RESISTANCE, BUT THEN THEY WOULD TRANSITION TO CELEBRATION IN THE END. BUT IT NEVER WENT THE OTHER WAY. IT NEVER WAS A CELEBRATORY POEM THAT THEN DEGRADED INTO RESISTANCE. SO WE CALLED THAT CELEBRATION BECAUSE IT WAS A PROCESS. IT WAS A JOURNEY OF DEAFHOOD. THE WHOLE IDEA OF DEAF IDENTITY AND THE DEAF SELF WAS EVIDENCED IN THEM. AND I THINK ONE OF THE BEST EXAMPLES OF THAT, OF A DEAFHOOD POEM, IS BY DEBBIE RENNIE. IT'S CALLED "BLACK HOLE: THE COLORS OF ASL." AND THAT REALLY DOES SHOW THE JOURNEY, THAT SOMEBODY'S WALKING ALONG, LITERALLY ON A JOURNEY, AND THEN THEY START TO CLIMB TO THIS LADDER, AND THEN THEY DISCOVER WHO THEY ARE AS A DEAF PERSON. THEY START TO SIGN. THEY LEARN ASL. AND THEN THE COLORS EMERGE, AND THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL. IT'S RICH, IT'S VIBRANT, IT'S GORGEOUS. AND THEN SOMEBODY STARTS SHAKING THE LADDER. IT'S AS IF SOMEBODY'S SAYING, "NOPE. COME BACK DOWN." BUT THE RESISTANCE TO THAT BLACK HOLE IS THAT I WON'T COME DOWN. IF YOU'RE IN A BLACK HOLE, YOU CAN'T SEE AND THERE'S NO COLORS. AND THAT'S THE HEARING WORLD. THAT'S THE METAPHOR THAT'S UTILIZED IN THAT POEM. IT'S REALLY GREAT. SO IF YOU'RE ON THAT LADDER AND YOU'RE FINDING YOUR IDENTITY, YOU'RE OPENING YOURSELF UP, YOU'RE READY TO FIND OUT WHO YOU ARE AS A DEAF PERSON. AND WHAT HAPPENS? YOU FIND THIS NEW POWER. YOU FIND A SPIRITUAL POWER THAT HELPS YOU RISE ABOVE AND ASCEND TO THE HEAVENS IN A SENSE. SO THAT POEM REALLY SHOWS THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY AND ENLIGHTENMENT, AND I THINK THAT THAT'S WHAT THE DEAFHOOD JOURNEY'S ALL ABOUT. IT STARTS WITH THIS WANDERING AND INNOCENCE... AND NOT REALLY KNOWING WHERE ONE'S GOING, AND THEN ENTERING THIS DEAF WORLD AND BECOMING LIBERATED. SO THE JOURNEY STARTS WITH OPPRESSION, IN A SENSE, AND THEN IT ENDS WITH A CELEBRATION. YEAH, IT'S LIKE CLAYTON VALLI'S POEM CALLED "COCOON." VERY SIMILAR IDEA. IT STARTS WITH A JOURNEY. WE DON'T KNOW WHO WE ARE. I DON'T KNOW WHO I AM. AND THEN I HAVE TO ENCLOSE MYSELF AND ENCAPSULATE MYSELF INTO A COCOON AND UNDERGO THAT PROCESS OF LOOKING AT MYSELF, THE SELF DISCOVERY. I NEED THAT HELP. AND THEN UNDERGO A BIRTH AND BECOME A BUTTERFLY AND HAVE THAT SPIRITUAL ASCENDENCY. SAME IDEA. VERY, VERY NICE METAPHOR AND A NICE WAY TO DEPICT IT. THERE'S ONE EXAMPLE I SAW. LET'S SEE. IT'S HOW RESISTANCE OCCURS IN POETRY, HOW IT WORKS, WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE. THERE'S A LOT OF SYMBOLS THAT ARE UTILIZED. SO FOR EXAMPLE, AFRICAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE KINKY HAIR, FOR INSTANCE. AND SO THE DOMINANT WHITE CULTURE, ESPECIALLY IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM, TRIES TO TEACH THEM, WELL, YOU NEED TO STRAIGHTEN YOUR HAIR. YOU NEED TO USE A LOT OF CHEMICALS. YOU NEED TO FUSS WITH YOURSELF AND NOT BE WHO YOU ARE CULTURALLY. CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES. CHANGE YOUR PRESENTATION. CHANGE YOUR WAY OF BEING IN THE WORLD. SO YOU CAN SHOW THAT IN SYMBOLS, LIKE IN THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE. DIFFERENT WAYS OF BLACKNESS CAN BE CHOSEN TO SHOW THAT THEY DON'T WANT TO JETTISON THOSE. THEY WANT TO SHOW WHO THEY ARE. AND WITH DEAF PEOPLE, IT'S THE SAME KIND OF THING. THERE'S SYMBOLS TO SHOW WHO WE ARE. BUT WE'RE TOLD TO GET RID OF SIGN LANGUAGE. WE'RE TOLD TO CHANGE OUR WAY OF EXPRESSING OUR FACES. WE'RE TOLD TO KEEP OUR MOUTHS STILL, PUT OUR HANDS IN OUR LAPS. THAT'S PARALLEL TO THE EXPERIENCE OF BLACK PEOPLE BEING CO-OPTED BY THE DOMINANT CULTURE AS WELL. I THINK THAT RESISTANT POEMS... GOOD EXAMPLE IS LANGSTON HUGHES' "A DREAM DEFERRED." "WHAT HAPPENS TO A DREAM DEFERRED?" IT'S A GREAT EXAMPLE OF A RESISTANCE POEM. ANOTHER ONE WOULD BE... LET'S SEE. OOH, TRYING TO PICK MY BRAIN HERE. I THINK "THE DOOR" DEFINITELY, SHOWING THINGS DRIED UP, SHOWING THAT PEOPLE ARE HOLDING THINGS IN. THE LANGSTON HUGHES ONE, THAT YOU CAN'T DREAM IF YOU HAVE TO SWALLOW YOUR DREAMS, IF YOU HAVE TO HOLD THEM IN. WHAT HAPPENS TO A DREAM DEFERRED? I THINK THAT'S PARALLEL TO THE DEAF EXPERIENCE, BEING TOLD YOU CAN'T ALL THE TIME. YEAH, THAT'S REALLY... IT'S SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A DREAM REALLY, RIGHT? IT'S YOUR WHOLE LIFE, THE WHOLE LIFE OF A DEAF PERSON. AND IT'S LIKE THE DANDELION POEM. YOU KNOW, PEOPLE TRYING TO DESTROY YOU. OR THE CHILDREN'S GARDEN, THINGS BEING DESTROYED, YOUR ROOTS BEING TAKEN AND DESTROYED. DEAF PEOPLE DON'T EVEN HAVE A RIGHT TO EXIST. IT'S AS IF PEOPLE ARE SAYING THAT. WE QUESTION THIS. THEY DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT TO SIGN. WHAT'S THAT ABOUT? OH. LET'S SEE, THERE WAS ANOTHER ONE. ONE ABOUT BEING IN SEARCH OF A HOME. SO PARALLEL TO THE IDEA OF POST-COLONIALISM... THE IDEA OF PEOPLE BEING IN EXILE. PEOPLE OFTEN ARE LOOKING FOR WHERE THEIR HOME IS. DEAF PEOPLE OFTEN ARE THINKING, "WHERE IS MY HOME?" IT'S BEEN CHANGED. IT'S BEEN DESTROYED. I'VE HAD TO LEAVE. IT'S LIKE A DIASPORA, IN A SENSE. AND SO THAT'S LIKE DEAF PEOPLE. DEAF PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THEIR HOME. WE DON'T AUTOMATICALLY HAVE ONE. WE HAVE TO FIND A HOME. AND THAT'S PART OF OUR LIFE STORY. THERE'S ALWAYS THIS QUEST TO FIND A HOME. IF WE DON'T COME FROM A DEAF FAMILY, THEN HOW DO WE FIND OUR HOME? TRADITIONALLY, THAT WAS ALWAYS IN THE SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF. THAT WAS THE ANSWER. SO QUITE OFTEN IN ASL POETRY, DEAF PEOPLE WILL TALK ABOUT THE QUEST AND THE SEARCH FOR A HOME, BEING ON THAT JOURNEY, LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO BELONG. "BLACK HOLE: THE COLORS OF ASL" WAS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THAT, AND ALSO "COCOON." THAT'S ANOTHER GREAT EXAMPLE. SEARCHING FOR A HOME, MEANING THAT YOU HAVE TO FIND THE HOME, AND THEN YOU'LL FIND YOUR IDENTITY. AND YOU MUST HAVE BOTH OF THOSE CONCURRENTLY. AND PART OF THAT ANSWER IS SIGN LANGUAGE. 'CAUSE ONCE YOU HAVE THAT LANGUAGE, THEN YOU HAVE A FREEDOM. YOU HAVE A FREEDOM TO TRAVEL THE WORLD, IN A SENSE. YOU HAVE THAT HOME BASE, AND THAT'S YOUR FOUNDATION, AND FROM THERE, YOU'RE ABLE TO TRAVEL AND EXPLORE MORE. SO THAT'S TRUE LIBERATION. BUT WITHOUT THAT OR BEFORE THAT, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. THE WAY YOU GET INTO THE DEAF COMMUNITY OR THE DEAF WORLD, THROUGH FRIENDS, THROUGH SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF, THROUGH COLLEGE, HIGH SCHOOL. THERE'S SO MANY DIFFERENT WAYS FOR PEOPLE TO ENTER THAT PORTAL. YEAH, WELL, I THINK... I THINK TO GET INTO THE DEAF COMMUNITY, FIND WHO I AM, AND FIND SIGN LANGUAGE. FINDING A LANGUAGE BOY, THAT MEANS YOU CAN PLAY WITH LANGUAGE, YOU CAN CREATE WITH LANGUAGE. YOU'RE NOT JUST USING IT FOR SIMPLE, BASIC COMMUNICATION AND JUST GETTING BY. YOU'RE EXPRESSING YOURSELF AND YOU'RE ABLE TO SEE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE EXPRESS. IT'S ALWAYS SUCH A STRUGGLE. AND WHEN THAT STRUGGLE'S NO LONGER GONE, YOU CAN BE SO MUCH MORE CREATIVE NOW THAT YOU HAVE THIS INCREDIBLE LANGUAGE. THAT'S NOT A COMMON EXPERIENCE FOR OTHER PEOPLE. IT'S VERY UNIQUE TO DEAF FOLKS. YEAH, IT'S IRONIC BECAUSE NTID HERE IN ROCHESTER, IT'S A TECHNICAL COLLEGE, RIGHT? BUT IRONICALLY, THERE'S SO MUCH ART THAT HAS BEEN SPAWNED FROM IT, MAYBE BECAUSE THE TECHNICAL PART IS SO EMPHASIZED IT FREES UP OTHER ASPECTS OF PEOPLE TO CREATE ART AND POETRY AND SATISFY THAT HUNGER BECAUSE ALL THEIR OTHER ENERGIES ARE TAKEN UP WITH THE TECHNICAL ASPECT. I DON'T KNOW. BUT THERE SEEMS TO BE A THIRST FOR THAT, A HUNGER FOR CREATIVITY. PATTY'S RIGHT. I THINK HERE IN ROCHESTER, WE HAD DEAF ARTISTS OF AMERICA FOR A WHILE. WE HAD DEAF THEATER COMPANY. WE HAD DEAF FILM FESTIVAL, THE DEAF POETRY CONFERENCE. WE HAD THE NATIONAL AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE LITERATURE CONFERENCE. SO THAT ALL CAME TO FRUITION HERE IN ROCHESTER. SO IT SEEMS LIKE THE GROUND WAS FERTILE FOR THE ART WORLD HERE. AND IT COULD BE A RESPONSE TO ALL THAT TECHNOLOGY IN THAT IT'S A TECHNOLOGICAL COLLEGE, I DON'T KNOW. WELL, I CAN SEE THE OPPOSITE AS WELL. IN MARTHA'S VINEYARD, NOW THEY HAD DEAF AND HEARING PEOPLE WHO WERE ALL IN MIXED COMMUNITIES, AND THEY DIDN'T NEED WHAT YOU WOULD CALL A DEAF COMMUNITY. BUT ON THE MAINLAND, THEY HAD A STRONG DEAF COMMUNITY, AND THAT WAS NECESSARY FOR THEM. SO IT'S ALMOST LIKE IT WAS THE OPPOSITE IN THE DIFFERENT PLACES. SO HERE WE HAVE THIS COLLEGE, AND THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES, SO MAYBE THAT NEED ISN'T AS HARD THERE BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT AS OPPRESSED AND THEY HAVE EACH OTHER MORE THAN IN OTHER PLACES, PERHAPS. I DON'T KNOW. YEAH, I DON'T KNOW. HERE IN ROCHESTER, YEAH. YEAH, THE COMMUNITY'S HERE, AND... THEY COULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HAVING THE EQUIPMENT HERE AND UTILIZE THE RESOURCES THAT ARE RIGHT HERE. YEAH, THE CLASSED HANDS OR THE MANACLED HANDS. YEAH, THERE'S ONE POEM BY VALLI CALLED "HANDS FOLDED." I SAW HIM PERFORM IT YEARS AGO. MEL CARTER. MEL CARTER ACTUALLY PERFORMED IT. I SAW HIM DO IT. IT GOES LIKE THIS-- "THE HANDS ARE FOLDED, "WHY AM I SITTING HERE? LOOK, MY HANDS ARE FOLDED." AND IT GOES ON TO EXPLAIN HOW IN THE SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF, ALL THE KIDS WERE AT THE TABLE IN THE CAFETERIA, AND BEFORE THEY ATE, THEY WEREN'T ALLOWED TO TALK. THEY HAD TO BE QUIET 'CAUSE THEY WERE TOLD TO SIT WITH THEIR HANDS FOLDED. SO EVERY CHILD WAS ADMONISHED TO FOLD THEIR HANDS IN THEIR LAPS IN FRONT OF THEM. AND THEN THERE'S THIS GREAT PART WHERE THEY SHOW THIS MOUTH MOVEMENT THAT'S SORT OF, "UGH! I WISH I DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THIS." THEY COULDN'T TALK. THEY COULDN'T COMMUNICATE. AND THEN WHEN THEY GRADUATE COLLEGE, THIS PERSON'S OUT WITH THEIR FRIENDS, AND THEY SIT AND THEY FOLD THEIR HANDS AGAIN BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE ARE TALKING ALL AROUND, THEY'RE JUST USED TO KEEPING QUIET AND HAVING THEIR HANDS FOLDED. AND THE SIGN "HABIT" IS LIKE TAKING YOUR HANDS AND FOLDING THEM IN FRONT OF YOU ON YOUR LAP WITH THAT SAME EXPRESSION OF LIKE, "GRR, I WISH DIDN'T HAVE TO DO THAT." WHAT HAPPENS IS THAT SILENCE HAS BEEN INTERNALIZED. THEY'VE BEEN TOLD TO SHUT UP, FOLD YOUR HANDS, BE QUIET. SO FOR DEAF PEOPLE, IT'S A PHYSICAL WAY OF SHUTTING THEM UP. THEY DON'T TALK, BUT IT'S A WAY OF KEEPING THEIR HANDS IN THEIR LAP AND EMBODIED BEING TOLD TO BE QUIET. IT'S A VERY STRONG IMAGE OF HAVING YOUR HANDS SHACKLED TOGETHER OR HANDCUFFED TOGETHER THAT SHOWS UP QUITE OFTEN, TAKING OFF THOSE CHAINS AND GETTING RID OF THOSE BONDS SHOWS UP QUITE OFTEN IN POETRY. PATRICK GRAYBILL USES IT. MEMORIES OF SPEECHREADING CLASS. THIS OTHER POEM, ONE CALLED "LIBERATION," THAT PATRICK CREATED THAT'S ALSO ABOUT HANDS THAT ARE MANACLED AS WELL. BETTY G. MILLER IN "AMESLAN PROHIBITED" ALSO HAS THAT IMAGE. SO IT COMES UP QUITE OFTEN. LOTS OF POEMS HAVE THAT IDEA OF HANDS HANDCUFFED TOGETHER OR BOUND TOGETHER. SO "THE TREASURE"... THERE WERE SEVERAL POEMS IN THAT. IT'S A PERFECT METAPHOR. YOU THINK ABOUT THE TREASURE, SOMETHING VALUED, SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL... SOMETHING OF IMPORT. QUITE OFTEN IT'S SOMETHING THAT'S BURIED AND HIDDEN UNDERGROUND. SO FLYING WORDS CULTURE, THEIR POEM "LOST AND FOUND" AND ELLA MAE LENTZ, HER POEM CALLED "THE TREASURE," BOTH OF THEM USE THAT IMAGE AS A METAPHOR FOR ASL. FOR ELLA'S POEM "THE DOOR," THERE'S THIS SEARCH, AND THEN IT'S UNEARTHED, AND THEN IT'S CELEBRATED. AND IT'S PUT IN PEOPLE'S VISUAL PATHS SO THEY CAN SEE IT. SHE'S SAYING, "LOOK AT THIS. "IT'S BEEN HIDDEN FOR SO MANY YEARS. "THIS BEAUTIFUL LEGACY'S BEEN HIDDEN. "LET'S BRING IT FORTH. LET'S ELEVATE IT "AND CELEBRATE IT. "AND IT'S STILL THERE, THIS BEAUTIFUL THING. "IT HASN'T BEEN PUT DOWN. FOR YEARS IT LAY FALLOW. IT WAS HIDDEN. BUT THANK GOODNESS IT'S STILL HERE." THAT EXPERIENCE OF SHOWING THE STRENGTH AND THE RESILIENCY OF DEAF PEOPLE THAT THEY COULD-- YOU KNOW, THEY'VE BEEN TOLD THAT ASL's A BAD LANGUAGE. THEY'VE BEEN TOLD THAT IT'S JUST TRUNCATED ENGLISH, AND IT'S NO GOOD. SIGNED ENGLISH IS BETTER. BUT SHE'S SAYING, LOOK, LOOK AT THIS OPPRESSED LANGUAGE. HOW SAD. LET'S UNEARTH IT AND SHOW IT. IT'S A GREAT EXAMPLE OF THAT IDEA OF TREASURE. AND INTERNALIZED OPPRESSION IS SO OBVIOUS IN THIS PIECE, TOO. LET'S TAKE THIS OUT. LET'S OPEN IT UP AND SHOW PEOPLE WHAT IT IS, PRESENT IT. IT'S SOMETHING TO SHARE. IT'S WONDERFUL. I LOVE THAT. IT MAKES YOUR LIFE MORE RICH IF YOU HAVE THIS BEAUTIFUL TREASURE, THIS SIGN LANGUAGE. LOST CULTURE... THAT PARTICULAR TREASURE SHOULD ALWAYS BE GUARDED, ALWAYS PROTECTED. THAT'S THE MESSAGE OF THAT POEM. AND IT HAS TO BE PROTECTED FOR LIFE, YOUR WHOLE LIFE. AND I REALLY LIKE THAT. IT'S SOMETHING SO PRECIOUS. IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE PUT AWAY. IT SHOULD BE SOMETHING THAT'S TAKEN, AND IT'S ENDANGERED. IT HAS TO BE GUARDED. IT'S IN THIS BOX. IN THE BOX ARE DIFFERENT SYMBOLS-- A CANDLE AND A BOOK. THESE ARE RELATED TO LANGUAGE AND TO SEEING. ALL THOSE ARE INCORPORATED INTO THAT ONE POEM. WOW. IT'S ENDANGERED. IT'S THIS BEAUTIFUL, RICH THING THAT WE'RE IN DANGER OF LOSING. AND IT CAN BE CO-OPTED. IT COULD BE TAKEN FOR MANY DIFFERENT REASONS BY OTHER PEOPLE, BUT WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL AND GUARD IT. I'M TRYING TO THINK OF OTHERS. WHAT ARE SOME OTHER GOOD ONES? WHAT OTHER THINGS ARE VALUED? WELL, THE TREASURE. WE TREASURE OUR LANGUAGE, BUT DEAF PEOPLE AREN'T NECESSARILY TREASURED BY THOSE WHO LOOK AT US, WHO SEE US. OH, YEAH, VERY STRONG. ONE OF THE STRONGEST IMAGES THAT I SEE IN MANY POEMS IN ASL ABOUT THE DEAF EXPERIENCE SHOWS DEAF PEOPLE AS PEOPLE OF THE NATURAL WORLD OR NATURAL ELEMENTS OF THE EARTH, LIKE WE'RE A GIFT THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO THE EARTH. FLOWERS, TREES. ALL DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE SCENERY OF THINGS ON EARTH. IT'S INTERESTING. CLAYTON VALLI HAS ONE POEM CALLED "DEAF WORLD," AND IT'S A GREAT EXAMPLE BECAUSE IT'S NATURE IMAGES PRIMARILY THAT SHOW DEAF CULTURE. IT'S PEOPLE WALKING NEAR A RIVER. AND THEN OVER ON THE OTHER SIDE THERE'S A HILL. THERE'S ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS AND MUSIC AND THINGS THAT ARE BLARING OVER IN THIS OTHER AREA, VERY ELECTRIFIED. THINGS THAT ARE GLARING. AND THAT SHOWS THAT THE DOMINANT CULTURE IS, YOU KNOW, ENDANGERING THE ONES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SIGNING SPACE WHO ARE NATURAL AND WALKING THAT PATH NEAR THE RIVER. AND THOSE ARE THE DEAF PEOPLE. ELLA... ELLA MAE LENTZ USES TREES QUITE OFTEN. THERE'S ONE ABOUT A DEAF BOY. I'LL START IT AGAIN. ELLA USES TREES TO A HEARING MOTHER. SO THE TREE IS A METAPHOR FOR THIS DEAF BOY. AND IT'S REALLY GOOD BECAUSE IT SHOWS THE GROWTH OF THE TREE AND PEOPLE TRYING TO CUT IT DOWN. DIFFERENT THINGS HAPPEN TO THIS TREE. AND THIS DEAF BOY'S FROM A HEARING FAMILY, SO THE SUGGESTION FROM ELLA OR THE PERSON TELLING THE POEM IS THAT WE DEAF PEOPLE NEED TO WORK WITH THE HEARING PARENTS TO BECOME THE FERTILE GROUND FOR THIS BOY TO BE ABLE TO GROW. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL IMAGE, THIS METAPHOR OF THE TREE. YEAH, THAT TREE, TOO. MM-HMM. THERE'S ANOTHER ONE. YEAH, SOMETIMES THE TREE IS A SYMBOL OF NATURE, BUT SOMETIMES IT SHOWS SOMETHING THAT'S MORE RESILIENT AND TOUGH. "LONE, STURDY TREE." THAT'S A POEM THAT I THINK SHOWS THE RESILIENCE. THAT TREE IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE THERE. IT'S ALWAYS GONNA SURVIVE. IT SHOWS THE DEAF EXPERIENCE OF SOMEBODY IN THE HEARING WORLD WHO JUST HAS TO TAKE IT AND TAKE IT. HAVE TO WORK SO HARD JUST TO SURVIVE AND GET THROUGH THIS LIFE AND FINALLY GET TO THE OTHER SIDE AS A DEAF PERSON ALONE IN THE WORLD. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, HOW DIFFICULT IT IS, IF IT'S COLD WEATHER, WHATEVER, THE WIND, THIS TREE STANDS RESILIENT IN THE FACE OF IT ALL. IT MEANS THAT INTERNALLY YOU HAVE TO BE INCREDIBLY TENACIOUS. YOU HAVE TO BE STRONG AND BE RESISTANT. YEAH, SIGNING LIKE-- SIGN IS LIKE A TREE. I THINK THAT IT'S LIKE TRYING TO SHOW PROGRESS. SO HERE'S THE HEARING WORLD. TECHNOLOGY OFTEN CO-OPTS US. SO THERE'S ALL THIS TECHNOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT THAT'S TRYING TO INFILTRATE US AND FIX US. IT'S VERY IMPRESSIVE TO HEARING PEOPLE. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I THINK ELLA'S POEM, "THE TREE," IT'S NOT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, BUT IT'S ABOUT PROGRESS, YOU COULD SAY. IT STARTS OUT ONE WAY AND YOU NEED TO IMPROVE THINGS. YOU SEE A NATURAL TREE. IT'S VERY BEAUTIFUL. BUT IT'S BETTER TO HAVE EVERYTHING IN ROWS BEAUTIFULLY SET AND CONTROLLED AND AN UNNATURAL ENVIRONMENT, IN A SENSE. SO IT'S TRYING TO SET UP THINGS IN TERMS OF COMPARING IT TO COCHLEAR IMPLANTS, TRYING TO MAKE EVERYTHING STANDARDIZED AND HOMOGENIZED. "THE CAVE" IS ALSO A REALLY GREAT EXAMPLE. WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT NATURE AND DEAF PEOPLE, SOMETIMES THOSE SYMBOLS ARE REALLY STRONG. DEAF PEOPLE ARE NATURAL BEINGS. THE POEM "THE CAVE" SHOWS SOMEBODY ENTERING A CAVE AND IMMEDIATELY TRYING TO FIX IT AND CHANGE IT. THEY PUT UP THESE ROPE FENCES. THEY PAVE IT. THEY PUT FANCY LIGHTS ON THE CEILING, SET UP CHAIRS FOR AN AUDIENCE TO COME IN AND SIT, MIRROR BALLS ON THE CEILING TWINKLING. SO WHAT IS ALL OF THIS REALLY IN THE CAVE FOR? WHY DO THEY DO THAT? THERE'S A PERSON THERE GIVING AN EXPOSITION ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON. YOU KNOW, LIKE SOMEBODY SAYING, "AND ON YOUR RIGHT... "AND ON YOUR LEFT, PLEASE LOOK AT THIS. PLEASE LOOK AT THAT. ENJOY IT." THE AUDIENCE IS BLOWN AWAY. IT'S BEAUTIFUL. BUT WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS LOOKING AT ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES, AND THEY'RE IGNORING ALL THE NATURAL BEAUTY THAT'S ALREADY IN THAT CAVE BEFORE ALL THIS RENOVATION, BEFORE ALL THIS INFILTRATION OF TECHNOLOGY. AND I REALLY LOVE THAT POEM BECAUSE RIGHT NEAR THE END, I THINK PART OF VALLI KIND OF COMES OUT IN A WAY. HE'S THE NARRATOR. HE'S TELLING EVERYTHING. HE'S VERY OBJECTIVE. AND AT THE VERY END, HE STANDS THERE AND SHAKES HIS HEAD LIKE, "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?" IT'S SUCH A GREAT EXPRESSION. IT'S REALLY BEAUTIFUL. IT'S LIKE WHO HE REALLY IS. JUST SHAKES HIS HEAD LIKE, "HOLY COW. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?" YEAH. AND THEN HE SIGNS "THIS CAVE IS THE EAR." YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE UNTIL THE VERY END, AND THEN YOU REALIZE THAT THAT CAVE IS THE PERSON'S EAR. AND I THINK IT'S TRUE. IT'S A GREAT ENDING OF THAT POEM. "I AM ORDERED NOT TO TALK." MM-HMM. TRYING TO THINK OF SOME OTHER ONES. I THINK IT'S A COMMON EXPERIENCE THAT MANY PEOPLE WHO ARE ASL POETS IN THE SEVENTIES AND EIGHTIES EXPERIENCED. A LOT OF THEIR TIME WAS SPENT IN LIPREADING AND SPEECH TRAINING. AND SO THAT ALWAYS FINDS ITS WAYS INTO THE DEAF EXPERIENCE OF SHOWING THAT IN POETRY, THAT WHOLE IDEA OF BEING TRAINED AND HAVING TO UNDERGO SO MANY HOURS OF SPEECHREADING PRACTICE. COMES UP QUITE OFTEN. FOR PATRICK GRAYBILL, HIS POEM "THE SPEECH LESSON"... NO, IT WASN'T THAT. MEMORIZATION, SPEECH CLASS, I THINK THAT EXPERIENCE IS LIKE, "WHAT IS THIS FOR? WHAT, SPEECH CLASS AGAIN?" I MEAN, JUST THIS ONE LINE. EVERYBODY'S BEEN THERE. YEAH, YOU JUST WANT TO GO, "RIGHT. AGAIN? HOLY COW. WHAT A WASTE OF TIME." DAY AFTER DAY, HOUR AFTER HOUR OF SPEECH LESSONS. IT JUST--IT DRIVES YOU CRAZY. SO IT'S VERY EMOTIONAL. JUST THAT ONE LINE HAS A LOT OF RESONANCE IN IT. YOU COULD TRY TO CHALLENGE IT. YOU COULD SAY, "BUT I'M FINE. I SIGN. WHAT DO I NEED THIS FOR?" IT'S NOT REALLY RELATED TO COMMUNICATION FOR HIM. THIS HAS TO DO WITH SOMETHING ELSE COMPLETELY. IT'S GOT NOTHING TO DO WITH TALKING TO PEOPLE. WHAT'S IT FOR? IT DOESN'T HELP ME COMMUNICATE. HE GETS PUNISHED BY PUTTING HIS HANDS IN MITTS AND TIED TOGETHER. AND AGAIN, THAT WAS THE SILENCE. SILENCE. SILENT BOND. STUDENTS WOULD WONDER, "WHAT'S THAT FOR? "WHY DO I HAVE THESE MITTS TIED TOGETHER? "I COULD BREAK THESE BONDS. WHY DON'T I? "WHY DO I KEEP THEM TOGETHER? I FEEL THAT I HAVE TO. I FEEL STUCK." AND ALSO, EDUCATION SOMETIMES TRIES TO SOFTEN THIS PROCESS AND MAKE IT LESS OBVIOUS THAT IT'S BEING SO MEAN, THAT IT'S BEING SO CRUEL. MITTS ARE SOFTER. WE'RE NOT HITTING YOU WITH RULERS. WE'RE JUST DOING SOMETHING THAT'S MORE GENTLE TO PUNISH YOU. AND SILENCING THE BODY IS A BIG POINT. IN "THE DOOR," THERE'S THIS ARMY THAT MARCHES IN, RIGHT. THEY GO INTO THE DEAF SCHOOL. THEY FORCE ALL THE KIDS TO SIT IN ROWS, AND IT'S LIKE A PRISON. I THINK THAT THEY SILENCE OUR VOICE. THEY IMPRISON OUR VOICE. THEY TAKE AWAY OUR EXPRESSION. WE HAVE NO POWER. AND THE HANDS ARE CHAINED TOGETHER. AND WHAT SHE'S SAYING WHEN THEY DO THE SPEECH TRAINING IS ACTUALLY S-H-I-T. IT'S SHIT. IT'S ALMOST-- WHAT WAS IT LIKE? WHAT DOES SHE DO? THERE'S THIS WORD THAT'S SOMETHING THAT SHE USES WHEN THE-- BEHIND THE ARMY. I'M TRYING TO REMEMBER, WHAT'S THE WORD? I'M TRYING TO REMEMBER WHAT SHE WAS USING. ANYWAY... SHE SAYS S-H-I-T. SO SHE'S SORT OF--WHATEVER THAT WORD IS I'M TRYING TO THINK, SHE EMBEDS THAT MESSAGE IN A SURREPTITIOUS WAY. IT'S A SWEAR WORD, BUT YOU DON'T SEE IT RIGHT AWAY. ART CAN INCLUDE THINGS LIKE THAT, THE SCATOLOGICAL, YOU COULD VOICE IT, YOU KNOW. I MEAN, SHE'S ANGRY. SHE'S STICKING IT TO THE MAN. IT'S NOT A NICE WORD. BUT SHE'S GONNA USE IT ANYWAY. THIS IS BULLSHIT. SO WORDS LIKE THAT. BULLSHIT, WHATEVER, PUTTING THAT IN THE POEM. SOMETIMES YOU SEE THAT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO SHOW THAT THIS IS CRAZY, THAT IT MAKES NO SENSE TO HAVE A PERSON DO THIS. IT'S NOT REAL LANGUAGE. AND THEY TREAT SIGN LANGUAGE AS IF IT'S DEMEANED, SO THEN THEY PUT IN THIS CUSS WORD. SO KENNY LERNER AND PETER COOK... "I AM ORDERED NOT TO TALK." THAT'S PERFORMANCE ART, I THINK. THEY'RE SHOWING THE EXPERIENCE OF WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. IT'S VERY THEATRICAL. HERE'S THIS PERSON WHO HAS TO PERFORM SPEECH. VALLI HAS ANOTHER POEM-- WHICH ONE WAS IT? "SNOWFLAKE." THERE'S THIS FATHER WHO'S SHOWING OFF HIS SON. "SEE, HE CAN TALK. LOOK AT HIM. THERE HE IS TALKING. SO PROUD." IT'S LIKE A VENTRILOQUIST DUMMY. JUST MOVING HIS MOUTH. IT DOESN'T MEAN HE CAN SPEAK BECAUSE HE CAN MOVE HIS MOUTH. THERE'S NO IMPORTANT WORDS COMING OUT. SPEECH IS LOOKED UPON AS SUCH A COMMODITY. HE FINALLY SAYS, "I AM 6 YEARS OLD. BIG DEAL." YOU KNOW, THAT'S NOT SPEECH. THAT'S NOT REALLY EXPRESSION. HE CAN'T EXPRESS HIMSELF. MAYBE...MAYBE RELATED TO... MANY OF THE POEMS MAY NOT SEEM TO BE ABOUT THE DEAF EXPERIENCE, THE THEME DOESN'T LOOK LIKE IT, BUT YOU CAN UPON FURTHER ANALYSIS SEE THAT IT IS CELEBRATION. YOU CAN SEE THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT THE VISUAL EXPERIENCE AND HOW DEAR THAT IS. ELLA MAE LENTZ HAS A POEM CALLED "EYE MUSIC." AND THAT DOESN'T DIRECTLY CALL OUT ANYTHING ABOUT THE DEAF EXPERIENCE. BUT IT'S SHOWING THE LOVE OF VISUAL STIMULATION, THE VISUAL WORLD THAT WE INHABIT. AND THAT SHOWS WHO DEAF PEOPLE ARE. WE VALUE SO MUCH OUR VISUAL INPUT, AND THE FACT THAT WE'RE PEOPLE OF THE EYE. CLAYTON VALLI HAS A POEM ALSO THAT ELLA PERFORMED, ACTUALLY, A COUPLE OF TIMES. THE IMAGES WERE SO BEAUTIFUL, AND THEY REALLY STICK WITH YOU. SO BEAUTIFUL... THE IMAGES THAT THEY PUT FORTH. IT'S A PHOTOGRAPH. SO HE WANTED TO TAKE A PHOTOGRAPH, BUT HE DECIDED TO TAKE THE PHOTOGRAPH IN HIS MIND INSTEAD. THE WHOLE IDEA IS TO SHOW IT'S NOT LIKE DEAF PEOPLE, "OH, THEY CAN'T HEAR. IT'S SO QUIET. THEY LIVE IN A SILENT WORLD." IT'S THAT WE'RE VISUAL AND THAT WE TAKE IN OUR INFORMATION THROUGH OUR EYES. IT'S A VISUAL WORLD. SO IF POEMS SOMETIMES REPRESENT THAT VISUAL EXPERIENCE MORE, THAT'S OUR PERSPECTIVE ON THE WORLD IS THROUGH OUR EYES. I THINK "THE DOOR" IS A REALLY GREAT POEM. IT'S AN EXPERIENCE THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE CAN RELATE TO. IT'S NOT ALWAYS EASY. IT MEANS THAT WE LIVE IN A WORLD THAT OPPRESSES US. AND THAT CAUSES DIVISION, AND SOMETIMES WE OPPRESS EACH OTHER. THE POEM SIGN IS LIKE A TREE. SOME TREES ARE ALL IN LINE, AND THEY'RE NICE AND NEAT, AND THEY'RE LOOKED AT AS BETTER THAN SIGNS THAT ARE GROWING-- THAN TREES THAT ARE GROWING WILD IN NATURE. PEOPLE ARE SET IN OPPOSITION TO EACH OTHER, WHO'S BETTER THAN WHOM AND WHY AND WHO FOLLOWS WHICH CONSTRAINTS AND DOESN'T. IT SEEMS TO BE THE DOMINANT CULTURE DETERMINES WHO'S LAUDED AND LOOKED AT AS BETTER. IT'S USUALLY IF YOU CAN SPEAK, IF YOU CAN DO ALL THE THINGS THAT HEARING PEOPLE EXPECT YOU TO DO, THEN YOU'RE ELEVATED IN THEIR ESTIMATION. AND OTHER PEOPLE WHO DON'T AREN'T. SO I MAY GET CAUGHT IN THAT TRAP OF SEEING MYSELF AS BETTER THAN SOMEBODY ELSE, BUT I'M ACTUALLY CAUGHT. I'M ENSLAVED AND CHAINED TO THE DOMINANT CULTURE BECAUSE THEY PUT ME IN THIS POSITION. I'M IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM, AND IT'S NOT AN EQUAL RELATIONSHIP. IT'S A CONTENTIOUS ONE. BUT IF THEY WERE TO SOMEHOW NOT BE THERE, IF THEY DIDN'T EXIST, THEN WE WOULD HAVE MORE COMMONALITY WITH EACH OTHER. WE'D BE STRONGER. WE WOULDN'T BE ENTRAPPED AND ENSLAVED. SO I THINK THAT POEM SHOWS THAT WE DO HAVE LINKAGES, WE DO HAVE CONNECTIONS, BUT HOW DO WE ENCOURAGE THOSE? AND HOW DO WE RISK GETTING RID OF THE OPPRESSORS TO FIND COMMONALITY WITH EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME? YEAH, DEFINITELY. YEAH, THAT'S A STRATEGY THAT DOMINANT CULTURES EMPLOY IS TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER. DIVIDE AND CONQUER ALL THE WAY. AND THAT HAPPENS IN ALL GROUPS THAT ARE DISENFRANCHISED, THAT ARE BEING OPPRESSED BY A DOMINANT CULTURE-- NATIVE AMERICANS OR ANYWHERE, ANYBODY, WOMEN. THERE'S SOMETHING CALLED THE QUEEN BEE SYNDROME THAT OPERATES IN THAT WAY, TOO. WOW, YOU'VE MEMORIZED THAT. ASL POETRY AS IT RELATES TO THE DEAF EXPERIENCE IS SET OUT IN DIFFERENT CATEGORIES THAT WE'VE IDENTIFIED, AND SUB-CATEGORIES. THERE'S RESISTANCE, THERE'S CELEBRATION, AND THERE'S LIBERATION. AND WITHIN RESISTANCE AND WITHIN CELEBRATION, THERE'S DIFFERENT ELEMENTS. IN RESISTANCE POETRY AND CELEBRATION POETRY, YOU CAN IDENTIFY CERTAIN IDEAS THAT RECUR. FOR EXAMPLE, IN RESISTANCE POETRY, THERE'S LANGUAGE OPPRESSION, AND THAT MEANS THAT ENGLISH IS DOMINANT, SPOKEN, WRITTEN, WHATEVER. AND THAT OPPRESSION IS MANIFESTED BY THE SUPPRESSION OF ASL AND SIGNING IN ANY FORM. "MEMORIES OF SPEECH CLASS" SHOWS THAT OPPRESSION CHOSE THE HANDS PUT TOGETHER AND TIED TOGETHER SO THAT WE COULDN'T SIGN. SO THE VOICE, THE BODY IS STIFLED. THERE'S A LACK OF FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT THAT'S LINGUISTIC. CELEBRATION RELATED TO LANGUAGE WOULD BE ANYTHING THAT PRIVILEGES THE HANDS, LIKE VALLI TALKING ABOUT THE HANDS, CELEBRATING THE HANDS AND THE NATURAL ABILITY OF HANDS TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES. THAT'S CELEBRATORY. LIBERATION WOULD MEAN THE JOURNEY. "BLACK HOLE: THE COLORS OF ASL" STARTS OUT WITH A PERSON JUST ON A JOURNEY, CLIMBING A LADDER. AND THEN ONCE THEY DISCOVER SIGN LANGUAGE AND THEIR TRUE LANGUAGE, THEN THEY'RE ABLE TO ASCEND. SO GOING FROM NO COMMUNICATION TO SIGN LANGUAGE, WHICH EQUALS FREEDOM. LANGUAGE IS ONE CATEGORY THAT OCCURS IN EACH OF THE GENRES OF ASL POETRY. SOMETIMES IN RESISTANCE POETRY, IT'S SHOWING WHAT THE VIEW IS THAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE OF US AND HOW THAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE OPPRESSOR'S GOING TO BE BROKEN ONCE WE SHOW THEM THAT THEY'RE WRONG. THE CELEBRATION OR AFFIRMATION POETRY IS IDENTIFYING MYSELF AS A DEAF PERSON AND CELEBRATING THAT AS A CREATURE OF THE NATURAL WORLD. "TO A HEARING MOTHER" USES THE TREE AS A SYMBOL OF GROWTH AND THE BOY WHO THEY'RE TALKING TO AND WHO THE HEARING MOTHER HAS TO DEAL WITH THE DEAF FOLKS TO HELP, TO HELP THIS PERSON GROW. OTHERWISE THAT TREE WILL BE CUT DOWN AND WILL BE DESTROYED. SO THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP GOING IS TO FIND COMMONALITY WITH DEAF PEOPLE FOR THAT DEAF CHILD. OTHERWISE IT WON'T WORK. SO THAT CATEGORY OF RESISTANCE POETRY IS TO MAINSTREAMING, IS TO THE CONCEPT OF EDUCATION, DEAF EDUCATION. A.G. BELL, OPPRESSION, TRYING TO SHOW THE VALUE OF DEAF PEOPLE AND HOW WE'VE BEEN FORCED SO LONG BY HEARING CULTURE AND HEARING PEOPLE THROUGH THE EDUCATION SYSTEM TO SILENCE OUR BODY, TO SILENCE OUR VOICES. AFFIRMATION POETRY, HOW EDUCATION IS EVIDENCED THROUGH THAT IS SHOWING THAT THE SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF ARE THE PLACE WHERE CULTURE CAN FLOURISH AND BE PASSED DOWN HORIZONTALLY THROUGH MANY GENERATIONS. THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM IN THE SCHOOLS FOR THE DEAF IS CELEBRATED BECAUSE THERE ARE LOTS OF INFORMAL SITUATIONS IN THE DORMS AND ON THE SCHOOL GROUNDS WHERE THE REAL EDUCATION HAPPENS FOR STUDENTS IN DEAF CULTURE REALLY TAKES OFF IN TERMS OF LANGUAGE FORMATION AND SHARING. SO DEAF PEOPLE, IF THEY'RE TRYING TO RESIST THAT DOMINANT CULTURE, SOMETIMES IN THE POETRY IT WILL SHOW UP IN TERMS OF THE ISOLATION OF A SINGLE CHILD BEING IN A MAINSTREAM ENVIRONMENT AND HOW THEY'RE SQUELCHED. AFFIRMATION AND CELEBRATION WOULD BE THAT A PERSON FINDS THEIR IDENTITY. THEY FIND THEIR BONDS WITHIN THEIR COMMUNITY AND THEY FIND THEIR COHORT, THEY FIND THEIR GROUP. AND WE CAN CELEBRATE OUR SHARED HISTORY OR SHARED CULTURE AND THE IDEAS THAT WE'LL TAKE DOWN THROUGH THE AGES FOR DEAF PEOPLE. DID I SAY SOMETHING ABOUT PATRICK? IDENTITY. BIG "D" DEAF. I THINK I TALKED ABOUT THAT. DID I SAY "BIG 'D' DEAF" YET? MY FIRST RESPONSE IS WHEW. WOW, I SEE SOME POEMS-- I SAW SOME POEMS ON YOUR SAMPLER I'D NEVER SEEN BEFORE. ELLA MAE LENTZ' "SIGN IS LIKE A TREE." THAT WAS SUCH A STRONG DEATH-THEMED POEM THAT I SAW IN THERE. AND IT REALLY JUST CAPTURED MY HEART. IT'S NICE TO SEE HER EARLIER WORK, AND IT'S NICE TO SEE HER NOW IN HER DEAFHOOD JOURNEY AND TALKING ABOUT DEAFHOOD. SO IT'S AMAZING BACK AT THAT TIME THAT SHE WAS DOING THE SORTS OF THINGS SHE WAS DOING. IT REALLY JUST WARMS MY SOUL. MANY OF THEM I'D SEEN BEFORE. WELL, VALLI, YOU KNOW, I CRY EVERY TIME I SEE CLAYTON VALLI PERFORM. I THINK FOR ME--FOR ME WATCHING VALLI... ALL WE HAVE IS VIDEOTAPES LEFT OF HIM NOW. ALL WE HAVE IS WHAT'S DOCUMENTED OF HIS PERFORMANCES, AND THERE'S NOT MANY OF THEM, SO THAT ONE AT JAZZBERRIES THAT'S ON THE SAMPLER WAS JUST, YOU KNOW, A DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENT. IT WASN'T A STUDIO. IT WAS A LIVE PERFORMANCE. SO THAT WAS PRECIOUS. IT'S REALLY SPECIAL TO HAVE THAT DOCUMENTED. IT REALLY WARMED MY HEART. WHAT ELSE? I REALLY LOVED ROBERT PANARA'S OFFERING ON THAT, HIS POEM. THAT WAS FASCINATING TO SEE IT. LOOKING AT HOW HE HAD TRANSLATED HIS WRITTEN POEM TO SIGNED RENDITION. IT WAS AN ENGLISH POEM THAT HE'D WRITTEN. "ON HIS DEAFNESS." THAT WAS THE TITLE, RIGHT? I HAVE IT RIGHT? "ON HIS DEAFNESS." SO HE WROTE THIS FIRST IN ENGLISH. BUT HE LOVES TRANSLATING. AND THERE HE WAS TRANSLATING HIS OWN WORK TO EXPRESS IT BEAUTIFULLY IN SIGN. IT WAS JUST FASCINATING HOW HE DID THAT. I'D LIKE TO SEE HIM COME UP WITH SOME POEMS IN ASL. I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO SEE IF HE'D CREATE THEM IN ASL FIRST. HE'S 80 YEARS OLD, SO I DON'T KNOW IF HE'S GOING TO DO THAT. HE STARTED THE PROCESS. HE COULD DO IT, BUT HE HASN'T. ELLA AND VALLI BOTH TALK ABOUT HOW THEY STARTED OUT WRITING AND THEN THEY HAD TO PUT THAT ASIDE BECAUSE IT JUST DIDN'T WORK FOR THEM UNTIL THEY FOUND THAT IF THEY SIGNED THE POETRY, IT EXPRESSED THEM MUCH MORE CLEARLY. AND I THINK PANARA HAS THAT VOICE, TOO. HE JUST HASN'T DISCOVERED IT YET. IT WAS ONE THING THAT I WAS PUZZLED BY. THAT PANEL, THE INTERVIEW, I WAS REALLY PUZZLED. I WAS CONFUSED. THERE WAS A QUESTION ABOUT WHO THE POET CREATES THEIR WORK FOR, WHO'S THE AUDIENCE. AND THAT'S A QUESTION FOR ANY ARTIST. EVERYBODY FACES THAT-- A POET, AN ARTIST, AN ACTOR, ANYBODY HAS TO FIGURE THAT OUT. BUT WHAT AUDIENCE IS A PERSON CREATING THEIR WORK FOR? I MEAN, GINSBURG, IF YOU ASKED HIM, WHO DID YOU CREATE YOUR POETRY FOR? ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO SPEAK ENGLISH? AND DO YOU MEAN THAT YOU'RE DOING THAT AND BY NOT CREATING IT FOR OTHER PEOPLE, IS IT OPPRESSIVE? I MEAN, PETER COOK SAID SOMETHING AND, YOU KNOW, ASKED A FEW CREATIVE-- PEOPLE ASKED HIM IF HE CREATED FOR HEARING OR DEAF AUDIENCES. HE SAID, "I CREATE FOR HUMANS." AND I THINK THAT HIS POINT WAS THAT DEAF PEOPLE HAVE THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE. AND THEIR EXPERIENCES CAN BE CONSIDERED UNIVERSAL. AND THEY CAN BE APPLICABLE TO ANY OTHER GROUPS AS WELL. SO WE MAY HAVE OUR OWN EXPERIENCES, BUT IT CAN SPEAK TO THE WORLD. IT CAN BE APPLIED UNIVERSALLY AND GENERALLY TO OTHER GROUPS, TOO. I DON'T THINK YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE OR ANNOUNCE WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE IS GOING TO BE. I THINK THAT'S WHAT THE POINT WAS. I DON'T KNOW. I JUST THOUGHT THAT WAS A REALLY WEIRD COMMENT. FOR HUMANS. YEAH. YES. YEP. YEP, NATIVE AMERICAN. UH-HUH. YES. NO, I JUST HAD THIS BOOK. I JUST GAVE IT TO A FRIEND. IT WAS A YOUNG ADULT BOOK, I GUESS. AND IT WAS ABOUT A PERSON WHO'S PART NATIVE AMERICAN, I THINK. AND I WAS READING THIS, AND IT WAS JUST THE SAME AS THE DEAF EXPERIENCE. IT'S AMAZING HOW PARALLEL IT IS. SO IT'S INCREDIBLE. SOMEBODY EXPRESSES THE TRUTH OF THEIR OWN EXPERIENCE. SOMETIMES THERE ARE PARALLELS TO OTHER GROUPS AND OTHER PEOPLE READ IT AND THEY TOTALLY GET IT. THEY RELATE TO IT. IT RESONATES WITH THEM. AND THEY CAN SAY YOUR EXPERIENCE, THOUGH IT WAS VERY DIFFERENT THAN MINE, HAS THESE SIMILARITIES. SO EVEN SOMEBODY WHO'S HEARING CAN SAY SOMETHING THAT DEAF PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND. I MEAN, THE BACKGROUND CAN BE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, BUT I CAN READ ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AND IT CAN TOUCH ME AS WELL. IT'S FUNNY, MOST POEMS BY DEAF PEOPLE, THE ONES I'VE SEEN, MOST OF THEM REALLY DON'T HAVE A DEAF THEME. NOT FOR THE MOST PART. JUST A FEW. BUT DE'VIA ART SEEMS TO BE MUCH MORE PROLIFIC IN THAT WAY. SOME PEOPLE WANT TO BE KNOWN AS A DEAF PERSON WHO CREATES ART RATHER THAN DE'VIA ARTISTS. SO A POEM BY A DEAF PERSON IS STILL A DEAF POEM, OR IS IT DEAF POETRY OR IS IT ASL POETRY? THAT'S A QUESTION. YEAH, I'D LIKE TO ADD ONE MORE THING. LITTLE BIT CONFUSING. GOT TO DO WITH THEORIES OF POST-COLONIALISM AND OUR USE OF THE TERM "RESISTANCE." IT RELATES TO THE CULTURE OF ART AND EXPRESSION. MANY POST-COLONIAL SOCIETIES... IF THEY HAVE MINORITIES CULTURES THAT ARE BEING OPPRESSED... THEY ACTIVELY CREATE ART THAT THEY CALL RESISTANCE ART AGAINST THEIR OPPRESSOR. THEY DO. JUST BY DOING IT, IT'S CALLED AN ACT OF RESISTANCE. JUST BY CREATING THE ART.
Notes: 
"This project is supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."
Notes: 
Title supplied by cataloger
Other Title: 
Heart of the hydrogen jukebox