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Posts tagged ‘BSL’

Richard Carter: how inspiration comes to me

Richard tells us how inspiration comes to him and shares an example – he walks past a traffic signal and starts to think about the feelings it might have.

Closure in Sign Language Poetry

In any poem there will be a moment when we suddenly feel its full impact. It is when we think ‘A-ha!’ It is the moment of the cracking whip that gets the full focus of our attention. That whip-crack is often at the end of the poem. Students at Swarthmore College have made the first ever study of closure in sign language poems, in preparation for the Festival in March. In the piece they have written here, the students show how the sign language poets ‘crack the whip’ to make us feel the full impact of the poem. Have a look at their complete work, in the full text of ‘Closure in Sign Language Poetry‘ and see some of the potential and the richness just waiting to be explored in sign language poetry.
There will be more poems like this performed at the festival, March 16-18 2012.

Welcome

Welcome to the Signing Hands Across the Water Festival celebrating sign language poetry in March 16th – 18th 2012 at  Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, USA.

Sign language poets from Britain and America will come together and explore this rich and beautiful art form with members of College, the Deaf Community and visitors from the wider community. The festival will include:

  • Friday evening – a “public conversation” between the British and American poets, discussing national, cultural, linguistic and personal differences in their work;
  • Saturday evening – an open performance of poems in British Sign Language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL);
  • Sunday morning – a Panel discussion ‘how signed poetry works’, exploring the language and themes used in BSL and ASL poetry.
  • Additionally, on Saturday daytime there will be a workshop for fluent signers to compose signed poetry.

Signing Hands Across the Water will give College members and visitors to College a unique opportunity to discover sign language poetry in the United States and in the British deaf community where traditions, language and culture are different. All events will be fully accessible in ASL and spoken English.

The event is organised as part of the work of Rachel Sutton-Spence, Cornell Visiting Professor to Swarthmore for 2011-2012. Professor Sutton-Spence has worked on creative sign language for over 15 years, especially researching and promoting British Sign Language poetry (www.bristol.ac.uk/bslpoetryanthology).

The Signing Hands Across the Water Festival is made possible by the William J Cooper Foundation at Swarthmore College

Welcome in BSL

Rachel Sutton-Spence, Cornell Visiting Professor to Swarthmore for 2011-2012 signs a welcome in BSL (British Sign Language) to the Signing Hands Across the Water Festival celebrating sign language poetry in March 16th – 18th 2012 at  Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, USA.

Sign language poets from Britain and America will come together and explore this rich and beautiful art form with members of College, the Deaf Community and visitors from the wider community. Signing Hands Across the Water will give College members and visitors to College a unique opportunity to discover sign language poetry in the United States and in the British deaf community where traditions, language and culture are different.  All events will be fully accessible in ASL and spoken English.

Professor Sutton-Spence has worked on creative sign language for over 15 years, especially researching and promoting British Sign Language poetry (www.bristol.ac.uk/bslpoetryanthology).

Signing Hands Across the Water

On March 16th – 18th 2012, Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, USA celebrated sign language poetry. Sign language poets from Britain and America came together and explored this rich and beautiful art form with members of College, the Deaf Community and visitors from the wider community, to see

  • Friday evening – a “public conversation” between the British and American poets, discussing national, cultural, linguistic and personal differences in their work;
  • Saturday evening – an open performance of poems in British Sign Language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL);
  • Sunday morning – a Panel discussion ‘how signed poetry works’, exploring the language and themes used in BSL and ASL poetry.
  • Additionally, on Saturday daytime there will be a workshop for fluent signers to compose signed poetry.

Signing Hands Across the Water gave College members and visitors to College a unique opportunity to discover sign language poetry in the United States and in the British deaf community where traditions, language and culture are different.  All events were fully accessible in ASL and spoken English.
The event was organised as part of the work of Rachel Sutton-Spence, Cornell Visiting Professor to Swarthmore for 2011-2012. Professor Sutton-Spence has worked on creative sign language for over 15 years, especially researching and promoting British Sign Language poetry (www.bristol.ac.uk/bslpoetryanthology).

The Signing Hands Across the Water Festival is made possible by the William J Cooper Foundation at Swarthmore College

Paul Scott

I am proud of my deaf parents and relatives to pass my fluent use of BSL. I am part of  ‘art’ family. I am a crazy to play with words in strange ways. I am collage poet to see how deaf world I live in and usually suffer in silence to explosion inside metaphor. I love to explore with strange/unique poem to expression. I collected all beautiful handshapes and non manual feature on kinetoscopes in my mind integrate with deaf world what deaf journey is like. I am independent journey to explore this Earth are greatest show in the world is our Earth to explore cultures and beautiful creatures also important of all landscapes to give me freeeeedom. Dreaming to stay wilderness in Alaska for fun.

I do more enjoy to continue study my postgrad this year to study M.Sc Deafhood.

Richard Carter

I am a poet, storyteller, teacher and research consultant. I have been composing and performing my BSL poetry for 20 years, and I have performed at a range of events, with other Deaf and hearing poets, including the Bristol Sign Poetry Festivals (2010, 2011).
I teach poetry to Deaf adults and children across the UK, including mentoring children who have participated in the Life & Deaf project in Greenwich, London. I work at Elmfield Secondary School for deaf children in Bristol as a BSL tutor.  I am currently a research consultant on an Arts and Humanities Research Council project at the University of Bristol that explores the use of metaphor within creative sign language.  My poems have contributed to an online anthology of BSL poetry, which can be found online at the BSL Poetry Anthology

At the festival in March I want to share my poetry with the American Deaf Community, perhaps with some people who are not aware of sign language poetry because it is not taught on the curriculum at schools. I also want people who already know some ASL poetry to see something different from the UK.

John Wilson

I am John Wilson. My family come from the North East of England, but I have lived around London and the South East for many years now. I’m lucky, because in my work for a long time I have been able to use BSL professionally everyday, and to work in many areas of the arts. I’ve done lots of different kinds of work in BSL. I have acted and directed in the theatre (we won a prize at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe a few years ago). I have translated plays by Shakepeare into BSL (and also some of the Bible). Most recently I have been leading guided tours and making presentations in BSL for some big art galleries, including the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. I have always been close to animals – I once worked as a zoo keeper – because I understand what it feels like when no-one really understands what you are trying to say. My poetry draws on imagery from the natural world which mean a lot to me. I love the US and I am really looking forward to coming to the poetry festival and being inspired by the people I meet.

Donna Williams

I am a deaf writer, postgrad student and British Sign Language poet. I started doing BSL poetry five years ago, not bad given I only became a fluent user of BSL about eight years ago.
I love Sign Language; it has allowed me to access the world in a way that speech never has, and the first time I saw SL poetry, I was hypnotised. It was beautiful, clear, expressive, and I knew I wanted to do that! It took me a little while, but I have been developing my skills and become more confident in this art form, and I am really looking forward to travelling to Philadelphia to take up the challenge of expressing my poetry to a non-BSL audience. If I can create poetry that all can access, past all language barriers, it will be worth coming across the water!

More information about Donna can found at her blog at deaffirefly.wordpress.com

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