Skip to main content

Ruth C. Hoffman collection of "Poetry in the Palm of Your Hand" project digital visual and audio recordings

 Collection
Identifier: RITDSA-0167

Scope and Contents

Funded by the Indiana Committee for the Humanities, "Poetry in the Palm of Your Hand" was a year long project designed to promote ASL as a literary language. Held in 1978, it is considered the first ASL poetry conference in the United States. The collection consists of digital video and audio files of some of the conference presentations, workshops, and performances. Events included a public signed poetry performance and discussion, four workshops, roundtable discussions, and a conference sponsored by Indiana University at South Bend that featured the poet/performers Lou Fant and Ella Mae Lentz and presentations by Lou Fant and John Canney.

The film produced by the Fort Wayne Public Library in 1979, in conjunction with Indiana University South Bend, to document part of the ASL poetry conference, "Poetry in the Palm of Your Hand", was held at Indiana University South Bend in November 1978. In this film of two performances by Ella Mae Lentz, she performs twelve different pieces including translated poems from English to ASL as well as original poems created in ASL. Ella includes brief descriptions prior to each performance to guide viewers. She performs several poems translated from English to ASL: "Barter" by Sara Teasdale, "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost, "There Is No Frigate Like a Book" by Emily Dickinson, and "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. She then performs a blended ASL/English poem, "California Freeways" by Dorothy Miles, and two sign mimes out of Deaf community folkloric tradition, "The Horse Race" and "The Road Runner: The Chase." Finally she performs several of her own works, "Eye Music," which she created in English and translated to ASL, two blended ASL/English poems "The Glass Wall" and "The Dogs," and two ASL poems, "Silence, Oh Painful" and "Life and Death."

Dates

  • 1979
  • Majority of material found in 1979 - 1979

Creator

Extent

42 Digital File(s) (6 video files 4 audio files )

Language

English

Overview

The collection consists of digital video and audio files of conference presentations, workshops, and performances from "Poetry in the Palm of Your Hand," a year long project designed to promote ASL as a literary language. The events were organized by Ruth C. Hoffman,

Related Materials

National ASL Literature conference collection, RITDSA.0101

Second National ASL Literature conference collection, RITDSA.0064

Miriam and Kenneth Lerner ASL Poetry collection, RITDSA.0027

National Deaf Poetry Conference program and recordings,RITDSA.0042

Robert Panara deaf videotape collection, RITDSA.0031
Title
Ruth C. Hoffman collection of Poetry in the Palm of Your Hand conference audio-visual recordings
Subtitle
RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive
Status
Under Revision
Author
Becky Simmons
Date
14 December 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archive Collections Repository

Contact:
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester NY 14623 USA
(585) 475-4613