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The Deaf Way II Anthology

A Literary Collection by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Writers

Tonya M. Stremlau, Editor

Publication Year: 2002

In July 2002, the second Deaf Way Conference and Festival took place at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., attracting more than 5,000 people worldwide. Researchers, artists, performers, and others converged to create a singular blend of scholarship and social interaction, which inspired The Deaf Way II Anthology. The Deaf Way II Anthology brings together stellar contributions by 16 international writers who are deaf or hard of hearing. This remarkable collection features poetry, essays, short stories, and one play, all of which offer thought-provoking perspectives on elements from the personal universes of these gifted authors. Many are United States writers well-known for their past publications, such as Douglas Bullard, Willy Conley, Christopher Heuer, and Raymond Luczak, while the outstanding work of John Lee Clark, volume editor Tonya Stremlau, Melissa Whalen, and several others have been collected for the first time in this volume. The international contributions further distinguish this anthology, ranging from poetry by Romanian Carmen Cristiu, verse by Sibylle Gurtner May from Switzerland, to a play by Nigerian Sotonwa Opeoluwa. All of the writers showcased in The Deaf Way II Anthology portray the Deaf experience with unmatched authenticity, presenting a perfect introduction to the Deaf world. Simultaneously, their work demonstrates that deaf and hard of hearing people can write at the highest aesthetic level and offer invaluable insights on the complete human spectrum.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v-vii

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pp. ix-xii

John Kitto, who was deafened by a fall at the age of twelve, wrote in his 1848 autobiography, The Lost Senses, that “the nature of my affliction [deafness] unfitted me for any other sphere of usefulness than that of literature” (218).1 Kitto explains that he made the decision to write because it...

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Curtis Robbins

Curtis Robbins is a published poet and an educator. He has been teaching computer applications and American Sign Language for almost 35 years. Robbins became deaf at the age of one from the side effects of a drug he was given to treat tonsillitis. He attended public schools in New York City...

No Rhythm, They Say

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pp. 4

Empty Ears

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pp. 5

Solo Dining While Growing Up

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pp. 6

Learning Up Front

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pp. 7-8

About the Tale of an Old Bay Fisherman

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pp. 9

Hand Tied

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pp. 10

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Melissa Whalen

Melissa Whalen attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and spent her junior year abroad at the University of Bristol in England, studying British Sign Language, Deaf culture, and sociolinguistics. She graduated magna cum laude from Smith, with a major in sociology and...

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The Noisy House

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pp. 12-28

I crept slowly out of bed and glanced at the clock on my bedside table. The bright green numbers glowed as I whispered “4:16 a.m.” to myself. The house was being noisy again tonight and I had to figure out why. I couldn’t sleep because of the noise. Mom and Dad didn’t believe me. They couldn’t hear the noises...

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Christopher Jon Heuer

Christopher Jon Heuer was born in a small farming community near Neosho, Wisconsin. He received both a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently working on a Ph.D. in Adult Literacy at George Mason University in Virginia. He is also an...

The Hands of My Father

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pp. 30-31

Bone Bird

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pp. 32

Diving Bell

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pp. 33


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pp. 34-35

Corresponding Oval

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pp. 36-37

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Listening for the Same Thing

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pp. 38-57

That was 1985, in the fall. I was fifteen. There was a dance that weekend, so I remember. Dances were a big thing for Jenny and me. We didn’t have a normal dating life. At best I was only home every two weeks from the Wisconsin School for the Deaf. If you were in sports it was longer. For the “away” games you got on...

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Carmen Cristiu

Carmen Cristiu was born on September 15, 1962, in Bucharest, Romania. She attended primary, elementary, and high schools for hearing pupils. She is a graduate of the Planning and Economic Cybernetics Department of the Economical Studies Academy. At the present time, she...

Leaves on the Water

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pp. 59

Is It a Sin?

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pp. 60

My Mother

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pp. 61

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Gaynor Young

Gaynor Young was born in Nakuru, Kenya, in 1961, but she has spent most of her life in South Africa. She became deaf as a result of a severe fall, which also resulted in other physical and mental injuries, while performing in Camelot in 1989. She has turned the tragedy around and has...

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My Plunge to Fame

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pp. 63-68

Why read My Plunge to Fame? Of what interest will the book be to the deaf community? Of what interest will the book be to the community as a whole? I would love to say this book should be read because the writing is on a par with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, James Joyce, and William Shakespeare. But unfortunately I would...

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John Lee Clark

John Lee Clark is the founder and EdiCurator of The Tactile Mind, a literary magazine of the signing community and its Press. He is an alumnus of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf and Gallaudet University and is now studying at the University of Minnesota. He is also the recipient of...


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pp. 72

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Carl Wayne Denney

Born in Indiana, Carl Wayne Denney was deafened by spinal meningitis at six years of age. He graduated from the Kentucky School for the Deaf in 1985 and from Gallaudet University in 2000. During his student years he founded the short-lived Gallaudetian and twice won the MacDougall...

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Borrowed Time

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pp. 74-85

It was in Blowing Rock that Carl told Lynn how tired he was of all this driving back and forth, from his job in Kentucky to her home in North Carolina. It had been a year now that he’d been doing that, and he was bone-dead-tired of it, period...

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Sibylle Gurtner May

Sibylle Gurtner May, who is hard of hearing, is the daughter of deaf parents. As a child, her mother told her to “look but never listen!” She took this advice to heart, and though she has learned to trust her hearing, she still prefers visual communication. May studied special education in college...

“if I could wish to hear well”

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pp. 87-88

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Sotonwa Opeoluwa

Sotonwa Opeoluwa is a deaf poet, journalist, and playwright. He was born in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria. He attended public primary and secondary local schools. After he became deaf at the age of sixteen, he had to abandon his schooling. Several years later, he learned of the Federal...

The Victim of the Silent Void

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pp. 90-120

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Douglas Bullard

Douglas Bullard is the author of the novel Islay, which is about a deaf state. He graduated from Gallaudet University in 1964 and worked in Alaska as a geologist for many years. He now lives in retirement in Florida...

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Yet: Jack Can Hear!

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pp. 122-129

On his return to the school from yet another bout with surgery during the summer, Jack had to sleep flat on his back, just as at the hospital, and stare at car headlights swinging across the ceiling, just as at the hospital, too. He’d much rather sleep on his side, his feet tucked up closer to the warmth of his torso, his arms...

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Pamela Wright-Meinhardt

Pamela Wright-Meinhardt graduated from Gallaudet University in 1998, and now resides in Arizona. She is proud of her job as a middle school English teacher, where she hopefully is creating future writers! She has lived in Alabama, Florida, Montana, and Washington, D.C., and living...

When They Tell Me . . .

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pp. 131-132

Silent Howl

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pp. 133-138

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A Letter to C. F.

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pp. 139-141

If you ask a ballerina, a watercolorist, a violinist, a writer, an actor on the stage, or any other artist where their craft comes from, they will often tell you they are just another medium for Art, on the same level as the paintbrush, pen or bow. Art swells up inside of them, in waves of crescendos and silences until bursting forth...

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Kristi Merriweather

Kristi Merriweather is a young African-American Deaf woman. She is a student and lives in Greenbelt, Maryland...

Be Tellin’ Me

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pp. 143-144


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pp. 145-146

It Was His Movin’ Hands

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pp. 147

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Raymond Luczak

Raymond Luczak is the author of St. Michael’s Fall: Poems (Deaf Life Press), Silence Is a Four-Letter Word: On Art & Deafness, and This Way to the Acorns: Poems (both from The Tactile Mind Press); he also edited Eyes of Desire: A Deaf Gay and Lesbian Reader (Alyson). A playwright and screenwriter...

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How to Become a Backstabber

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pp. 149-157

This is not as easy as it sounds. If you are deaf, many people—including some deaf people themselves—think that you shouldn’t limit yourself by solely communicating through signs, and that if you have sufficient hearing, you should use speech whenever possible. This depends on your background, of course. You, for...

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Depths of the River

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pp. 158-163

All her life Angie had heard in whispers, always half-believing, half-doubting, about the river people. No one ever saw them out of the water, but many who lived on the banks of the snaking Abbott River sensed the very distinctive presence of intelligent creatures who didn’t just swim around like fish, but nonetheless...

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Justine Vogenthaler

Justine Vogenthaler, who is late-deafened, lives in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up with auditory dyslexia and has since lost her hearing. Her poems mirror her experiences as a woman who grew up with auditory challenges...

Between Two Worlds

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pp. 165-166

Cicadas Roar

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pp. 167

2 Triple Ought

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pp. 168-169

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Willy Conley

Willy Conley of Hanover, Maryland, is a professional actor, director, photographer, and award-winning playwright whose plays have been produced nationally and abroad. Some of Conley’s writings and photographs were published in Gallaudet University Press’s...

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Every Man Must Fall

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pp. 171-183

We frequently get called to the E.R. to photograph the following cases: rape, child abuse, wife beating, and police brutality. You MUST shoot the injured areas and the face in the same photo. When shooting, vary the flash angle to reveal the bumps, bruises, and cuts. Be sure to shoot lots of pictures— it would be disastrous to under-shoot when...

Salt in the Basement

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pp. 184-186

The Cycle of the X-Ray Technician

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pp. 187

The Perfect Woman

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pp. 188

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Tonya Marie Stremlau

Tonya Marie Stremlau was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. She became deaf at age 10 from spinal meningitis. She received an M.A. in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Ph.D. in English, with a specialization in composition and rhetoric, from Louisiana...

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A Nice Romantic Dinner

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pp. 190-196

Sara, sitting on the bench in the warm evening sun outside of her favorite Cajun restaurant in Washington, D.C., looked at her watch. It said 6:30, so Brad was now 30 minutes late; because it was a weeknight, they had agreed to come straight from their respective jobs and meet at the restaurant. Since Sara drove and...

E-ISBN-13: 9781563681837
E-ISBN-10: 1563681838
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563681271
Print-ISBN-10: 1563681277

Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2002

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • American literature -- 20th century.
  • Deaf, Writings of the, American.
  • Hearing impaired, Writings of the, American.
  • Hearing impaired -- Literary collections.
  • Deaf -- Literary collections.
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