What does a poem look like? "Signing the Body Poetic"
What does a poem look like? Dr. Heidi M. Rose, associate professor in the communication department, demonstrated the poetry of American Sign Language at her Scholarship @ Villanova talk on April 25. Dr. Rose showed videos of ASL poem performances, including the narrative poem, “Missing Children.” Clips of the poem being interpreted by two different individuals were shown, and Dr. Rose explicated the unique meanings each person brought to the poem.
As a special feature, ASL specialist Brandi Mazick, from the Deaf-Hearing Communication Centre, simultaneously signed the text of Dr. Rose's talk.
Dr. Rose has published extensively in the areas of deaf culture, American Sign Language literature and solo performance. Her ground-breaking essay, “The Poet in the Poem in the Performance: The Relation of Body, Self, and Text in ASL Literature,” is featured in one of the first major scholarly works to theorize the American Sign Language aesthetic, from poetry to theater and film. This collection, which she helped edit, is entitled Signing the Body Poetic: Essays on American Sign Language Literature (Univ. California Pr, 2006).
The Scholarship @ Villanova talk, which took place during National Poetry Month in the first floor lounge, was sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library.
Contributed by Darren Poley and Judy Olsen; photograph by Laura Hutelmyer