~ Poet: Raymond Luczak ~

Instructions to Hearing Persons Desiring a Deaf Man by Raymond Luczak

A fascinating visual conversation between two videos. I always enjoy Raymond Luczak’s American Sign Language performance videos, but the call-and-response here was an extra treat. In the first video, “Luczak performs one of the more famous poems from his book MUTE. This clip was the basis for Brooke Griffin’s animated short film INSTRUCTIONS TO HEARING PERSONS”:

(Also available on Vimeo)

When Brooke Griffin, an animator, asked to adapt my poem […] into a short film, I was surprised and flattered but consented. I performed the poem in ASL and gave her the original footage. I had no idea what she’d do with it, but eight months later, here it is! […]

To learn more about Brooke Griffin’s work, please check out her web site: http://www.brooke.io/

And check out Luczak’s website as well. Mute was published by A Midsummer Night’s Press.

Hearing Your Voice for the First Time by Raymond Luczak

Raymond Luczak has made a number of compelling poetry videos in American Sign Language, but this may be my favorite to date. It’s in support of his new book Mute. (See his YouTube channel for a few others.) Luczak writes:

In this clip, I recall what it was like to use my hearing aids when calling a prospective date for the first time. This happened back in the late 1980s, way before the Internet thing came along. The talented songwriter Seth Pennington performs his song “Want” as a guitar instrumental.

(As with the other Luczak videos I’ve posted, I’m putting this in the Spoken Word category even though that’s obviously not a perfect fit.)

Fireflies by Raymond Luczak

Raymond Luczak signs a poem from his newly re-issued book This Way to the Acorns, which sounds great: a collection of nature poems based on memories of his childhood in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The music is by John Stutte.

Dupont Circle, 3 A.M. by Raymond Luczak

Another sign-language “reading” by poet and filmmaker Raymond Luczak. He notes at YouTube that the music was composed especially for the video by John Stutte. The book is available from Sibling Rivalry Press.

Orphans by Raymond Luczak

The description at YouTube:

Why do so many Deaf people seem so clannish? In this clip, Raymond Luczak explains why in a poem from his book MUTE (A Midsummer Night’s Press). Naturally, it’s subtitled for those who don’t know American Sign Language (ASL).

I’m putting this in the Spoken Word category even though it’s clearly unspoken word. For more on the poet, check out his website. Luczak is also a filmmaker, with two documentaries and two ASL storytelling collections under his belt. Thanks to Nic at Voice Alpha, a blog devoted to the art and science of reading poetry, for this great find.