Gallaudet University Press

10:2 Thursday, February 28, 2008

Life, Love, Loss, Family, Death, and Desire

A CODA Author Pens Her Innermost Feelings
Through Graphically Powerful Poetry

New for this month is Pia Taavila’s Moon on the Meadow: Collected Poems. Her lush verse has already received considerable praise. Randall Kenan, Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, writes, “I love these tactile, quiet, loud, human, heartfelt, musical poems of Pia Taavila. They are not burdened by history or love, but are the essence of both; they don’t preach, they just sing to the soul. Pia’s artistry is paramount.” Robert Morgan, Professor of English at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, notes, “Pia Taavila is an outstanding ballad singer and scholar of traditional music as well as a poet, and her poems are testimony to her love of music and her passion for words that touch others, and her humanity. For many years Pia has taught writing and literature to deaf students at Gallaudet University, and the poems of Moon on the Meadow are witness to her special gift for making words on the page sing out and celebrate both struggles and victories, the joy of communication and community.”

Still, other noteworthy authors such as Raymond Luczak (When I Am Dead: The Writings of George M. Teegarden) exclaim, “Through these tender yet sly poems as visually unforgettable as Van Gogh’s paintings, Taavila proves to be a master of the painterly gaze on not only what it means to live as a hearing daughter of Deaf parents, but also what it means to yearn for a stronger connection with others of—and outside—her blood. It is this very longing that brings us closer to what she’s whispering with her hands, tumbling out there onto the darkened page like a candle’s wick catching flame. Her poems ‘see.’”

You can read more about this child of deaf adults’ (CODA) poetic images that bring a natural focus to aspects of life, love, loss, family, death, and desire in her introduction. Order Moon on the Meadow online now to receive a special savings of 20% off the regular price by typing “FEB0820%” in the “Comments or Special Instructions” box below your credit card information. Or, order by mail.

This dictionary is an excellent resource book for both teachers and learners of [American Sign Language] ASL and perhaps also for Deaf learners of English,” exclaimed a Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education review of The Gallaudet Dictionary of American Sign Language. “It should be on the bookshelves of every library of schools and colleges where ASL is taught and used.” The Gallaudet Dictionary of American Sign Language is a learning tool for beginning signers, a reference tool for more advanced signers, and also an English vocabulary reference for Deaf people. Because American Sign Language, like all languages, contains a lot of variation, the editors of this dictionary have included several versions of some signs. To achieve this goal, the dictionary contains more than 3,000 ASL signs. The DVD enclosed with the dictionary includes live-action clips of signers making all of the signs and is completely searchable, allowing users to look up signs by typing in synonyms or to find signs with alternate meanings. View select illustrations, and order your copy today!

The Midwest Book Review’s library newsletter, Wisconsin Bookwatch, recently highlighted author Jack Hoza’s study on politeness theory between American Sign Language (ASL) signers and English speakers: “It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It is an analysis of linguistic strategies employed by ASL signers as compared to English speakers, with regard to the social variables of specific contexts. Chapters contrast requests in ASL and English, rejections in ASL and English, the interconnection between fluency and politeness, and much more. A scholarly text ideal for intermediate to advanced linguistic students and scholars, It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It is a welcome contribution to language and communication studies shelves.” The full review is available online. Read more about this engrossing study in Chapter 8, Why It Matters How You Say It, and order It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It here.

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