Donna Williams grew up in the ‘hearing’ world of mainstream schools and came to the Deaf world late. She started learning BSL at university and when she graduated, she could sign fluently and considered herself bi-cultural, moving in both hearing and Deaf worlds. This is an outlook she still has, spending time in both worlds. This isn’t always easy, and she reflects on this in some of her poems.
Richard Carter is a deaf educator and storyteller, one of the UK’s foremost sign language poets and a popular performer of his own poems and haiku in the UK, USA and Brasil.
In 2013 Richard was invited to take part in the Contemporary British Poetry Reception by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, the first deaf poet to do so.
Peter Cook teaches ASL Interpretation at Columbia College in Chicago (USA) and runs workshops all over the world on storytelling, creativity and ASL literature.
Peter is the deaf half of the Flying Words Project (with hearing co-author Kenny Lerner) Their goal is the same as all other poets, to play with language. Their poems are ‘written’ in ASL, then they both figure out how to use both words and signs so that everyone in the audience can see and hear the poem for themselves.
Dr Johanna Mesch is the head of Sign Languages in the Linguistics Department,Stockholm University. She teaches sign linguistics, publishes widely and for three years built up the corpus of Swedish Sign Language.Her research interests include tactile signing, cross linguistic comparisons of signed languages and signed poetry