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Clayton Valli Jazzberries performance and presentation

 Digital Work
Identifier: ds_0027_vallijazzberries_cap_01.mp4


  • Creation: 1987



Clayton Valli begins his performance telling about how he became interested in English poetry at school and how that flicker faded until he began creating poetry in ASL. The poems performed here are "My Favorite Summer House," "Windy Bright Morning," "Lone Sturdy Tree," "Snowflake," "Dandelion" and "Cave." He briefly introduces each poem, noting that "My Favorite Summer House" was the first poem he created in ASL and "The Cave" was his most recent creation. In the presentation, Valli seeks to discuss the nature of ASL poetry by looking at the characteristics of the structure of spoken language poetry (rhyme, line, stanza, etc.) as well as the recent research in ASL linguistics (comparing spoken consonant/vowel word components with ASL movement/hold sign components). He also demonstrates how one ASL phrase differs when signing a string of citation form signs vs. everyday signing of ASL prose forms vs. signing poetic forms. The specific poems he analyzes here are "Hands" by Clayton Valli and "Wedding Poem/Circle of Life" by Ella Mae Lentz. In Valli's poem "Hands," the end of lines in the poem can be recognized by patterns of final downward movements. In Lentz's poem, the end of lines can be recognized by patterns of final handshapes.


373.37 Megabytes (mp4)


Sign Languages


General Note

This material was digitized as part of a CLIR Hidden Collections grant: "Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections at the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive (RIT/NTID DSA) in Rochester, NY." Original VHS recordings were transferred to mp4 format, captioned, and voiced, by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Production Services department.

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA