Saturday, March 14, 2009

ISO of Carson McCullers' D.C. Connection

It's been a challenge finding a D.C. connection for author Carson McCullers. Unlike Zora Neale Hurston (2007), McCullers didn't attend college and meet a BLF (best literary friend) named Langston Hughes here; unlike F. Scott Fitzgerald (2008), her parents weren't married in D.C.; neither did she have a daughter take up residence here (Scotty).

But through the Big Read, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter has made its own D.C. connection through E. Ethelbert Miller, one of the featured commentators on the Big Read Audio Guide for the book narrated by former NEA chair Dana Gioia. Miller is joined by Edward Albee, Alan Arkin, P.J. O'Rourke, Mary Louise Parker, Gore Vidal and others .
E. Ethelbert Miller describes The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter as a "must read" on the CD.

E. Ethelbert Miller has published his second memoir, The 5th Inning, through a new publishing venture by the Big Read - D.C.'s community partner Busboys and Poets. The cover is designed by Andy Shallal, owner of the Busboys and Poets restaurants and now its companion press (via PM Press). The 5th Inning the first book for Busboys and Poets.

Miller, a literary activist and board chair for the Institute for Policy Studies, has authored several collections of poems. His first memoir, Fathering Words, was selected for the DC Public Library's Center for the Book "DC We Read" program. He's often heard on NPR radio. Miller is also a founder of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC (co-presenter for the Big Read - D.C.)

We learn that what happens, even in these relationships with people that we love, we have difficulty communicating. We wind up being "deaf" to each other.
E. Ethelbert Miller, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Audio Guide

Carson McCullers never got to 2nd base in her 5th inning. She died at age 50.

A launch party for The 5th Inning and the Busboys and Poets press is scheduled for Monday, March 16 at 7 PM at Busboys and Poets (2021 14th Street, NW). The event will feature readings by Miller and other special guests as well as a book signing.

Copies of the Big Read Audio Guide to The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter will be available at Big Read - D.C. events including the upcoming SpeakeasyDC event at Busboys and Poets April 23 (7:30 PM); and the official kick-off at Gallaudet University, April 25 (11 AM). For more information, call 202-387-8391 or email

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Deaf History Month (March 13 - April 13)

Deaf History month begins March 13. The District of Columbia Library's Adaptive Services Division has a schedule of events and activities year round including ASL readings, classes, and special guest speakers. It's speculated that Deaf History month was founded at the DC Public Library! During the month, libraries are encouraged to host deaf awareness activities.

For more information, contact Library Services to the Deaf Community:

Voice (via Video Relay Service) 866-570-7364 and ask for Janice Rosen;

Voice (direct) or VideoPhone (202) 727-2145; TTY (202) 727-2255


Saturday, March 21 from 11 am - 4 pm, the DCPL Adaptive Services Division will have a new Grand Opening and Open House:

11am to 12 noon ASL (American Sign Language) Story Hour, Librarian Janice Rosen signs in ASL, "Moses Goes to the Circus," by Isaac Millman - stories projected on a screen page by page as the story as told. Therapy dog teams from People Animals Love will join us for the story hour and will stay after the story hour at a designated table to talk to people and answer questions.

12:15 pm to 1:45 pm Library director, Ginnie Cooper, and members from the blind community and the Library of Congress National Library Services for the Blind. including Michael Mellor, the author of the most recent biography of Louis Braille will speak.

2 to 3 Sing and Sign in ASL. Learn to sign a simple song and learn a few other signs, too.

CART and ASL interpreters will be provided. Deaf-Blind who need tactile or close-vision interpreters or other accomodations, please let us know right away.

Thursday, March 26 - 7:00 – 8:45 pm

Germantown Library, 19840 Century Blv, Germantown , MD 20874

Saturday March 28 at 12 noon - 2 pm

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW (Rm A-5), Washington, DC 20001

Independent Researcher Steven Sandy presents William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy: Deaf Baseball Hero

Dummy Hoy was the first deaf player in major league baseball and had to overcome many obstacles on his way to becoming one of the greatest outfielders of his time. Hoy is credited with the creation of the hand signals used by umpires to indicate whether the pitch thrown was a “strike” or a “ball.” Not being able to hear the calls which were shouted out by the umpires, Hoy asked his coach to stand at third base and raise his right hand for a strike and left hand for a ball. These hand signals are used by baseball umpires all over the world today. Mr. Sandy’s research covers the whole range of Hoy's life from the time he was born on May 23, 1862 on a farm in Houcktown , Ohio to his death on December 15, 1961 in Cincinnati , Ohio at the age of 99.

Let's Communicate - American Sign Language Classes - Spring Schedule

Classes are held at the MLK, Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW. Check the electronic bulletin board at the entrance to confirm meeting room. All sign language programs are FREE and open to the public. There is NO need to register.

BEGINNING LEVEL (100+ Basic ASL Vocabulary and Basic ASL Structure)
Mon./Tues. March 16 – May 11, 2009: 5:30 – 7:00 pm - 2nd Floor E. Lobby
Mon./Tues. May 18 – June 30, 2009: 5:30 – 7:00 pm – 2nd Floor E. Lobby
(Instructor: Maurice Smith)

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL (More Vocabulary / Advanced Rules of ASL)
Tuesdays February 3 – April 28, 2009: 5:30 – 7:30 pm – Room 221
(Instructor: Richard Stokes. NOTE on March 10, 17, 31, class will NOT meet in Room 221. Check electronic bulletin board or the Book Information Desk for the room number.)
Mon./Tues. March 16 – May 11, 2009: 5:30 – 7:00 pm – 2nd Floor E.
(Instructor: Linda McCrimmon)
Tuesdays May 5 – June 30, 2009: 5:30 – 7:30 pm – Room TBA
(Instructor: Richard Stokes)
Mon./Tues. May 18 – June 30, 2009: 5:30 – 7:00 pm – 2nd Floor E. Lobby
(Instructor: Linda McCrimmon)

CONVERSATIONAL (Communication Practice – All skill levels)
Saturdays February 7 – May 23, 2009: 10:00 am – 12:00 Noon – Room 221
(Instructor: Andrea Galer)