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BIG READ April 2023 Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky: Big Read: Deaf Republic


Big Read: Deaf Republic Introduction

Welcome to the Big Read initiative from NEA awarded to Dr. Jill Bradbury, Chair of NTID Performing Arts. Free books are available at Ritter Library, near the entrance. They are on a shelf in front of you with a Deaf Republic poster. 

"Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic is the subject of the NEA Big Read project during National Deaf History Month in April 2023, hosted by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. According to the National Endowment for the Arts, “Big Read—a partnership with Arts Midwest—broadens our understanding of our world, neighbors, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience."

Ilya Kaminsky will give a spoken English presentation with ASL interpretation about Deaf themes from the book on Saturday, 2023 April 1st-April 3rd.  The play is from Friday,  April 14th- to Sunday, April 16th, 2023.  A slate of poets will be visiting in April. Keep up-to-date via this website.

"During the project, NTID will visit communities, on and off campus, through in-person and virtual events, including book giveaways, book discussions, panel discussions, poetry readings, workshops, gallery exhibits, and American Sign Language performances of poems in the Deaf Republic. In addition to book discussions at NTID and throughout the Monroe County Library System, Kaminsky will give a reading and presentation at NTID. Rochester Public Library and Monroe County Library Services are partner organizations. All events will be free except for staged readings or performances."

There is a call for art inspired by the book which will be exhibited at the Dyer Art Gallery and public libraries. Contact Dr. Pamela Kincheloe if interested. Here is the link to submit artworks. Did you know there are approximately 15,000-20,000 Ukrainian Americans in Rochester? 


This InfoGuide encourages research on some themes inspired by the book and expands to other topics:  language oppression, war, refugees, political activism, current events, how to determine inaccurate news, particularly from social media postings, Ukraine/Russia culture, and history, cyber war, Deaf Ukrainians and Russians and their sign languages. We included information about Ukraine because Kaminsky is Ukrainian-American.  "NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.”

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