Flying Words Project is at once imaginative, experimental, and intense. Deaf American Sign Language poet Peter Cook presents three-dimensional imagery while collaborator Kenny Lerner’s spoken words allow the hearing in the audience to literally see the ASL image and become lost in the movement. Together they create a moving tapestry uniquely accessible to both hearing and deaf audiences.
This collaboration commenced in 1984 when Cook and Lerner began performing poetry together. They soon established the only deaf poetry series at the time which culminated in the First National ASL Literature Conference in 1992. Flying Words has been featured at the Poetry Days Festival (Dzejas Dienas,) in the Latvian towns of Liepia and Riga. They have also performed at the 36th International Poetry Festival in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Harvard University, The People’s Poetry Gathering in NYC, Theatre de Lucernaire in Paris, and many places in between. Most recently, they gave the keynote address at the American Literary Translators Association Conference in Rochester, NY. Flying Words has been the recipient of grants from the New York State Council of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Puffin Foundation and are the authors of four dvd anthologies, The Year of the Walking Dogs (1984-90), the Can’t Touch Tours (1990-2003), “Live at the Bowery Club (2007) and Live in Colorado (2012.) They have been published in the Museum of American Poets online magazine Napalm Health Spa.
This project is supported in part by Utah Arts & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts.