Big Read: NTID

April 1 - 30, 2023

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read—a partnership with Arts Midwest—broadens our understanding of our world, our neighbors, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience. By showcasing diverse themes, voices, and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community.

Big Read: NTID Events 2023

Events span January 2023 - April 2023

March 10, 2023
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Pittsford Community Library
How Do You Hear? Discussion at Pittsford Community Library

March 22, 2023
6-7:30 p.m.
Gates Public Library
Deaf Republic Book Discussion at Gates Public Library

March 23, 2023
7-9 p.m.
Rush Public Library
Deaf Republic Book Discussion at Rush Public Library

March 24, 2023
1-2 p.m.
CSD-SDC 1310
Deaf Republic Book Discussion at NTID

March 25, 2023
2-4 p.m.
Gates Public Library
Deaf Republic Book Discussion at Gates Public Library

March 30, 2023
7-9 p.m.
Rush Public Library
Deaf Republic Book Discussion with Rush Readers Book Club

April 1, 2023
5-6:30 p.m.
Gates Public Library
Big Read: NTID w/Ilya Kaminski at Gates Public Library

April 1, 2023
7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Campus Center - Fireside Lounge
Deaf Republic RIT Student Book Club Discussion

April 2, 2023
3:30 - 5 p.m.
Webb Auditorium RIT
Deaf Republic reading by Ilya Kaminsky in Webb Auditorium, RIT

April 3-28, 2023
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. M-F
NTID Dyer Arts Center
Deaf Republic Art Exhibit

April 11, 2023
11 a.m. – noon
Victor-Farmington Library
Deaf Republic reading at Victor-Farmington Library

April 13, 2023
1 - 2 p.m.
CSD-SDC 1300/1310
Eric Epstein ASL Poetry Presentation

April 13, 2023
7-8 p.m.
Penfield Public Library
Deaf Republic book discussion with poet Kathleen Wakefield

April 14, 2023
3 - 4:30 p.m.
RIT Fireside Lounge
Black Poetry and Black Lives Matter

April 14-16, 2023
2-4 and 7:30-9:30 p.m.
RIT Inn & Conference Center, Henrietta Ballroom
Deaf Republic Theater Performance

April 18, 2023
1:30 - 3 p.m.
Deaf Republic Book Discussion at Brighton Public Library

April 22, 2023
2-5 p.m.
CSD-SDC 1300/1310
Visual Vernacular Workshop at NTID

April 22, 2023
7-8 p.m.
Webb Auditorium RIT
Visual Vernacular Underground Performance

April 25, 2023
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
CSD-SDC 1445
Protactile Poetry Event

April 25, 2023
7-8 p.m.
Henrietta Public Library
Deaf Republic Book Discussion at Henrietta Public Library

April 26, 2023
7-8:30 p.m.
SDC 1300/1310
John Lee Clark: Reading and Talk

[ Downloadable PDF version ]

Big Read Events Calendar

Deaf Republic Stage Play

Deaf Republic play

Written by Illya Kaminsky
Directed by Malik Paris

Fri, Apr 14, 7:30-9:30 pm
Sat, Apr 15, 2-4 pm & 7:30-9:30 pm
Sun, Apr 16, 2-4 pm

Deaf Republic takes place in an unspecified time of political unrest in an occupied territory. The story unfolds in episodic poems, opening with the shooting of a young deaf boy at a protest. In response, the entire town adopts deafness as a strategy of resistance.

The Deaf Republic Stage Play will be held in the
RIT Inn & Conference Center, Henrietta Ballroom *
[ map to RIT Inn ]     [ RIT Inn layout ]

Ticket Information

Mature Content Warning: This play contains themes such as sexuality, murder, and police violence. Most appropriate for ages 13 and up.

* Due to renovations of department production spaces, Deaf Republic will be staged in the RIT Inn and Conference Center’s Henrietta Ballroom. This large space will be transformed into a small theater with platform seating for good sightlines. Only 100 tickets are available for each show. RIT shuttles run to the RIT Inn regularly (shuttle schedules).

About Big Read: NTID

RIT/NTID will host a Big Read featuring Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic. Programming explores the themes of language, power, and community in Deaf Republic, spotlights the history of deaf poetry in the United States, and encourages people from diverse backgrounds to experiment with poetry as a means of expressing their own experiences of language, power, and community.

NTID is partnering with Monroe County Library System (MCLS) and other colleges in RIT to organize local events open to the entire Rochester community. NTID is also partnering with deaf organizations and schools for the deaf to organize satellite events across the country. Rochester programming includes Deaf Republic book giveaways, a reading and talk by Kaminsky, book group discussions, and ASL performances of the poems; as well art exhibits exploring the themes in Deaf Republic, poetry workshops, and readings by other poets.

About Ilya Kaminsky

Headshot of Ilya KaminskyIlya Kaminsky

Ilya Kaminsky is a hard-of-hearing Ukrainian immigrant whose family was granted political asylum due to anti-semitism. Kaminsky, the Bourne Chair of Poetry at Georgia Tech’s School of Literature, Media, and Communications, is best known for his poetry collections, including the Deaf Republic, Traveling Musicians, and Dancing in Odessa, which have earned him several awards.

Opportunities for Deaf/HOH Students!

NTID is excited to announce special opportunities for Deaf and hard-of-hearing middle and high school students nationwide to participate in the Big Read.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students can submit an essay on Deaf Republic to the SpiRIT Writing Competition. They can also submit artwork that is inspired by or related to themes in Deaf Republic to the NTID Digital Arts, Film, and Animation Competition. Submitted artwork will be considered for inclusion in the Big Read: NTID Art Exhibit in Dyer Arts Center.

Teachers of Deaf and hard-of-hearing K-12 students can involve their classes in Big Read: NTID activities in a variety of ways. Free books are available for teachers, as well as a reading guide and lesson plan for five key poems developed by staff in the Masters of Secondary Education Department. Teachers can also register their students to attend a book discussion led by faculty in the Department of Liberal Studies, and a webinar with Ilya Kaminsky.

Free Books for Teachers
Contact to request a free copy of Deaf Republic

Deaf Republic Book Discussion
Join NTID English faculty Sarah Kinor in a discussion of Deaf Republic. Discussion will be conducted in ASL with voice interpreting and captioning.
Apr 21, 2023 1-2 pm EST
Registration is required:
This event is open only to Deaf/hard-of-hearing high school students and their teachers. Click to register.

Ilya Kaminsky Webinar
Join the author for a discussion of Deaf Republic, poetry, and the war in Ukraine. Students are encouraged to submit questions in advance. Discussion will be conducted in spoken English with ASL interpreting and captioning.
Apr 3, 2023 1 pm EST
Registration is required:
This event is open only to Deaf/hard-of-hearing high school students and their teachers. Click to register.

Resources for Teachers and Big Read: NTID Event Organizers