Friday, November 15, 2013

"Self-Respect" Artwork

You can click on this photo to see it bigger

I thought about creating an artwork that shows a portrait of myself, and make it become related to pride upon myself as hard of hearing or a person with hearing loss and being gay. Though I didn't have any canvas and much paint at the moment, so I came up with a solution. I discovered a 8x12 inches picture frame with its wooden back, slid into its frames, for hanging the frame. I slid that off and only used that wooden back part of the picture frame, which already has its own maroon color on the surface. I then sought for a photo of myself in iPhoto in my computer and found one. I then used the picture of myself as my reference.

I used acrylic paint, using only white, orange, blue paint, and created Cubism-alike structure on my face. I then used color wax crayons and color pencils for the rainbow background. In regards to being hard of hearing, you have to look at my ear and you would notice a small hearing aid in and around the ear. Of course, the background has a rainbow color which conveys the message upon my self-respect as a gay person other than being hard of hearing. The idea of combining self-acceptance and pride as having a hearing loss and being gay is what I wanted to portray in this work. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"The Struggle" Artwork

You can click on this photo to see it much bigger.

Several years ago (don't remember which year), ImageArt (Rochester, NY's annual glbt art exhibit during ImageOut Film Festival every October) rejected the work. I was also unsatisfied with the work and left it in the storage for a while. I happened to ponder about the work and decided to bring it back up. I took the time to redo the work, using color wax crayons and color pencils on the major male figure. I also re-drew the little male figures with a white pencil to make them stand out more. I only used orange, yellow, white, gold, and black color pencils to do the major male figure. I used the color wax crayons to do the pink triangle and the rainbow lines, and the rest of the lines. There are some fabrics on the canvas and I used a back pencil to draw black lines that show them a little bit. Before I even applied the wax crayons and pencils, the work was  made of acrylic paint in gold and black, which you can notice below the male figures and lines. The male figures and the triangle were much darker without the crayons and pencils, which were more challenging to see. When applying the colors and lines, I realized that they really helped the male figures and lines stand out much more. It took me a while to figure out how to solve the problem with challenges, forcing me to fix this and refine this and so forth. So, it is officially done to my best.

This work is certainly clearly related to the gay men's struggle. As you may know, pink triangles were used on Jewish gay male prisoners' shirts in death camps during the Nazi regime as a label for "Gay" and many were executed. The little male figures are pulling, pushing, lifting, and holding the triangle to keep reminding us what really happened. The dark black and gold with stripes and splashes in the background give the mood of darkness or the feeling of oppression. The rainbow lines, of course, represent glbt pride. All in all, this is the message to say gay men's struggle for freedom is carried on from the Holocaust under the Nazi regime and still is today all over the world regardless of where they live.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

ASL Performances at Equal Grounds for DEAAF, 2013

The ASL Poetry Show at Equal Grounds Coffee Lounge was a smash success with a great packed crowd. DEAAF (Deaf Education of the Arts for African Families) made up to $213.00 from the fund raising effort during the show, which will help deaf/hard of hearing African kids in Zambia, Africa get the education that they need. The performers were great: Vicki Nordquist, Jojo, Dangerous Signs, Chris Coles (plus Joe Fox as Chris's guest performer), and myself (Eddie Swayze).

As it could possibly happen, my computer had tech difficulty by refusing to play the CDs that two performers brought in to play the songs. Had to use someone's iPad and iPhone to play the YouTube version of the songs with the microphone close to the device's speaker, and that surely worked very well. How could that be possible without such high tech devices available when something doesn't work? Also, my computer froze and had to re-boot it, which caused the waiting to happen, but it went back up and the show went on. 

I would like to thank John White, owner of Equal Grounds, for granting me the opportunity to present the event and making the funding toward DEAAF possible. I would also like to thank Grey Van Pelt and Mike Drees for being the voice interpreters.

Here are the photos that you can enjoy.

Eddie Swayze

Vicki Nordquist

Chris Coles


Barb Deitz discussing about DEAAF and the funding effort.

Dangerous Signs

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Two Photos: "Song of the Journey" ASL Poetry, Tiger Talk

Here are the two photos of my ASL poetry performance titled "Song of the Journey", taken on Oct. 12th 2013, at the Robert F. Panara Theatre at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).  I was told that the video will be posted soon and that may not work well in this blog. I may put the video into my WildPoet YouTube that already have other ASL poetry stuff I created. 

Enjoy the photos. You can click on the photos to make them  bigger.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Song of the Journey, Tiger Talk

My poem "Song of the Journey", translated into ASL, got accepted by the jurists and I was able to perform the work on stage at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in the Robert F. Panara Theatre on Saturday, October 12th. The performance included my video and electronic music, all put together along my ASL performance. A technical difficulty popped up a bit, but it got straightened out quickly and I was able to pull it off. Ha! I will eventually get the video of the performance from NTID soon. Meanwhile, I would like to share "Song of the Journey" in writing for you all to read. Enjoy!

    "Song of the Journey"

Beautiful creatures on campus,
You may stomp your feet and echo your voices across the continents and the seven seas.
Spread your petals and send their aromas with crucial contributions through the air. 
Expand your innovations like glowing wings upon the air.
Your precious jewels of visions shall never dissipate. 
Expand! Expand! Expand!

You, scholars with crowns of laurel on your heads, have the power to provoke new images, new words, new actions;  you have the power to accelerate dialogues in our majestic society.
Dialogues on behalf of new ideas float among us, a togetherness that enhances our quality of life.
You are in charge of your visions!  
Provoke! Provoke! Provoke!

As avid explorers, you may maneuver your vessels up toward the distant corners of the sky
And seek for places you have never been before.
Take an electronic compass and follow your paths.
The expanding space and time can carry you toward your dreams. 
Explore! Explore! Explore!

You, the students, faculty, and staff, like trillions of stars and planets circulating far in the distance, 
May yearn and scatter your dreams like the Milky Way across the midnight sky. 
Your imaginations may glide like space crafts heading up into the open blue sky.
Your abundant beauty may bloom just like a thousand embryonic stars. 
Scatter! Scatter! Scatter!

Your tasks shall not be viewed as marginal, nor as irrelevant, nor as abysmal, 
For they are to be seen by the very eyes of everyone all around our globe.
Your insights can be seen or heard, the beauty of your creative work, 
Just like how the astronomers discovered Bernard's star, Alpha Centauri, Vega, Sirius stars, black holes, pulsar stars, brown dwarfs, supernovas, dark matter, and other cosmic miracles.
Invite yourselves onboard the ships, warm travelers that you all can be,  with great appreciation of respect, beauty, and diversity. 
Roar! Roar! Roar!

Allen Ginsberg's "Holy" Poem in ASL on the Web

My translation of Allen Ginsberg's poem in ASL (American Sign Language) got uploaded by Peter Hale last week. Peter's Allen Ginsberg site also includes Miriam Lerner's vid clip of Allen Ginsberg visiting NTID (National Technical Institute for the Deaf) in 1985. I am indeed honored to have my ASL translation of Ginsberg's work in the site. Unfortunately, the video isn't in high quality but that has nothing to do with the webpage; it has to do with using my Mac laptop's PhotoBooth through the laptop video camera instead of being able to afford an expensive high-quality video camera.

Here is Peter Hale's Allen Ginsberg webpage address for you to click on:

You'll need to scroll down until you see "The Heart of the Hydrogen Jukebox" and then you'll see a video of me doing the poem in ASL and Miriam's video of Allen at NTID.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Deaf Lit Extravaganza Book with 3 Poems

My 3 poems are published in an anthology book titled Deaf Lit Extravaganza.  The 3 poems are "The Fable of the Fox and the Heron", "Diva", and "Fragile Earth". It's out in the public for sale. You can order online, using this site address:

Here is my one poem titled "Diva" that is in the book for you to read and enjoy.


Young wise woman.
Brown-cinnamon flesh.
Black braided hair.
A heart listener.
No one can exploit her.
Listen to her stories.
Honest as an open bowl.
Men don’t understand.
She knows what she needs.
She is a diva!
A deaf woman she is.
Doesn’t matter.
She isn’t a light-headed bird.
It won’t work if men try playing tricks.
Beautiful she is.
Intelligent she is.
But she doesn’t lift her tail feathers up.
She doesn’t want to be a pawn.
Respect her dreams!
Respect her existence!
She carries the armor.

Friday, September 13, 2013

ASL Poetry Show at Equal Grounds for DEAAF

I will host an ASL Poetry Show at Equal Grounds on October 19th. It will start at 7 PM. It is for a fundraising effort toward DEAAF (Deaf Education and the Arts for African Families), which is a program that provides deaf and hard of hearing African children the education that they need in their country. I have had this done last winter at the same location and it was a huge success with good amount of funds raised and a large packed crowd. Several performers will present their work on stage at Equal Grounds whether it'll be ASL poetry, ASL storytelling, ASL sign-to-songs, or whatever else. The performers will consist of deaf, hard of hearing, and ASL-skilled hearing performers. I am honored and I thank Equal Grounds owner John White for giving me this opportunity last year and again this year. Here is the flyer with details of the show. You need to click on the flyer in order to see it much bigger.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three Poems Published in Deaf Lit Extravaganza Book

My 3 poems are published in this anthology book titled "Deaf Lit Extravaganza". It will be out on the market this October. There are other work by other writers/poets in this book. This book focuses on the deaf culture, deaf experiences, deaf political issues, and so forth. 

Here is my one poem that is in this book titled "Diva"


Young wise woman.
Brown-cinnamon flesh.
Black braided hair.
A heart listener.
No one can exploit her.
Listen to her stories.
Honest as an open bowl.
Men don’t understand.
She knows what she needs.
She is a diva!
A deaf woman she is.
Doesn’t matter.
She isn’t a light-headed bird.
It won’t work if men try playing tricks.
Beautiful she is.
Intelligent she is.
But she doesn’t lift her tail feathers up.
She doesn’t want to be a pawn.
Respect her dreams!
Respect her existence!
She carries the armor.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Korg Electronic Music

I bought a brand new Korg electronic music device and it's called Kaossilator Pro. I have been playing around with the device for several weeks now and still learning how to play it as time goes on. The goal with this device is to use it when performing my poetry in ASL (American Sign Language). I still need to get a small memory card (SD Card) in order to be able to store the work in this device. I also would like to get a microphone and hook it to this device. The microphone into this device will enable me to speak my poems (in English) and create special vocal effects like robot voice and etc. Down the road, I would love to add a synthesizer and go beyond what this device can do. The idea is to play the device, push the buttons to save the sound effects I want, and speak the poems into the device with the microphone, then translate the spoken words in ASL on stage. It may appear as if I am a D.J. and performing artist/poet at the same time or back and forth. This enables me to go beyond just using GarageBand in my iMac laptop. It is also possible to play the device along the GarageBand in my iMac laptop simultaneously to add more soundscapes. This is truly an exciting experiment for me and I am looking forward to using this Korg Kaossilator Pro device on stage in the near future.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Performance with Dangerous Signs at MuCCC

On May 11th and 12th, I and the cast members performed poetry, songs, and storytelling in ASL (American Sign Language) as a group called Dangerous Signs at the Multi-unity Cultural Community Center (MuCCC). Also, glass pieces were laid out on the table and me and some Dangerous Signs cast members played the pieces into sweet sounds. That was a great and unique experience for me to do. Eastman School of Music students joined us to play a violin, cello, guitar, and other music instruments while we performed.

MuCCC presented the College Festival. Other colleges showed their theatrical productions. They were Monroe Community College, Eastman School of Music, Brockport University, Nazareth College, and few more. This event gave students' work a chance to be showcased in the community.

As for myself, I translated Annie Lennox's "Broken Glass" and Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sounds of Silence" songs into ASL. I also performed my original poem titled "Bones" with cast members that interacted along while I did the work. I also interacted along another cast who performed Ella Mae Lentz's "Eye Music" poem as well. Lastly, I played the glass pieces for one cast member's original poem. 

After the performances, we stayed to be interviewed by the audience and the interviewers. The questions and answers, feedback, and comments helped us see what needs to be worked on, what was successful, and the comments enabled us to see where to go. 

All in all, this experience was a tremendous learning opportunity and a great success for us, which I can only feel proud to be part of.

Here are photos of our performances.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dangerous Signs at MuCCC for College Theatre Festival

I and the cast members in Dangerous Signs will perform our ASL signing-to-songs, poems, storytelling, and etc at Multi-use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) for their College Theatre Festival this May 11th and 12th. We will present unique ASL translations of original poems like my "Bones" poem, well-known poems like Langston Huge's work, songs like Annie Lennox's "Walking on Broken Glass" and Simon/Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence", and several other skits. This Festival is a special showcase that enables the community to see college/university students/staff/faculty/etc's theatrical or performing arts skills. 

To look for the Festival, look at MuCCC web page to get the details:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

AMCE Recording Studio

I went to a recording studio called AMCE in Rochester, NY on April 23rd. I sat down with a person there to discuss the details of how to transfer my work into their devices in order to make it become better qualities. They have ProTool software that can take in my MP3 audio of my electronic music and electronic music with spoken word poems, then enhance them into higher qualities. They also have a special high-tech CD-recording machine that can burn my electronic music and insert them into good jewel cases. They also can accept artwork made by myself or anyone in JPEG or PDF files and insert the cover, back, and inside pages. 

It is my goal to submit this project to Kickstarter and reach a goal up to $1,250.00. If I do reach the goal, then the costs will be covered to do the recording and CD-making process. Once 100 CDs are all completed, then I would have them available for sale during my performances at venues in the near future. 

Henceforth, I will post this project into Kickstarter soon and will acknowledge you upon its availability online, then roll up my sleeves to get friends, family, colleagues, and others to help me reach the goal.

Here is a photo of AMCE's recording console. It's an awesome high-tech device and amazing.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lori Nalasco and Eddie Swayze at Barnes and Nobles

On May 9th, a well-respected Spanish poet/singer, Lori Nolasco, will be reading her work in Spanish and English. She also has some poems that convey the message about deafness and the Deaf culture, which she will perform to the audience. She is also known to sing very well. Eddie Swayze (myself) will perform ASL poems and some spoken words with sign language at the same time. He will also play a few poems with his original electronic music.

This is an idea upon cultural languages: Spanish and the deaf/hard of hearing's ASL (America Sign Language). An interpreter will be there, who can interpret Spanish and ASL, both, which can become unique and rare for the audience to see. The interpreter will be Denise Herrera. She has interpreted for Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 4 and 5 at Loving Cup. Henceforth, the Spanish poetry and ASL poetry shall entice the audience as this kind of approach is rare.

I thank the Just Poets for presenting this event and their support.

Here is the flyer for you all to see, which I created. Spread the word.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ASL Performance at Monroe Community College

On May 1st, I and three other deaf/hard of hearing performers will entertain the audience at Rochester's Monroe Community College. The event is sponsored by World Languages and Cultures Department, MCC ASL Club, and The Global Union International Student Organization. This free event will provide poems/stories/signing along songs performances that will be done in American Sign Language. Vicki Nordquist is known to create unique A, B, C stories or poems. Troy Chapman translates a lot of Langston Hughes poems. Matt Schwartz translates musicians' songs into ASL. I, Eddie Swayze, translates his original poems into ASL while playing his original composed electronic music. So, the four different approaches of ASL performances would give the audience great variety of tastes. 

I thank Grey Van Pelt for offering me this opportunity and I look forward to blowing the audience's minds as much as the other three performers will do as well.

Here is the flyer. You can click right on the flyer and it will become larger.

I realize that this flyer doesn't make it any easier to read the texts even clicked on to become larger. Here are what the texts say on the flyer:

Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Room: Monroe A/B (Bldg. 3-205)
Doors open at 6:00 PM
Show starts at 6:30 PM
Monroe Community College
1000 East Henrietta Rd, Rochester, NY 

Vicki Nordquist, Matt Schwartz,
Eddie Swayze, Troy Chapman

Interpreters will be provided

Sponsors: World Languages and Cultures Department,
The Global Union International Students Organization

Free Show

Parking is available for the general public in Lot N.
Deaf blind interpreters provided upon RSVP by April 22

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Photos of Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 5

On Saturday, March 30th, John Roche and I (Eddie Swayze) coordinated a 3 hour poetry/storytelling/performance show at Loving Cup. The crowd was in good numbers. Dangerous Signs started their skits doing Langston Hughes' poems - translated into ASL, ABC sign language acts (I joined them for the word ROBOT, acting as a robot), one original poem of mine "Bones", and they ended their skits with John Lennon's "Imagine" song in ASL. Hearing poets Wanda Schubmehl, Kitty Jopse, Catherine Feurot, and John Roche read their English poetry. Hearing RIT students performed under a group The RIT Slam Team and RIT poetry magazine Signature with 2 Signature Award winners reading their work. Deaf and hard of hearing performers came on: Vicki Nordquist doing her ABC storytelling, Matt Schwartz doing 2 signing-to-songs skits, Jojo Oberholtzer doing one signing-to-song performance, and Eddie Swayze (myself) performing his "Joyful Canine" poem along original electronic music, acting as a dog, and translating Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" poem into ASL. At the very end of the whole show, Luane Davis Haggerty had the audience participate along Dangerous Signs, using a hand shape, breathing in and out technique (theatrical warm-up), and encouraging the audience to throw their names, which few cast members in Dangerous Signs used their name letters to perform into objects or little stories, and so forth in ASL. 

There were great interpreters that helped the audience have access to both English and ASL. They were Miriam Lerner, Denise Herrara, Nora Beckestein, and few others. This kind of show is unique because it was combined with the deaf world and hearing world together by using English (the hearing performers) and ASL (the deaf performers) back and forth in which the interpreters were doing all along. It is rare to have an event that gives this kind of two world approach. The interpreters did a fabulous job.

All in all, this was a great 5th year show. DEAAF (Deaf Education of the Arts for African Families) had their donation jar and information materials set up during the whole show for the audience to donate, ask questions, join them as members, and so forth. DEAAF is a non-for-profit organization that funds and supports deaf and hard of hearing children in Africa to receive the education and school supplies that they need.

Here are the photographs for you all to enjoy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 5

You can click on the picture of the flyer above to see the details in bigger size.

The exciting and interactive show of Def Meets Deaf Poetry Jam 5 is coming up on March 30th at Lovin' Cup near Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, NY. It will be from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM, free to the public. There will be hearing poets/performing artists that will read or perform their work vocally in English. There will also be deaf/hard of hearing poets/performing artists that will use American Sign Language (ASL). Those performers will take turns on stage through out the show. The interpreters will help the hearing audience who don't read ASL by voicing the deaf/hard of hearing performers' work. They will also help deaf/hard of hearing audience who can't hear the spoken words when hearing performers do their readings. The combination of the deaf world and hearing world is unique and rare, henceforth, this 5th year interactions between hearing world and deaf world becomes once a lifetime true world. There will be all kinds of performances such as spoken words poetry, electronic music with poetry in translation into ASL, group interactive performances, songs translated into ASL, ASL storytelling, and a few more. The diversity of performance styles will give the show a rich taste of what can be seen as creative and experimental.

John Roche, RIT professor, and I (Eddie Swayze) have been collaborating this since 2009 and it's now our 5th year of doing this. This event was jammed with good numbers in the crowd last year, which grew in numbers since the beginning. 

RIT students poetry group called Poetry Slam will do their performance. Two Signature (RIT's annual poetry magazine) winners will read their work. Dangerous Signs will perform their interactive skits of ASL poetry. Four well-respected hearing poets will do their work and 6 great deaf/hard of hearing individuals will present their work in ASL. Lastly, audience participation will be encouraged on the stage to try out ASL performance techniques such as hand shapes and so forth.

Importantly, DEAAF (Deaf Education of the Arts for African Families) will be there to display their brochures, flyers, donations, and other information at the table during the show. They are a non-for profit organization that supports deaf/hard of hearing African children in Africa get the education that they need.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Photos as Old Martin in Royal Hunt of the Sun

Here are photos of me acting as a narrator, Old Martin, in Royal Hunt of the Sun theatrical production. The show took place at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf in the Robert F. Panara Theatre in Rochester, NY from February 7th to 10th. It is the most difficult play I've ever been to due to so many blocking and lines. Surely took my brain a while to get hard-wired to follow the blocks and retain the lines. The production was directed by Jerry Argetsinger, NTID professor in Department of Creative and Studies.