Eleven Things You Should Know About Deaf People

When I attended the Summer Slam Poetry Camp at Gustavus Adolphus College last year, I walked into a group of 30 campers knowing absolutely nobody. After that first day, I was so overwhelmed by all the conversations going on around me that I couldn’t understand, and frustrated with myself for not knowing how to effectively communicate the fact that I’m deaf. I would tell people, but they didn’t really seem to get it. So, the next day, Sierra DeMulder (camp counselor and two-time National Poetry Slam champion) instructed us to write a “Ten Things” poem, and I saw that as the perfect opportunity to express my thoughts to the rest of the campers. It was an absolute rush to perform this, and everyone at the camp was so, so lovely.

Biggest thank you to Sierra DeMulder, Cuban Hernandez, Adam Henze, and Neil Hilborn, the greatest counselors, mentors, and friends I could ask for.

And thank you so much to Lauren Keely Holtz for filming this for me!

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