“Bridge Of” was the name of a deaf and hearing poetry performance ensemble with short-lived existence that began in the fall of 1984 and ended late 1987. Bridge Of’s members were deaf poets Peter Cook and Debbie Rennie. Voice interpreting for Cook was performed by his hearing collaborator and co-performer Kenny Lerner. American Sign Language performance art interpreter Donna Kachites provided voice interpreting for Rennie. Jim Cohn was the fifth member of the ensemble. His work was interpreted into ASL by interpreter Kachites. Bridge Of, named by Peter Cook, performed twice: once at the University of Vermont in Burlington in November 1987 and at the 1987 Hudson Clearwater Revival Festival at Croton-on-Hudson. Shortly thereafter, Cook and Lerner went on to form The Flying Words Project, one of the most successful poetry performance duos in American literary history.
Bridge Of: deaf hearing poetry performance troupe
Donna Kachites, Jim Cohn, Peter Cook, Kenny Learner, Debbie Rennie (L to R)
Rochester, NY, c. 1989
Interpreters at The Great Hudson Clearwater Revival
Kenny Learner, Donna Kachites, Jim Cohn (L to R, foreground)
Croton-on-Hudson, NY, 1986