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Deaf Author Josephine Dickinson

August 8, 2007

Josephine Dickinson, author of Scarberry Hill and The Voice, was born in South London in 1957. At the age of six she became profoundly deaf overnight. After reading Classics at Oxford and teaching music for many years, she worked for Shape London, organising arts access projects in Wandsworth, and then for the South Bank Centre in music education. As a composer she studied with Michael Finnissy and Richard Barrett. In 1994 she moved to Alston, a small Cumbrian market town high in the Pennines, where she still lives. The summer 2005 issue of the British literary magazine Staple praised the best “Alt Generation” of British poets (a response to the Guardian’s “Next Gen” contest), and Dickinson was the first choice listed by both judges. The forty-five poems in Silence Fell are set on a sheep farm in the northern mountains. She moved there thirteen years ago and fell in love with a local farmer, a man more than twice her age, who has recently died. The poems tell a unique love story through a modern shepherd’s calendar.

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Categories: Deaf History
  1. Lisa Marie
    August 8, 2007 at 9:27 am

    I want to go buy the book. Glad you shared!

  2. August 8, 2007 at 9:36 am

    Does she sign?

  3. August 8, 2007 at 2:58 pm

    I am not sure. I checked for the information on internet (http://www.cumbriadeaf.co.uk/meet-the-board.html)…..she is a lip reader and board member of Cumbria Deaf Association.

  4. July 17, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Hi – thank you for your kind attention! Yes, I do sign a little, not enough for my liking, though. I was brought up to lip read, as you noticed, and was discouraged from learning even manual alphabet (which I taught myself from a book!). .. Learning as an aldut, through classes alongside hearing people, has always been a struggle, though I have gained my Level 1 certificate and done some Level 2 classes in my time. I love sign, and have wonderful memories of signing debates at Victoria in London!

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