Press Release: Miles-Mow Literary Award
KENNETH W. NORTON WINS INAUGURAL DOROTHY MILES-
SHANNY MOW LITERARY AWARD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Austin, Texas, May 12, 2019—Deaf Television Foundation (DTF) is pleased to announce that Kenneth W. Norton of Fremont, California, was awarded the inaugural Dorothy Miles-Shanny Mow Literary Award in Austin, Texas on May 3, 2019.
It was Norton’s latest book entitled “My Life with Audree” that garnered the attention of the DTF board when his biography with over 180 authentic photos was published at his age of 90. The book also substantiates DTF’s goal of recognizing living Deaf authors during the current decade who wrote about Deaf theatre or Deaf sports. Norton’s wife of 63 years, late Audree (nee Bennett) Norton, a talented college professor, who passed in 2015, was a nationally known Deaf actress who was one of the 24 founding members of National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) and starred on TV and in commercials. Norton’s touching story is his fourth published book, including “The Eagle Soared to Enlightenment,” a history book about the California School for the Deaf at Berkeley and Fremont, his “home” for nearly three-fourth of a century as a student, teacher, coach and administrator.
The literary award honors the legacy of two famous modern-day Deaf writers, “Dot” Miles (1938-1993) and Shanny Mow (1938-2017), both graduated together in 1961 as star writers from Gallaudet University. Miles, a native of Wales, is historically recognized as the first Deaf playwright in America and her original 1973 stage play, “A Play of Our Own,” which premiered in Hartford, Connecticut, under the auspices of the defunct Hartford Thespians. Miles was also a director, actress, poetess, wardrobe mistress, educator, TV performer and a recognized pioneer of British Sign Language poetry in England from 1977 until her untimely death 25 years ago. Mow wrote over 27 produced plays, including 10 for the NTD and its educational byproduct, the Little Theatre of the Deaf. Like Miles, he was an actor and award-winning artistic director as well as the director of NTD’s erstwhile Deaf Playwrights Conference. In their lifetime, Miles and Mow were never truly honored or recognized for their prolific writing endeavors. Consequently, they established the literary standard for contemporary Deaf writers who will be honored by DTF in the years to come.
This literary award encompasses one of the four primary parameters, including television programs, long distance running and Deaf theatre. For more information about DTF and its new literary award, email Dr. Steve C. Baldwin at [email protected] or call him at 512-410-0415.