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A Conversation with poet, Nicholas Samaras, author of “American Psalm, World Psalm”, July 24, 2014

July 24, 2014


These psalms are meditative poems, poems that in many cases could be spoken as prayers. In all cases they are poems that speak to the human heart.

Glynn Young from review of American Psalm, World Psalm in Tweetspeak


Nicholas Samaras’ background is multinational and multicultural. Born in Foxton, Cambridgeshire,image001-2 England, living there and on the island of Patmos, Greece, he has lived in Greece, England, Wales, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Israel and thirteen states in America. He writes from a place of permanent exile. His individual poems have been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Kenyon Review, and many other publications. Fellowship Awards include the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Lilly Endowment Foundation, etc. His first book of poetry, Hands of the Saddlemaker, received the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. American Psalm, World Psalm (Ashland Poetry Press) is his second 1494860collection.


CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK TO the publisher’s page for American Psalm, World Psalm.


CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK TO Kasey Erin’s review of American Psalm, World Psalm in the Adirondack Review.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK TO Glynn Young’s review of American Psalm, World Psalm in Tweetspeak.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK TO the publisher’s page for Hands of the Saddlemaker.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK TO our conversation back on April 19, 2012.

A Conversation with Meg Cotner, author of “Food Lovers’ Guide to Queens”, July 10, 2014

July 10, 2014


About a year ago when Meg first came to the studio to talk her book FOOD LOVERS’ GUIDE TO QUEENS the outside temperature was over 100 degrees as I crossed over the Whitestone Bridge on my way to the studio. When I got to the studio the road surface blacktop was gooey underfoot. I don’t think it will be anywhere near as bad as that today.

Today we’re going to talk about the things you can do to enjoy what’s left of the summer. The places we’ll talk about will be nearby or not very far away and many are free.

meg-champagne-crop-235x300Please tune in tonight to Graffiti at 7pm to listen to my conversation with Meg on Hellenic Public Radio/CosmosFM on WNYE, 91.5 fm. Or listen on-line at the HPR website.

The links below include many of the things, events and places we’ll talk about and many we won’t have time to get to. Enjoy!


CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK FOR MEG’S Food Lovers’ Guide to® Queens: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings





CLICK HERE FOR THE “WE HEART ASTORIA” LINK FOR Summer 2014 Waterfront Concert Series in Astoria Park

CLICK HERE FOR THE “WE HEART ASTORIA” LINK FOR Where to Watch the World Cup FINAL in Astoria and LIC

CLICK HERE FOR THE “WE HEART ASTORIA” LINK FOR 2014 Best of Astoria – The Winners

CLICK HERE FOR THE “WE HEART ASTORIA” LINK FOR Astoria Park Pool Dates 20142014-movies-astoria-park-movie-flyer-queens

CLICK HERE FOR THE “WE HEART ASTORIA” LINK FOR Summer Waterfront Movie Nights in Astoria Park 2014


CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK FOR THE Kayaking and Canoeing Programs available at Socrates Sculpture Park

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK FOR THE Astor Bake Shop Pie Eating Contest on July 13 at 2:30

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK FOR My Conversation with Meg back on July 18, 2013

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK FOR for Meg’s New York Daily News piece

A Conversation with Jorge Guillermo, author of “Sibyls”, June 26, 2014

June 26, 2014


This should be a very interesting conversation about the women who have been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to see into the future.


CLICK HERE for the link to the publisher’s website concerning this book.

CLICK HERE for a video review of this book.

A Conversation with Konstantinos Kambouroglou, filmmaker “To Build Strong Children”, May 15, 2014

May 15, 2014

1399573713876Some time ago, maybe it was two years ago, I mentioned to someone that my friend, Konstantinos Kambouroglou, was directing a film about human trafficking in America. From the look on their face I knew this person thought I was joking.

Smiling she asked, “What do you mean?” Then she waited for the punchline.

“You know, human slavery,” I replied without a hint of humor.

Then I watched as the look on her face quickly transitioned from a smile to shock, to comprehension, then to profound sorrow—all in the space of about 3 seconds.

She went on to say that she knew it happened elsewhere in the world: Europe, Middle East, parts of Africa…but America?!

Two years ago, like many Americans, maybe even most Americans, she had no idea that human trafficking was goingIMG_1863 on in our cities, on our streets, in our neighborhoods. She wasn’t insensitive just uninformed.

Two years ago the zeitgeist began to change. Maybe it was in part due to the work Konstantinos was doing. Maybe the change was already in the air.

Listen tonight at 7pm on WNYE, 91.5fm or at the Hellenic Public Radio Website.

Click here for Konstantinos Kambouroglou’s Gouse Films

Click here for the link to the film: To Build Strong Children

Click here for more information about Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. and the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives

Click here if you would like to hear my earlier (2/11/2010) conversation with Konstantinos Kambouroglou

Click here for more news about this matter

Click here for more news about this matter

Click here for more news about this matter

A Conversation with Alexandra Stratou, author of “Cooking to Share”, April 3, 2014

April 3, 2014


The world we live in excites me.

There’s so much information available at our fingertips, ways to communicate with one another and ways to take our ideas and turn them into reality. Whether you’re a painter, sculptor, playwright or poet you have no shortage of ideas, no shortage of things you want to create. The one shortage you always seem to face is funding. There are still patrons of the arts but most of us find we need to scramble for the dollars needed to bring our ideas to life. Now one of those ways is through crowdsourcing.

About a year ago I read a Kickstarter proposal for a Greek cookbook. There are hundreds, no, thousands upon 1911610_669029289809308_1020021961_nthousands of cookbooks out there so why another? Well, Alexandra Stratou’s proposed book just felt different. There was something so personal, so from deep in her soul about this idea that I felt it necessary to contact her. We did a program about a year ago. Others obviously had a similar feeling about this project because when we spoke there was over a week left on the Kickstarter run and she’d easily blown by the amount she was looking for.

safe_image.phpAlexandra happened to be in New York recently so we sat down to find out what happened after the project was funded. Yes, there is a cookbook, and it’s special, but the path from funding to it reaching my hands wasn’t always straight. Tune in tonight to hear about Alexandra’s adventure in bringing this cookbook, this work of art, to the world.
Remember to tune in tonight at 7pm to WNYE, 91.5 fm, to hear our conversation in its entirety or CLICK HERE to listen to it as it streams live over the internet.1939830_669539296424974_573420938_n

Click here to find out how you can get a copy of Cooking to Share.

Click here for the Cooking to Share Facebook page.

A Conversation with Maria Iliou, director of “FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AEGEAN: Expulsion and Exchange of Populations, Turkey-Greece: 1922-1924”, March 20, 2014

March 20, 2014


little_girl3More than three decades ago I traveled to Europe for the first time. There were three things I wanted to do while I was there. The first was to go to a tattoo convention in Amsterdam. I did that but it nearly cost me the rest of my trip…but that’s a story for another day.

The second thing I wanted to do was visit Mount Athos. A friend had been there a few years earlier and his tales of a place where there were only monasteries and a life that was lived like it was still in the Middle Ages fascinated me.

It was while I was on my way to Mount Athos when I first heard about about the exchange of populations that happened back in the 1920s. I’m not sure how I heard about it…probably it was in my guidebook, maybe it was someone I met on one of my many bus rides. I just don’t remember, but what I do remember was how shocked I was that I’d never heard of it before. I was a history major in college. Granted my field of study was the early Christian era but even so how was it possible that I’d never heard of this? The only thing more shocking to me was the story of the destruction of Smyrna. Again, something I’d never heard of.

My stay on Athos was… memorable? unreal? surreal? Ah, I could probably fill an entire page with adjectives to describe my few days on Athos. Especially since I was there shorty after an earthquake struck northern Greece. That just added to the whole bizarre nature of that part of my journey.

One other thing I should mention about that part of my trip. I think it was when I got back to Ouranoupoli, the last town before the frontier for Athos, that I somehow got into the into the Byzantine tower that 220px-ByzantineTower_Ouranopolis2dominates the beach. There I met a wonderful old woman and saw beautiful rugs hanging high up on the walls of the tower. I remember wondering how they could possibly have been hung so far up the walls. All these years later I think the woman I met may well have been Joice Loch who, with her husband, Sydney Loch, ran a Quaker refugee camp to help the people who had been displaced by the exchange and helped them start the rug weaving business there.

Today I’m still shocked by how little most Americans know about this period of history. Jeffery Eugenides’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Middlesex, has exposed us to the horrors of Smyrna but what about the great exchange of populations. Many of us know about what happened between India and Pakistan back in 1947 or the Babylonian exile mentioned in the bible but few have any idea of what happened during the early part of the 1920s.

Tonight I’ll be speaking to Maria Iliou about her new movie, From Both Sides of the Aegean. It opens tomorrow (March 21) at the QuadCinema located at 34 West 13th Street (212-255-2243) and runs to April 3.
Last year I saw her film: Smyrna, The Destruction of a Cosmopolitan City, 1900-1922. It was a wonderful film. I look forward to seeing her new film.

For more information about the film CLICK HERE.


A Conversation with Jared Moshé, writer and director of “Dead Man’s Burden”, January 30, 2014

January 30, 2014


Small in scale but with a grand visual ambition, “Dead Man’s Burden” draws nourishment from its burned-out desert setting and ambling pace. Shooting on richly textured 35-millimeter film, the cinematographer Robert Hauer translates Mr. Moshé’s evident love for the genre into images that honor their inspirations without mimicking them. And if things get a little baggy in the middle, just wait; when a woman in a western is as wedded to her firearm as Martha, there can be only two possible outcomes to her story.                                                                                                                                   from NY Times Review, by Jeannette Catsoulis, May 2, 2013

JBFC_facadeI’ve often written about the Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) in this blog. It is a great institution. I became a member a year or two after it opened. It has three theaters that show fine first run features, a full time educational program for children and adults and it has a number of special events and many different film series.

One of the series that I’m particularly fond of is the Local Element: Works from Westchester. Here’s how the JBFC website describes it:

LOCAL ELEMENT: Works from Westchester was created with the intent of providing a public platform to showcase new work, foster emerging talent and help build a stronger sense of community among area filmmakers with JBFC at the nexus.  The series will run throughout the year and will highlight the best short and feature length documentaries, narratives, experimental and music videos from local residents.

JaredDMBIt was here that I met Jared Moshé early last Fall. Jared was there to present the movie that he wrote and directed: “Dead Man’s Burden”.

Tonight we’ll be talking about this film and the many other films he’s been involved with—more often then not in the role of Producer.

Click here for Jared Moshé’s website.

Click here for the website for “Dead Man’s Burden”.

Click here for if you’re interested in getting a DVD of “Dead Man’s Burden”.6810397_orig

Click here for the wikipedia entry for “Dead Man’s Burden”.

Click here to watch the trailer for “Dead Man’s Burden”.

Click here to watch the trailer for “Beautiful Losers”.

Click here to watch the trailer for “Corman’s World”.

Click here for the Hellenic Public Radio/Cosmos FM website so you can hear the conversation as it streams live at 7pm tonight. Or listen to it live at WNYE, 91.5fm, at 7pm tonight.

**** Click here for information concerning the exhibition: An Archaeologist’s Eye: The Parthenon Drawings of Katherine A. Schwab.

Click here for the Consulate General of Greece in New York.


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