Skip to content

2018: A Look Back at the year’s Graffiti. The year in review. January 3, 2019

January 3, 2019

IMG_1863For as long as I can remember I’ve done a year-end wrap-up show…and tonight’s the night.

2018 was not marked by quantity—I only did about a dozen shows and it seems that many of them were fundraisers—but, if I must say so myself the QUALITY was quite good.

How do I know? That’s simple. To prepare for this show I had to listen to every single one of them so I could decide which clips I wanted to edit from the steven_pressfieldshows.

Some were easy. I remembered a few moments from some of the shows that really stood41ItuKMnaKL._SY346_ out and stuck in my mind. In nearly every case my memory served me well, but there were times when I got to the appropriate place in the audio I found that my idea or my memory was faulty.

maya-rouvelleBut it was fun to go back and listen. In fact there were a few shows where I found myself thinking, “Oh, this section has to be the clip!” Only to continue on and find an even better segment to use.


No-Small-Gift_Franklin-front-cover-200x300After I pulled the clips I thought about them and knew there 1d3d75fbf011efa391a11d87a9fc0289was a theme or thread that connected them. As a result I’ve come up with three interlocking themes: 1) The Artist and his/her path. 2) Friendship and digging deeper. 3) The Zeitgeist of the times.

Here are the names of the guests and the date we originally had our conversations: Steven Pressfield, August 30; Lili Maya & James Rouvelle, October 25; Michele Poulous, April 12; Jennifer Franklin, December 6; JenniferFranklinBeesNSG-225x300Viktor Koen, November 8; Madeline Miller, May 10; Emily Wilson, February 1.

images-2I bet you’re wondering why I put them in that order. Well, as I write this nearing midnight on Jan. 2 that is the order I think they will be played in.

Below you’ll find and number of links. I tried to keep to one a person but then I’ve also9780393089059_198 included links to the original blog entries for each of the shows. If you open the original blog Madeline Miller has won the Orange Prize for fictionyou’ll find a wealth of information on each person there.

So remember: Tune in tonight at 7pm at our website or on the radio at WNYE, 91.5 or use the TUNEIN app on your smart device.

CLICK HERE FOR Steven Pressfield’s Website.

CLICK HERE FOR the Maya & Rouvelle Website.

97803165563301CLICK HERE FOR the trailer for the film by Michele Poulos: A Chiasson-Emily-WilsonLate Style of Fire: Larry Levis, American Poet.

CLICK HERE FOR Jennifer Franklin’s Website.

CLICK HERE FOR Viktor Koen’s Website.

CLICK HERE FOR the Wikipedia entry for Madeline Miller.

CLICK HERE FOR the publishers page for Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey.


CLICK HERE FOR Emily Wilson.

CLICK HERE FOR Michele Poulos.aeffabde02007a525d60935e3fd28ea5

CLICK HERE FOR Madeline Miller.

CLICK HERE FOR Steven Pressfield.

CLICK HERE FOR Maya & Rouvelle.

Phenotypes-poster-finalCLICK HERE FOR Viktor Koen.

CLICK HERE FOR Jennifer Franklin.

CLICK HERE FOR details on the class I’ll be teaching at Hudson 27565146218_6b0f119b89_oValley Writers Center starting February 5, 2019.





Tonight a conversation with poet, Jennifer Franklin, about her newest book: No Small Gift. December 6, 2018.

December 6, 2018


No-Small-Gift_Franklin-front-cover-200x300There is no evading Franklin’s forceful mastery of language. With her deft precision, sharp as a surgeon’s knife, she constructs gorgeous songs from the blinding heaps of tragedy, alchemically transforming brutality into music, both soothing and beautiful. This is her weapon, her force field, and her calling as she writes in ‘Another School:’ ‘If only I could calm their bodies that / cannot keep still—tell them that I too / drown the silences of this world with my / own song.”

Poet Cynthia Cruz commenting on Jennifer Franklin’s No Small Gift

I’ve always said I’m not a poet but a storyteller who sometimes finds the best way to tell a JenniferFranklinBeesNSG-225x300particular story is through poetry.

Jennifer, on the other hand is a poet, through and through, as well as a storyteller. As the poet Marchant writes about Jennifer’s work:

‘Every song of grief,” writes Jennifer Franklin, ‘ is still song.’ Where does the impulse to such a song come from? What enables the poet to transform her portion of woe into language that is kin to what a bird at dawn might sing?

27565146218_6b0f119b89_oTune in tonight at 7pm at our website or on the radio at WNYE, 91.5 or use the TUNEIN app on your smart device.

Click here for a brief biography.

Click here for more information about No Small Gift published by Four Way Books.


Click here for more information about Jennifer’s earlier book Looming.

Click here for more information about Hudson Valley Writers Center.

Click here for more information Slapering Hol Press.

Click here for more information Philomela.




Tonight a conversation with the artist, Viktor Koen, about the opening of Viktor Koen: Phenotypes at the Type Directors Club on November 15, 2018.

November 8, 2018


Join us for an opening-night reception and talk at this Type Directors Club exhibition of the work of Viktor Koen, an award-winning artist, designer, educator and TED speaker.

Exploring the cross-section between typography and illustration is fascinating, but often challenging to understand. Viktor Koen’s talk for this exhibition opening will examine if this duality should be approached as specialty, trend or obsession by providing insights on inspiration, concept and methodology behind the Phenotypes exhibition specimens.

Viktor Koen is a regular contributor to national and international publications. His prints are exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide. Clients include The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Nature, The Economist, TIME, Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, Fortune, Penguin Random House, TOR, Doubleday and Harper Collins. He serves on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts at both graduate and undergraduate levels. Viktor is also the director of the Illustration Residency Program at School of Visual Arts in New York.

From Type Directors Club website


I’ve been doing this show for over 25 years now and I’ve known Viktor for most of those years. I think it must be a toss up between Viktor and Jeff Siger as to who’s made more appearances on Graffiti though, having known Viktor longer, I’d have to lean toward him.

koen_exhibition_evite-1One of our shows together left an indelible print on my soul. It was a show we did back in January of 2010 to mark the opening of his exhibition called: Sylvia. The exhibition was stunning…stunning not in the sense of being breathlessly beautiful but in the sense that it stunned you…shocked you.

Sylvia was Viktor’s maternal grandmother who had survived Auschwitz. Viktor and his family including Sylvia of course, had gone to Auschwitz and Birkenau, Majdanek, and Treblinka back in 2004 as part of the “March of the Living” delegation from Greece. Viktor’s camera is never far from reach and was put to use during the time spent visiting these places that will always be remembered for the horrors committed there.

But we’ve also had fun doing shows like the one we did back in January 2017 where Iimages spoke to a number of fantasy writers who had written pieces for the special catalog that had been put together for his exhibition: BESTIARY: Bizarre Myths & Chimerical Fancies.

I look forward to tonight’s show for many reasons, including the fact that it will allow us a chance to catch up.

So be listening tonight at 7pm at our website or on the radio at WNYE, 91.5 or use the TUNEIN app on your smart device.

images-3Here are some links that you may find useful.


Click here for Viktor’s website.

Click here for information about the exhibition.

Click here for more information on Mount Olympus: to Glorify the Cult of Tragedy at the Skirball/NYU.

A Conversation with the artists Lili Maya & James Rouvelle, about their upcoming event: CATALYST EUTERPE. Scheduled for November 17-27, 2018.

October 25, 2018


Catalyst Euterpe/Through the Waves is a project by artists Lili Maya and James Rouvelle (“maya+rouvelle”). Catalyst Euterpe was conceived as a series of events and objects based on the theme inscribed on the original Stele (shown below). This is our first installation of the project.lossy-page1-218px-seikilos1-tif

Catalyst Euterpe is a meditation on the paradox of the ephemeral and eternal – and how this paradox permeates life and culture, how it transforms, and how it is embodied in the Stele itself – its inscriptions and history. Our project traces this paradox across time and media – beginning with the original, hand carved, marble stele, through various incarnations into a presence both within networked, digital culture, and as sculptural objects and performance.

This edition, our first installment of this project (a second installment is scheduled for March 2019) will feature sculptural objects, a music composition, video and a live performance.

The sculptural objects will be exhibited in NYC (location still being confirmed) and in Trieste, Italy between November 17-27. In Italy the objects will be part of the Festival of Robotic Arts curated by Maria Campitelli – a founder of Trieste’s Gruppo78 and a leader in the curation of media art over the past half-century (!).

FROM the artists’ description of the project

fb1eeeaf77ccf66b3a1b369141a8da44I’m looking forward to this conversation since I don’t have any recollection of ever having tackled anything like this before. It’s a challenge. It’s an expansion beyond my comfort zone. It’s an adventure….




So be listening tonight at 7pm at our website or on the radio at WNYE, 91.5 or use the TUNEIN app on your smart device.

Here are some links that you may find useful:640-DSC_0014

CLICK HERE FOR Maya & Rouvelle’s webpage.

CLICK HERE FOR Maya & Rouvelle’s Vimeo (video) page.

CLICK HERE FOR maya+rouvelle’s figure ground (video).



CLICK HERE FOR the Wikipedia entry for SEIKILOS EPITAPH.

CLICK HERE FOR the Wikipedia entry for the Antikythera mechanism.

CLICK HERE FOR The Senses: Design Beyond Vision at Cooper Hewitt museum CLOSES SUNDAY Oct. 28.



Tonight a conversation with Emily Wilson, translator of a beautiful new edition of Homer’s The Odyssey. Feb. 1, 2018

September 13, 2018

I really enjoyed my conversation with Emily Wilson from earlier this year so I thought it was time to air it again.


Just My Eyes

When I was eight years old, my primary school put on a production of a (much-shortened) Odyssey, complete with costumes, song, and dance. The play starred the cute troublemaker in my class as Odysseus, the headmaster of the school as Polyphemus (the one-eyed monster outwitted by his tiny opponents), and me in pigtails as the goddess Athena.

It was a turning point in my life.

from Emily Wilson’s Translator’s Note for The Odyssey

One of the first things I usually ask all my guests on Graffiti is what I call “The life-path” question: “How have you gotten to where you are today?” Or: “Was there something—an event, maybe—that made you want to become a classicist?”

In many cases their first response is that there was no “turning point”, but when pressed (and I do press) there’s almost always “something”—as shown here in Emily’s case—that made them choose the path they…

View original post 158 more words

A Conversation with Steven Pressfield, author of The Artist’s Journey, August 30, 2018

August 30, 2018


When I looked over the list of Steve’s 17 published titles I was surprised to realize that this will be either the 6th or 7th time that we will be doing a program together. I was equally surprised to see that our last one—to talk about the publication of his book The Profession—was nearly 7 years ago.

41ItuKMnaKL._SY346_This evening we’ll be talking about his newest book entitled: The Artist’s Journey: The Wake of the Hero’s Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning.

When you look at Steve’s list of published books you see that he’s split his time pretty evenly between fiction and non-fiction.

The War of Art (2002)
Do The Work (2011)
The Warrior Ethos (2011)
Turning Pro (2012)
The Authentic Swing: Notes from the Writing of First Novel (2013)
The Lion’s Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War (2014)
An American Jew: A Writer Confronts His Own Exile and Identity (2015)
Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is and What You Can Do About It (2016)

The Legend of Bagger Vance (1995)                                                                            The-Profession-Cover              Gates of Fire, about the Battle of Thermopylae (1998)
Tides of War, a Novel of Alcibiades and the Peloponnesian War (2000)
Last of the Amazons (2002)                                                                                                                     The Virtues of War, about Alexander the Great (2004).
The Afghan Campaign, about Alexander the Great’s conquests in Afghanistan (2006)                                            Killing Rommel (2008)
The Profession (2011)

Tune in tonight at 7pm at our website or on the radio at WNYE, 91.5 or use the TUNEIN app on your smart device.

Click Here for the link to Steve’s website.

Click here for the link to his Wikipedia page.

Click here for the blog entry for Steve’s last appearance on Graffiti back in December of 2011.

A Conversation with Daniel Klein, author of Every Time I Find The Meaning Of Life, They Change It, January 21, 2016

July 3, 2018

I’m sorry but I need to play another repeat. It’s a good one. Daniel Klein is always entertaining.

Just My Eyes


ABOUT Every Time I Find The Meaning Of Life, They Change It

Daniel Klein’s fans have fallen in love with the warm, humorous, and thoughtful way he shows how philosophy resonates in everyday life. Readers of his popular books Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . . and Travels with Epicurus come for enlightenment and stay for the entertainment.

As a young college student studying philosophy, Klein filled a notebook with short quotes from the world’s greatest thinkers, hoping to find some guidance on how to live the best life he could. Now, from the vantage point of his eighth decade, Klein revisits the wisdom he relished in his youth with this collection of philosophical gems, adding new ones that strike a chord with him at the end of his life. From Epicurus to Emerson and Camus to the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr—whose words provided the title of…

View original post 115 more words