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Tonight a conversation with Rachel Hadas, the poet, professor, essayist and translator about her newest book: Poems for Camilla. February 28, 2019

February 28, 2019

images-6“At a moment when ignorance, stupidity, and a dogged refusal to learn from the past are rampant, how salutary to read a very contemporary poet in dialogue with Virgil about such timeless and pertinent issues as war, continuity, guilt, grief, and consolation.”

-Marlilyn Hacker writing about Poems for Camilla

I first met Rachel about nine years ago during the days just after The Greek Poets was 9780393060836_198published. It was at a reading held to launch the book. I forget the venue—a mid-town art gallery—but I didn’t forget her. I knew I wanted her to be a guest on Graffiti but the timing just wasn’t right. Again the timing was bad when we met a few years later at a reading at The Cornelia Street Cafe. Lamentably The Cornelia Street Cafe is now gone.

Recently I was at a reading at Hudson Valley Writers Center where Rachel was one of the featured artists. After the program I rachel-hadasapproached her and…well the result is she’s here tonight.

Rachel Hadas studied classics at Harvard, poetry at Johns Hopkins, and comparative literature at Princeton. Between college and graduate school she spent four years in Greece, an experience that surfaces variously in much of her work. Since 1981 she has taught in the English Department of the Newark (NJ) campus of Rutgers University, and has also taught courses in literature and writing at Columbia and Princeton, as well as serving on the poetry faculty of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the West Chester Poetry Conference. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, an Ingram Merrill Foundation grant in poetry, and an award in literature from the American Academy and Institute of ArtsIMG_2373 and Letters.

Rachel Hadas is the author of many books of poetry, prose, and translations. A memoir about her husband’s illness, “Strange Relation,” was published by Paul Dry Books in 2011. Her previous book of poems, “The Golden Road,” was published by Northwestern University Press in the fall of 2012.

from Rachel’s website (see link below)

So remember: Tune in tonight at 7pm to listen to my conversation with Rachel. The program is available at our website or on the radio at WNYE, 91.5 or use the TUNEIN app on your smart device.

images-5CLICK HERE FOR the link to Rachel’s website.

CLICK HERE FOR the link to Rachel’s wikipedia page.

CLICK HERE FOR the POETRY FOUNDATION page dedicated to Rachel Hadas.

CLICK HERE FOR the video “Equipoise” featuring Rachel.

CLICK HERE FOR the video “Cento” featuring Rachel.

CLICK HERE FOR Back Roads Readings 2019.



Back at the end of October 2017 I had Panio Gianopoulos on the show to talk about his new book of stories entitled: How to Get into Our House and Where We Keep the Money. On Friday night March 8 he will be at Hudson Valley Writers Center along with Daneille Trussoni. It will be an exciting evening of readings.

CLICK HERE FOR more information about the event.

CLICK HERE FOR for the link to the blog entry for the show in October 2017.




A Conversation with Kiki Karoglou, Curator of Dangerous Beauty: Medusa in Classical Art at the Met Fifth Avenue until February 24, 2019

February 14, 2019

Unknown-2Kiki Karoglou joined the department in 2011. She previously taught at the University of Toronto and The College of New Jersey, and held graduate internships at the Getty Research Institute, the Princeton Art Museum, and the Athens Acropolis Museum. Kiki received her PhD in classical art and archaeology from Princeton University and has participated in numerous archaeological excavations in the Mediterranean. Kiki contributed to the exhibition Pergamon: Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World (April 11–July 17, 2016) and organized the department’s current exhibition Dangerous Beauty: Medusa in Classical Art (February 5, 2018–February 24, 2019).

Selected Publications:
Karoglou, Kiki. Attic Pinakes: Votive Images in Clay. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2010.Unknown-4
———. “Eros Mousikos.” In Representations of Musicians in the Coroplastic Art of the Ancient World: Iconography, Ritual Contexts, and Functions, edited by A. Bellia and C. Marconi, 97–107. TELESTES. Studi e Ricerche di Archeologia musicale nel Mediterraneo II. Pisa-Roma: Istituti Editoriali e Poligrafici Internazionali, 2016.
“Dangerous Beauty: Medusa in Classical Art.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 75.3 (Winter, 2018).

from MEET THE STAFF at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website


Exhibition Overview                                                                                                           Beginning in the fifth century B.C., Medusa—the snaky-haired Gorgon whose gazeimages-3 turned men to stone—became increasingly anthropomorphic and feminine, undergoing a visual transformation from grotesque to beautiful. A similar shift in representations of other mythical female half-human beings—such as sphinxes, sirens, and the sea monster Scylla—took place at the same time. Featuring sixty artworks, primarily from The Met collection, this exhibition explores how the beautification of these terrifying figures manifested the idealizing humanism of Classical Greek art, and traces their enduring appeal in both Roman and later Western art.

The connection between beauty and horror, embodied above all in the figure of images-4Medusa, outlived antiquity, fascinating and inspiring artists through the centuries. Medusa became the archetypical femme fatale, a conflation of femininity, erotic desire, violence, and death. Along with the beautiful Scylla, she foreshadows the conceit of the seductive but threatening female that emerges in the late nineteenth century in reaction to women’s empowerment.

from CURRENT EXHIBITIONS at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website

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 to learn about Art of the Hellenistic Kingdoms: From Pergamon to Rome by Kiki Karoglou and Seán Hemingway.

CLICK HERE for more about Dangerous Beauty.

CLICK HERE to read Dangerous Beauty in the Ancient World and the Age of #MeToo: An Interview with Curator Kiki Karoglou by Sumi Hansen, Senior Editor, Digital Department at the Met.

CLICK HERE a child’s video entitled: SIREN, inspired by Dangerous Beauty. #MetKids is a digital feature made for, with, and by kids!


If you would like to learn more about the class I’m teaching at the Hudson Valley Writers Center please click here.




A Conversation with Gary Lachman, author of Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, PART 2…January 31, 2019

January 31, 2019


Pretty much everything you need to know is in my previous blog entry dated January 17, 2019.

But there are a few things you should know about this show.images-1

First, we will be recapping with two clips from PART 1 some of the things you’ll want to know if you missed that program.

Second, you can hear that first program in its entirety if you go to our SoundCloud page. CLICK HERE.

27611767008_eebb0dee3e_oAnd finally, at the bottom of the previous blog entry I put a link to the class I’ll be teaching at Hudson Valley Writers Center on how to become a better public speaker. Since that entry there have been a few changes made. First, it is no longer six sessions but four. The price has dropped significantly and we will start on February 19th and not the 5th.

CLICK HERE if you want to be taken to the previous blog dated January 17, 2019.

A Conversation with Gary Lachman, author of Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, PART 1…January 17, 2019

January 17, 2019

I think the two paragraphs that open Gary Lachman’s wikipedia entry pretty much hits51nksu6trsl._sy346_ the high points of his life:

Gary Joseph Lachman (born December 24, 1955, Bayonne, New Jersey, United States), also known as Gary Valentine, is an American writer and musician.

He came to prominence in the mid-1970s as the bass guitarist for the punk rock/new wave band Blondie. Since the 1990s, Lachman has written full-time, often about mysticism and occultism.

From being Blondie’s bass player to what the Washington Post writes about him: unknown“Lachman writes about philosophical and mystical ideas with exceptional grace, forcefulness and clarity.” But what about how he got from Punk to mysticism? Listen tonight and you hear him tell his story in his words.

Interesting man. Interesting book.

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.

There are a number of links below for you to explore more about Gary Lachman and his images-2books but other then that there’s not much I can add other then to say Part 2 of our conversation can be heard on Thursday, January 31.

CLICK HERE for Gary Lachman’s website.

CLICK HERE for Gary Lachman’s wikipedia page.

CLICK HERE for a video of Gary Lachman talking about Imagination and Knowledge.

CLICK HERE Gary’s webpage for Lost Knowledge of the Imagination.


If you would like to learn more about the class I’m teaching at the Hudson Valley Writers Center please click here.



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.