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February 7, 2018 - The University of Notre Dame

My first Odyssey performance was in my parents' living room in Oak Park, IL, on March 17, 2002, for a carefully curated audience of family and friends.

My first public college performance of 2018 (at Notre Dame on February 7)…

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January 6, 2018 - Makeshift Boston

One of the most amazing things that I’ve witnessed over hundreds of performances of the Odyssey is that a high school freshman can just as easily observe something brilliant about the story as can a scholar.

The text’s ability to…

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November 3 and 4, 2017 - The University of Cincinnati

ἦμος δ᾽ ἠριγένεια φάνη ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς

"Dawn's pale rose fingers brushed across the sky" (according to Lombardo)

This exact line appears 20 times in The Odyssey, a repetition likely in part owed to the poem's roots in oral tradition -…

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November 2, 2017 - Wabash College

One of my favorite things about The Odyssey is the text's explicit comparison of Odysseus to a bard.

In Book 11, King Alcinous says of Odysseus "You have told your tale with the skill of a bard." 

In Book 17…

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November 1, 2017 - Valparaiso University

In the last few years I've embraced calling myself a "modern bard."

This is both good marketing and largely true: I'm doing largely the same things ancient Greek bards and rhapsodes did and in the context of the same stories…

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October 26, 2017 - Hamilton College

I wrote about my Odyssey as a two-headed monster that craves both artistic and intellectual validation HERE.

That monster has largely been sleeping peacefully since that watershed April performance at Harvard, satiated by a great 2017 and a 2018…

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October 25, 2017 - Syracuse University

I've done my Odyssey show so many times (Syracuse University was my 230th performance) that I sometimes lose perspective on certain specific aspects of my song.

For instance, I know that the first thing the audience hears (and sees) is…

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October 24, 2017 - Cornell University

Okay, let's get this out of the way.

YES, I was tickled immensely by the idea of performing The Odyssey in Ithaca (which, as you probably know, is the name of Odysseus' island home).

YES, I brought it up every…

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October 23, 2017 - The University of Rochester

The Ancient Greeks practiced a concept called "guest friendship" (xenia in Greek, the same root from which we derive words like "xenophobic").

Xenia dictated that visitors should be treated with hospitality and respect, as well as provided food, drink…

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