Past Event – January 19th, 2011

Traditional Vasilopita with Poetry and Songs

Please join us for an evening of poetry and songs to kick off a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2011 with the traditional cutting of the Vasilopita in support of The Association of Greek American Professional Women (A.G.A.P.W.) on January 19, 2011 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the spectacular West Village penthouse of our Advisory Council member Dr. Virginia Davies.

Maniatiki Vasilopita will be especially home made for the event, along with seasonal delicacies by Mrs. Giannakakou.

Fine Greek Wine tasting provided by Mr. Konstantine Drougos of Wonderful Ethnic and the highlight of our evening, back by popular demand, our star poets, Katie Chatzopoulos, Kalliope Constantaras, Penelope Karageorge, Maria Micheles, and Aphrodite Navab. A special appearance by the opera singer Kaliroi Tsamboukos-Cooper, who is going to delight us with her divine voice. She will be accompanied by pianist Leo Shih.

R.S.V.P. by January 14, 2011 To Keke Kyriakopoulos at Please note that space is limited.

Suggested contribution is $50. Your participation and financial support is critical to the empowerment of our community and to the promotion and expansion of the various free or nominal-cost programs and events, as well as scholarships offered by A.G.A.P.W.

Our featured guests:

Soprano Kaliroi Tsamboukos has performed extensively in Opera Festival di Roma, Italy, American Institute of Musical studies in Graz, Austria, lead role Blanche in Dialogue of the Carmelites by Francis Poulenc and various opera scenes with the Mannes Extension Opera in New York City. She has studied with Anna Moffo from the Metropolitan Opera, Carolina Pissarenko, Meagen Miller, and Carolyn Marcell. She has also participated in the masterclasses of Galina Pisarenko and Patricia Craig. Her vocal coaches have included Marshall Williamson; Leo Shih and Elizabeth Bice. A Native of Greece, Ms. Tsamboukos grew up in Manhattan. She is also a licensed Pharmacist in the New York Metropolitan area.

Katie Chatzopoulos was born in New Jersey, spent some time in California before landing in New York City where she has resided for the last 9 years. Currently holding a position at Goldman Sachs, Katie has worked in finance for over ten years and uses poetry as a creative outlet. She shares her poetry with friends through a blog and had her poem “living for the lost” published through in 2009. Having experienced a great deal of loss in her life, most of her poetry focuses on this topic and the simplicity of the words speak volumes (

Kalliope Constantaras was born and raised in New York. She is a poet and an educator. She holds a B.A. in Education and a Master in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College. She currently heads a Science as Inquiry Program with the New York Board of Education. Her bilingual, Greek English collection of poetry, Stillness can be found at She is working on her second poetry book and has just finished the manuscript of a children?s book, The Secret Kingdom of Crocheted Dreams. Constantaras never fears delving into the abyss of self. Her ontological searches are always painted within vibrant Aegean images, thyme, basil and the longing for the past to redefine the present (

Penelope Karageorge was born in Newburgh, NY. She is a graduate of Simmons College, Boston, Mass. and earned an MA from CUNY. She began her career as a “Newsweek” reporter interviewing luminaries including Jane Fonda, Cary Grant, Bette Davis and Frank Sinatra, and was publicity director of People magazine. She contributes frequently to Odyssey magazine. Pella published the first collection of prize-winning poet Karageorge, Red Lipstick and the Wine-Dark Sea.  Her work has appeared in numerous journals ranging from A Room of Her Own to Mondo Greco, as well as anthologies including The Literature of Work (University of Phoenix Press), Pomegranate Seeds (Somerset Hall Press) and Proposing on the Brooklyn Bridge (Grayson Books). She is the author of a crime novel, Murder at Tomorrow (Walker Publishing) and Stolen Moments (Pinnacle Books), a satirical romance set in the magazine world, published in England as Winners and Germany as New York, New York.  She has made short films and written feature-length screenplays, including Drinking the Sun, set on the island of Lemnos.

Maria Micheles was born in Greece, and holds a MFA in playwriting. Her works have appeared in various venues, including the Manhattan Theatre Source, Actors Studio, Bleeker Street Theatre, Gene Frankel Theatre, Brecht Forum, Bowery Poetry Club, and WAH Society. Her play ‘Round n Round the Night Park’ was recently performed at the Theater for the New City as part of the "New City, New Blood Reading Series." Her next staged reading will take place at the Cornelia St. Cafe on March 20th as part of the Greek-American Writers Association.

Aphrodite Désirée Navab is an Iranian and Greek artist and writer based in New York City (born in Isfahan, Iran). She uses visual art and writing to investigate transnational issues in art and culture. In 2004 she completed an Ed.D. in Art and Art Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her BA magna cum laude in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 1993. Navab’s art has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions and performances around the world and is included in a number of permanent collections, including the Lowe Art Museum and the Harn Museum of Art. She has an upcoming solo photography show, Super East-West Woman’s Sufi Dance: Egypt, at Skylight Gallery in Chelsea, NYC (Feb 2011). Her solo show, She speaks Greek Farsi premiered in Athens, Greece and was sponsored by ICCA in Athens, Greece (Sep.-Oct. 2009). It traveled to Soho20 Chelsea (Feb. 2010). She had a solo exhibition: Super East-West Woman: Living On the Axis Fighting Evil Everywhere  (Oct-Nov 2007), at the Rhonda Schaller studio in Chelsea, NYC. It will travel from 2008-2011 in the multimedia exhibition, Visible and Invisible Spaces, with Jennifer Heath curator and editor, The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics (University of California Press, 2007). From June 27-October 2009, Navab’s art was featured in the museum exhibition, Through the Lens: Photography from the Permanent Collection, at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami. The exhibition featured only 100 significant photographs from more than 1000 photographic holdings: from Julia Margaret Cameron and Walker Evans to Cindy Sherman and Gregory Crewdson. Navab’s creative nonfiction and fiction are published or forthcoming in five anthologies: “Tales Left Untold,” in Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora (2006), edited by Persis Karim, Parisa Milani, Arkansas: University of Arkansas Press. Navab’s personal essay, “What is Home After Exile? An Iranian Greek American Homecoming,” is published in Homelands; Women’s Journeys Across Race, Place and Time (2007), edited by Jenesha de Rivera, Patricia Justine Tumang, Seal Press. Navab’s short story is published in an anthology which includes Mark Twain, Zora Neale Hurston, Benjamin Franklin, Gertrude Stein, etc., titled POWWOW: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience, Short Fiction from Then to Now (2009), edited by Ishmael Reed and Carla Blank, Da Capo Press: Perseus Books. She is currently writing her novel: Call Her Rudabeh.

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