My Love Affair with Telling THE ODYSSEY

My Love Affair with Telling THE ODYSSEY

“I can tell the whole thing,” I lied rather boldly, and a week later, I got the job. Strange but true. The only problem was, I had to deliver a 3-hour storyteller’s version of Homer’s epic in 90 days. At a school in Vermont.

Another problem was, I didn’t yet know the story. And so I read the Fitzgerald translation and wrote down all my favorite characters and scenes.

Suffice it to say that here, decades later, I’ve performed this story with my 12-string guitar at least a thousand times, if not more. Festivals. Universities. Private and public schools. Across America and abroad. And I still love it.

I love playing the haunting score I created so long ago.  I love doing the voice of Odysseus, wishing I were a guy like him. I love becoming the giant cannibal Cyclops, relieved that I’m not a guy like him. I love entering the visual dream of this tale, one that is always a little different each time I go inside and peer around my version of an ancient world.

It’s a curious alchemy of music and the narrative muse.

You can witness this alchemy live. My performance is coming up:

Sunday March 10

Doors open at 5 pm

Grendel’s Den, Harvard Square


Odds Bodkin

THE ODYSSEY: Belly of the Beast

A full evening’s entertainment.

Tickets: $35


Power Myths of Ancient Greece: Storyteller Odds Bodkin on Zoom This Thursday

Power Myths of Ancient Greece: Storyteller Odds Bodkin on Zoom This Thursday

Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin kicks off his 3-part series, Power Myths of Ancient Greece, with a revelatory show:

EARTH OVERTHROWN: Gaia and the Titans

Thursday, March 3rd at 7 pm EST on Zoom

With character voices, narration and a full score on 12-string guitar, the storyteller takes you back to the dawn of time, according to the ancient Greeks. It’s the tale of Gaia the Earth and her Titan children. And of their terrible war with the upstart Gods of Olympus.

Storytelling for adults.

Get your tickets today!

$30 per screen




“a modern-day Orpheus”—Billboard

“a consummate storyteller”—The New York Times

“one of the great voices in American storytelling” —Wired


When her husband Ouranos jails her latest babies (four gigantic monsters) in the dark depths of Tartarus, Gaia demands to know just what Ouranos thinks he’s doing. “I didn’t approve this!” she cries, feeling anger for the very first time in all her eons of life.

“When they grow up, they’ll be more powerful than we Titans, Gaia!” her worried husband pleads. “It’s too dangerous! Look how huge they are already!”

“I do not give my permission for this,” she retorts, insulted at his behavior. After all, she created Ouranos and chose him as her husband and king. Together they raised twelve perfect Titan children. But now that she’s birthed a few monsters—he is the father, after all–he thinks he can imprison them? And and go against her will? Because he’s afraid of something that may happen in the distant future?

“You do not have my permission!” she hisses.

“I don’t need your permission!” he snaps back, locking the young monsters in their cells.

A darkness overpowers Gaia and she decides Ouranos will no longer be king. Assembling her twelve Titan children before her, she brandishes a razor-sharp blade. “Who among you will wound your father?” she demands, “And take his power?”

Only Cronus, her last born, the one with no talent other than ambition, agrees. In his low, hateful voice he asks, “If I do this, mother, you promise I will become king?”

“Yes,” she replies.

“How shall I wound him, mother? What shall I cut from him?”

Gaia widens her eyes. Her well-behaved, creative children have never seen her in a fury like this. “What makes a man a man?” she asks darkly.


This chilling, and yes, quite adult scene is part of EARTH OVERTHROWN: GAIA AND THE TITANS. What Cronus does next, and how Aphrodite in her famous seashell is born from Ouranos’ blood, is just part of this revelatory Greek myth. Backstory after backstory. All the way to the conniving grandson, Zeus, and the war he declares on his parents.

If you’ve ever been curious about where the Gods of Olympus—imaginary as they are–came from, well, here’s your ticket.

The tale is accompanied by a live score performed on 12-string guitar. It’s for adults only.


An Odds Bodkin Storytelling Event on Zoom

Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 7 pm EST

Tickets $30 per screen (buys your login and password)



Origin Myths

Long before geology and science in general led to a revolution in our understanding of Earth’s ancient story, pre-scientific peoples asked the question, as all of us do: where did all this come from? This Earth? We humans? The life systems of rock, oceans and sky that sustain us? When and how did it all begin?

Those questions remain profound ones, questions that we’re still working to answer. Our human origin story is more finely honed with each passing archeological and genetic discovery—and there are plenty more to be unearthed—while Earth’s origin story, and that of our Solar System and the Universe, is deepened by astrophysical discoveries every day.

However, pre-scientific peoples were just as smart as we are, they just didn’t have our modern tools. Did that prevent them from using their raw senses and storytelling skills to explain where they themselves came from? Certainly not. After all, what’s an ancient father or mother to do when their child asks, “Mommy, where did the stars come from?” Better say something by way of explanation, otherwise your child will think you’re a know-nothing.

And so, around fires in caves and eventually in mud huts and stone cities, origin myths were born. Every band of humans had one, unique to their surroundings.

The ancient Greeks were especially detailed in their fantasies, and no Greek more so than the poet Hesiod, who lived around 700 B.C.

I have based EARTH OVERTHROWN: GAIA and the TITANS, on Hesiod’s Greek genesis story, The Theogony.

In this origin myth, Gaia is the Earth. Her children the Titans create the ecological systems upon her surface. They all take both human and elemental forms, switching easily back and forth, and all have human failings, just like we do.

That makes The Theogony an interesting tale indeed. Jealousy, horror, dashed expectations, war and betrayal stalked the Titans, just like they do we moderns, who fancy that we know so much more than the ancients.

There’s even some humor.



MARCH 3, 2022 at 7 pm EST on Zoom

Performed with 12-string guitar

Tickets: $30

Part I of a 3-part series, POWER MYTHS OF ANCIENT GREECE in March/April


















Live and Online Adult Story Performances by Odds Bodkin Coming Up in March and April 2022

Live and Online Adult Story Performances by Odds Bodkin Coming Up for March and April!

Master Storyteller and Musician Odds Bodkin announces four LIVE shows coming up at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, plus POWER MYTHS OF ANCIENT GREECE, a compelling 3-part series over Zoom starting March 3rd.

“a modern-day Orpheus”–Billboard

Feb. 27 (Sunday) at 5 pm: VOYAGE OF THE WAISTGOLD, the world premier of Bodkin’s original pirate fantasy tale in verse. Live at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square, the artist reads aloud his outrageous new literary work, narrated in “pirate patois.” GET TICKETS



March 3 (Thursday) at 7 pm EST: EARTH OVERTHROWN: GAIA AND THE TITANS, the “Genesis story of ancient Greece,” performed with a 12-string guitar score. The first in his POWER MYTHS OF ANCIENT GREECE series on Zoom. Watch from anywhere. GET TICKETS



March 17 (Thursday) at 7 pm EST: THESEUS AND THE MINOTAUR’S FEAST, his debut telling of this wondrous and gruesome myth performed with 12-string guitar. The second in his POWER MYTHS OF ANCIENT GREECE series on Zoom. Watch from anywhere. GET TICKETS



March 20 (Sunday) at 5 pm EST: BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE, his beloved telling of the original version of Beowulf. Live at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square, Bodkin evokes the old Viking world with voices and 12-string guitar. GET TICKETS



April 3 (Sunday) at 5 pm EST: ODIN AND THOR BATTLE THE FROST GIANTS, his performance of two powerful Norse myths, Thor’s Journey to Utgard and The Mead of Poetry on two 12-string guitars, with a lore introduction on Celtic harp. All before a live audience at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square. GET TICKETS

April 14 (Thursday) at 7 pm EST: THE ILIAD: CAPTIVES, PLAGUE AND FURY, his tour de force telling in modern language of Book I of Homer’s Trojan War classic, The Iliad. The third in his POWER MYTHS OF ANCIENT GREECE series on Zoom. Music on thunderous 12-string guitar. Watch from anywhere. GET TICKETS



April 17 (Sunday) at 5 pm EST: THE FALL OF GAIA, his in-person version of Hesiod’s Theogony, with a panoply of character voices and music on 12-string guitar. This show is live at Grendel’s Den on Harvard Square. GET TICKETS




Odds Bodkin’s Collected Works: THE MASTER DRIVE. A Lifetime of Stories. Read a Review!

Odds Bodkin’s Collected Works–THE MASTER DRIVE–plugs into your USB port. Suddenly you have The Odyssey (all four hours), children’s stories from around the world, The Little Proto Trilogy of dinosaur tales for kids–hours and hours of tales told with music. Plus The Water Mage’s Daughter, Mr. Bodkin’s original 550-page epic  poem. And many more full-length storytelling albums.

Some tales are joyous and funny, others are adventures, but all are age-coded for safe listening by your family. Share these mp3s with their listening devices and watch their imaginations grow!

You’ll own a lifetime of stories for your entire family.

Or read about THE ALL COLLECTIONS download bundle. All his audio tales available for instant download!

“Our kids were raised on these stories since they were tots. Our family custom during the winter is to gather around a warm wood stove with hot cup of latte and share time together listening to books and doing artful projects. When I asked the family what they would like to listen to this season, my husband and kids (now teenagers) asked if we could listen to Odds Bodkin stories again.”

Warm Thanks, 

Nuki Vaillancourt

November 2021

Order yours today!

Sunday Night at 7: The Odyssey Told with Music

Sunday night at 7: The Odyssey Told with Music.

Master Talesman Odds Bodkin plays 12-string guitar as he tells The Odyssey. The musical pace quickens, then explodes, then returns to serene beauty as the tale unfolds. Bodkin uses “leitmotifs”–musical cues like Darth Vader’s ominous theme in John Williams’ Star Wars music. If you’ve never seen storytelling like this, you’ll enjoy the heightened energy and vividness.

The Odyssey: Belly of the Beast

A 70-minute Tale with Intermission

Jan. 30 at 7 pm EST and 4 pm PT on YouTube Live

Odds Bodkin

Tickets: $25-$30

A Week from Today: Odds Bodkin tells THE ODYSSEY

A week from today, Odds Bodkin tells THE ODYSSEY on YouTube Live. This rescheduled performance (Omicron interfered but all is well) begins at 7 pm EST, 4 pm PT. Produced by Six Feet Apart Productions and hosted by Claire Hennessy, this 70-minute tour de force storytelling performance combines thrilling music with vivid characters acted in real time.

Journey back to Homer’s world of Greek mythology and the Trojan War with a Master Talesman.

“a consummate storyteller” — The New York Times

“a modern-day Orpheus” — Billboard

Odds Bodkin

The Odyssey: Belly of the Beast

Sunday, Jan. 30 at 7 pm EST

Tickets: $25 – $30

The Omicron Tailspin

The Omicron Tailspin happened this week.

Truth be told, there was a blizzard coming to New Hampshire on Monday. A big one. Ten inches of snow. Nor’easter winds. But it wouldn’t start until after midnight, so Gavin would have time to get back home Sunday night to his girlfriend, Katelyn, at their place in Keene, about an hour away. This was my plan as of Saturday night.

My plan collapsed, however, when Gavin’s text came in Sunday morning at nine o’clock.

“Hey Dad. We’ve both been diagnosed with Omicron.”

A flood of worries hit me about his health, but also about what I’d do now about my Sunday night Odyssey show. Not only is the inimitable Gavin Bodkin my son, he’s also my Zoom producer. Without him, I can’t do shows.

  Gavin Bodkin

I once had a flu that kept me flat on my back for three weeks and almost killed me. Another time, I had a cough that was so deep and persistent that I injured something down in my left lung—I think I bruised my diaphragm—and a couple of weeks later a huge purple bruise appeared on my left torso. It had traveled all the way through to the skin, even though the cough was long gone. Well, after that, I’ve been wary of fevers with coughs, especially Covid, since the first variant probably would have killed me if I’d contracted it. All this time—all of 2020 and 2021–our three boys and their loved ones had been circumspect about Mil and me. They’d labored mightily during the pandemic to make sure mom and dad didn’t fall ill. Up until now, we still haven’t caught the darn thing. Knock on wood.

But if Gavin came over tonight, I thought, even masked, he’d give it to us for sure. He half-heartedly offered to come anyway, but it was an easy decision for me to make: son, stay home and get better.

I decided to postpone the show. No choice.

In time zones, California is three hours behind New Hampshire. Nine o’clock, here where I live, is six o’clock out in California. Good grief, I thought, Claire, Mark and Regina are still probably asleep. To cancel tonight’s show meant they’d need to email all the ticketholders to let them know. The Odyssey: Belly of the Beast was the Zoom performance in question. Claire, Mark and Regina are the principals at Six Feet Apart Productions.

Were they early risers? Already sipping coffee at 6:00 a.m.? Or were they still happily asleep, unaware of this screwup in New Hampshire?

“I’ll email them at least,” I thought, and shot off a bad news email to Claire. Emails don’t wake people up. Claire hosts the show.

  Claire Hennessy

I paced around until 10:00 my time. No response from Claire. “All right, I’ll call her,” I thought, and rang her cell. Got her voicemail. Still not awake. Heck, it’s Sunday morning. Why should she be?

There was my Taylor 12-string, gleaming with its fresh set of strings. It was set to the Odyssey tuning and ready to go. I always string my guitars the day before a show to get that fresh, bright bronze sound and let the strings settle in.

An hour later I was pacing around my kitchen when Claire rang on my cell. I apologized for calling so early and explained to her what had happened with Gavin. In her lovely British accent she sounded remarkably composed as she chalked it up to “life happens.” She shared how her daughter had come down with Covid over Christmas and how they’d all been forced to stay apart. Her comment made me feel much better. She understood.

Yes, she’d email all the ticketholders from Eventbrite and let them know the show was off for tonight. I suggested we reschedule for January 30, two Sundays away. After a little back and forth, she agreed.

And she did email everyone. Within the day she’d even updated the show logo and sent it over, along with updating the tickets link. We updated our site shortly thereafter, and the deed was done.

Gavin has nearly recovered, I’m happy to say, and Katelyn is back to 100%, she says.

And so on January 30th, Gavin will join me in the Zoom studio and we’ll do my 70-minute Odyssey show and have a lot of fun. It will be good to see him, as usual. It will be good to see my audience, too, since after the show, I’ll be taking questions. The actual story will be on full screen.

My guitar is still sitting there with those fresh strings.

And we’re still selling tickets, too, by the way.


Odds Bodkin

Bradford, New Hampshire

A Sunday Evening with a Classic Greek Myth: Odds Bodkin Tells THE ODYSSEY

A Sunday Evening with a Classic Greek Myth: Odds Bodkin Tells THE ODYSSEY.

“The closest thing we have to a genuine Homeric performance…”–Professor James Tatum, Dartmouth Classics Department

“Students are clamoring for him to return…”–Professor Martha Taylor, Chair of Classics, Loyola University Maryland

The Greek poet Homer, scholars say, recited his ODYSSEY epic while plucking his lyre. Odds Bodkin performs his modern-day language ODYSSEY while playing 12-string guitar.

If you value Western Civilization and its timeless lessons, including literacy and imagination, don’t miss this live performance on YouTube Sunday, January 16th at 7 pm EST. Just buy your ticket for the login, and then sit back for a 70-minute blast of virtuoso storytelling.

And afterwards, chat with the artist if you have questions.


SUNDAY, JAN. 16, 2022 at 7 pm EST, 4 pm PT on YouTube Live

Presented by Six Feet Apart Productions with Claire Hennessy

Tickets $25-$30


Coming to YouTube Live: Odds Bodkin Performs THE ODYSSEY January 16th at 7 pm EST

Coming to YouTube Live on January 16th at 7 pm. Get tickets now for Odds Bodkin’s epic, THE ODYSSEY: BELLY OF THE BEAST.

Soaring, exciting music on 12-string guitar. A host of character voices, including Odysseus and the Cyclops. Amazing vocal effects of storm winds, sea birds and crashing stones.

Hosted by Six Feet Apart Productions, master talesman Odds Bodkin will spellbind you with his vivid storytelling during this Sunday performance.

Tickets: $25-$30. Assemble your family and friends for this “tour de force” (Dartmouth Classics Dept.) live performance by a “consummate storyteller” (The New York Times.).


BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE Added to the All Collections Instant Delivery Download Bundle–FREE!

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE has been added to the All Collections Instant Download Bundle at Odds Bodkin’s Shop at no extra cost. A $19.95 award-winning live storytelling, FREE.

Looking for a lasting gift for your family? One that can arrive instantly, without shipping? Then purchase this collection of all Odds Bodkin’s audio storytellings, now including Beowulf, his 1 hour and 20 minute epic telling with music before a live adult audience at Grendel’s Den in Cambridge, MA.

Before the telling, enjoy Odds’ introduction to the tale as he plays Celtic harp. Then journey to a vivid world of Vikings, monsters and kings as he tells his tale with a score on 12-string guitar.

“This is the version that made me absolutely fall in love with the Beowulf story, and really understand why it has become such a classic piece of literature. There is such life and emotion in the way Bodkin tells it, that you just can’t get from reading it alone. He takes it from being a dry, unsentimental piece of curriculum and spins it into a deeply moving journey, I always find myself crying by the end of it.” —amilolomy

Join this audience as they gasp, laugh and weep during this extraordinary performance. Winner of the Storytelling World Award.

Buy the Bundle, then log in any time to download your next epic, or children’s story, or musical adventure. Or download them all at once!

BEOWULF: THE ONLY ONE Added to the All Collections Instant Download Bundle at Odds Bodkin’s Shop!