The Blues of Achilles, an Iliad Presentation


Location: Carey Auditorium


Goodkin Image
For over two decades, Chicago-based musician and Classics degree holder Joe Goodkin has traveled the world as a modern bard performing his unique one-man folk opera retelling of Homer’s Odyssey (over 360 performances in 47 states, Greece, Italy, and The Netherlands). He has now turned his attention to Homer’s other epic poem and created a 17-song adaptation of the Iliad, entitled "The Blues of Achilles," steeped in ancient and modern war literature as well as interviews and his experiences playing music at VA hospitals as part of recreational therapy for veterans experiencing PTSD and other related war traumas.


Goodkin's first-person songs capture the horror, grief, and love that permeate the Iliad and the combat experience. Sung from the perspective of Achilles, Priam, Patroklus, Briseis, Helen, Andromache, and more, The Blues of Achilles evokes “the truths that the Iliad conveys [through] songs that [are] real and now” in the words of Tom Palaima, Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor of Classics at The University of Texas at Austin.

Find more information about Goodkin and this performance on his website,