Michael GravesMICHAEL GRAVES, celebrating his 40th year as a professional actor, is also a director, teacher, private coach (Shakespeare), dramaturg, and published poet (NY Times). He grew up in New Mexico, studied acting in the renowned theatre program at the University of Texas in Austin, achieved a BA in English Literature and Drama from New Mexico Western University and an MA in English Literature from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, with further graduate work in Directing at Hunter College. He began his love of poetry in high school, performing Shakespeare (Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet) and then discovering the sonnets, which led to his study of English Literature. In high school, he was also fortunate to be exposed in Spanish class to the plays and poetry of Lorca, which led to his further reading of Spanish poetry. As an undergraduate, he was drawn to the ancient Greek poets, and then to T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.  In graduate school, he learned Middle English to read Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, discovered the great English poets and fell in love with the mystical works of Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Irish poets, particularly Yeats. He has written poetry since he was a teenager, and has been published in the New York Times "Metropolitan Diary" on two separate occasions. His affinity for and love of poetry has worked for him in his profession as an actor, having done many Shakespeare, Moliere, MacLeish, and original poetic plays in New York and California. Also a singer (classically trained baritone), he has performed in operas, musicals and recitals, with a particular love for art songs, where he re-discovered the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (here represented by "Silent Noon," as set to music by Ralph Vaughn Williams).