One NY Artist: Poet Rob Vassilarakis

There are thousands of artists is New York City. Some are famous internationally, while others are scratching out a living while perfecting their craft in basements or on stage. WNYC is bringing a few of them to the spotlight, in their own voices.

Here, Bronx spoken-word artist Rob Vassilarakis, a.k.a. Simply Rob. He is a recovering crystal meth addict, and he is HIV positive.

Vassilarakis is part of El Grito de Poetas, an all-Latino poetry collective, and he says poetry helps him cope. "Sometimes you try to talk to your friends, and people not always know how to deal or handle things that you are grappling with," he said. "So the page will never let you down."

He is the subject of the film "Simply Rob," by Tom Shrapnel.

Click on the link above to listen to Vassilarakis' story, and hear some of his poetry.