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WORDS THURSDAYS FEATURING FRANK HABERLE AND ALVIN ENG
May 11 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Frank Haberle is the author of two books: Shufflers (Flexible Press, Minneapolis, September 2021), a story of transients moving through minimum-wage jobs in the 1980s; and the upcoming Downlanders (Flexible Press, November 2023), following five misfits into a fictional wilderness. Frank’s short stories have won awards from Pen Parentis, Beautiful Loser Magazine, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and (most recently) the 2021 Rose Warner Prize for Fiction. They have appeared in more than 30 journals including Deep Wild Journal, the Adirondack Review, the Baltimore Review, Wilderness House Literary Journal, Necessary Fiction, Vagabonds and the Nomadic Review.
Professionally, Frank has worked for more than thirty years as a nonprofit grant writer with New York-based human service agencies including The Children’s Aid Society, Community Resource Exchange, Goddard-Riverside Community Center and, most recently, with New Settlement in The Bronx. He was a founding Board member, and is now a volunteer workshop leader for the NY Writers Coalition, leading an Amherst method-driven writing group with the Creative Center for Health and Healing on the Lower East Side. Frank lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. More about Frank’s writing and work can be learned here.
Alvin Eng is an educator. His plays and performances have been seen Off-Broadway, throughout the U.S., as well as in Paris, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China. His memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town: My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond, was published by Fordham University Press in May 2022. The memoir chronicles growing up in a Chinese Hand Laundry in what was then one of the few immigrant Asian families in the Flushing, Queens, neighborhood of that singular universe that was NYC in the 1970s. After finding his personal and artistic voice through Asian American arts, activism, punk rock and theatre, Eng went on to play in punk bands as well as to become a playwright, author and performer. The memoir culminates in Hong Kong and China. There, Eng was invited to perform his solo performance work, The Last Emperor of Flushing, in English, in a former People’s Hall of the Cultural Revolution in his family’s ancestral Guangdong province. That performance was an extension of a Fulbright Specialist Devised Theatre/Oral History Residency that Eng co-conceived and directed with his wife, director/dramaturg Wendy Wasdahl, at City University of Hong Kong. In this devised theatre/oral history project, students wrote and performed English language plays in response to Thornton Wilder’s classic Americana play, Our Town. As Wilder spent part of his childhood in China, when his father was U.S. Consul General to Hong Kong and Shanghai, Our Town has many Chinese influences.
Our Laundry, Our Town was covered by The New York Times, NPR/WNYC’ All of It with Alison Stewart and The Brian Lehrer Show, NY1 and CUNY-TV, among many others. The book has also been acquired for the collections of The New York Public Library and numerous public and academic libraries. Our Laundry, Our Town is also being taught in Asian American and Urban Studies courses at the City University of New York and other colleges and universities. Three Trees, the first of Eng’s Portrait Plays series, was published by Obie Award-winning playwright Caridad Svich’s No Passport Press in 2021. Eng is the author and editor of the oral history/play anthology, Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experience on Stage. His plays, lyrics and memoir excerpts have also been published in numerous anthologies. His storytelling and commentary have been broadcast and streamed on National Public Radio, among others. As a Professor of Playwriting, Theatre, Creative Writing and Public Speaking, Eng has had Full-Time Academic Appointments, Visiting Professorships and Residencies on the Undergraduate and Graduate level. He is also a two-time Fulbright Specialist appointee as a Scholar in Theatre/U.S. Studies. During his first appointment, he was in residence at City University of Hong Kong and invited by the U.S. Consulate, Guangzhou, to conduct theatre workshops and perform his memoir monologue, The Last Emperor Of Flushing, in his family’s ancestral Guangdong Province. Eng holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, Tisch School of the Arts of New York University.