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Jessica Hagedorn

April 27 - April 28


photo by David Shankbone

Jessica Hagedorn was born and raised in the Philippines and came to the United States in her early teens. Her novels include Toxicology, Dream Jungle, The Gangster of Love, and Dogeaters, winner of the American Book Award and a finalist for the National Book Award. She is also the author of Danger and Beauty, a collection of poetry and prose, and the editor of three anthologies: Manila Noir; Charlie Chan Is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Fiction; and Charlie Chan Is Dead 2: At Home in the World. Hagedorn’s work in theatre includes the musical play Most Wanted, a collaboration with composer Mark Bennett and director Michael Greif at La Jolla Playhouse; Fe in the Desert and Stairway to Heaven for Campo Santo in San Francisco; and the stage adaptation of Dogeaters, presented at La Jolla Playhouse and at the NYSF/Public Theater (directed by Michael Greif), at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City (directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera), and in Manila (directed by Bobby Garcia). Hagedorn wrote the screenplay for Fresh Kill, a feature film directed by Shu Lea Cheang, and scripts for the experimental animated series The Pink Palace, created for the first season of the Oxygen Network. From 1975 to 1985, she was the leader of a band called the Gangster Choir. One of her signature songs, “Tenement Lover,” is included in John Giorno’s ’80s downtown music anthology A Diamond Hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse. Her honors and prizes include a Lucille Lortel Playwrights’ Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fiction Fellowship, a Kesselring Prize Honorable Mention for Dogeaters, and an NEA-TCG Playwriting Residency Fellowship, as well as fellowships from the Sundance Playwrights’ Lab and the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab. Hagedorn has taught at the Yale School of Drama, NYU, and Columbia University. She is the Parsons Family University Professor of Creative Writing and the Director of the MFA Writing Program at LIU Brooklyn.