Alvin Eng

Playwright • Memoirist • Essayist • Educator

Performer • Acoustic Punk Raconteur • Spoken Word Poet

At Wei Hing Theatre, City University of Hong Kong / Photo by Sunny Wong



IG NY Times

Thrilled to be featured in The New York Times’ “Sunday Routine” on June 12, 2022.

Read the full article here.

May 2023

AAPI Asian Heritage Month 

Virtual & In-Person Events & News:

Happy AAPI/Asian Heritage Month! Over the next few weeks, I will be participating in a few virtual and in-person events ––links and details follow. If you’re free, I hope you will consider joining us!

Wed, May 10 from 2:15-3:30pm (EST) 

The American Studies program of CUNY/ Brooklyn College


Punk, Plays and Protest with Alvin Eng

Virtual Book Reading and Discussion
Hosted & Moderated by Prof. Alexander Ho
The event is part of BC’s APIA Heritage Month celebration.
Click here for webinar link

•  •  •

Thursday, May 11 @ 7pm (EST)

Word Thursdays

Virtual Reading and Discussion

I am thrilled to be making my third appearance as a Featured Reader in the long-running Word Thursdays series from Bright Hill Press. I will be reading alongside Frank Haberle.
To attend the event, please click this link just before 7 PM EST:
Click here for Webinar link
More info:

•  •  •


Tuesday, May 16 @ 1pm (EST)

NYC Department of Records and Information Presents

#AAPI Heritage Month Lunch & Learn with Author Alvin Eng

More Info & RSVP 

A recording of the program will be posted to the NYC DORIS Public Programs playlist on YouTube

•  •  •
Excited to get on stage again to workshop new songs and monologues from this acoustic punk raconteur work-in-progress. For in-person and webinar link and more: More info & RSVP:
•  •  •

Coming Up…

I have been invited by Golden Notebook bookstore in Woodstock, NY, to be one of four authors readers in their monthly series, Tinker Street Social. on Sunday, June 11 at 2pm. More info.  

•  •  •

Finally, my play THREE TREES, has been acquired for the Brooklyn Public Library‘s circulating collection!  This is the first of my Portrait Plays series of historical dramas about artists. Three Trees explores the haunting relationship between renowned sculptor, Alberto Giacomettiand his primary 1950s muse/model, Japanese philosopher & professor Isaku Yanaihara.

Our Laundry, Our Town is also available in the BPL collection. 
To order the books:
Our Laundry, Our Town   (Fordham University Press)       
Three Trees    (No Passport Press) 

•  •  •

January 2023 News & Events:

As we bid farewell to The Year of the Tiger (my year) and welcome in The Year of the Rabbit, I want to share my immense gratitude. I am honored that my memoir made such a strong connection with so many of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking the time to read the book, attend in-person and virtual events and share many moving, personal reflections. It all contributed to making the past lunar year a most meaningful and memorable one. May we carry on in such an endearing and enduring community.
Gung Hay Fat Choy! Gong Xi Fa Cai!


(Now, as they say on NPR, “the news is next.”)

•  •  •

 Our Laundry, Our Town Spotify playlist 

Long Lost Audio Found…


IG Playlist

At long last, this playlist of popular songs mentioned in my memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town, along with two original tracks, is complete! I have been searching for one of those original audio tracks for years. That track, which bookends the playlist, features my late mother, Toy Lain Chin Eng, singing a verse from “People’s Lives Are Like Dreams.” This was a Cantonese lullaby that The Empress Mother (as mom is named in the book) used to sing around the laundry and the house.


This audio track was used in the 1994 production of my punk-rap musical, The Goong Hay Kid, at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Loisaida, NYC. The long lost audio was found when Tim Cramer, the sound designer from that production, attended a recent Author Event for the book. When I told Tim of my search, he scoured his home and he found the DAT in his… laundry room. Thanks, Tim!

The second original track (#23) is “Rock Me, Goong Hay”––that punk-rap musical’s title song. This version was recorded live at the 21 Pell St Community Center in Manhattan’s Chinatown last summer. I’m rapping, the audience is clapping along and Skyler Chin (my second cousin, and composer of the powerful musical, Illegal), is on guitar. Thanks to Devin Chin (Sky’s bro), for all of his technical wizardry in placing these tracks on Spotify.   

To complete this flashback,
here’s a ’90s promo photo of yours truly as The Goong Hay Kid.

•  •  •


New Amsterdam branch of NYPL
9 Murray Street 
(btw Broadway & Church St) Manhattan  
The Lower Manhattan Book Club of the NYPL New Amsterdam branch has chosen my memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town, for their Lunar New Year book selection!
On Tuesday, January 24, from 5pm–6:15pm, I will be reading from and discussing the book to celebrate The Year of the Rabbit. Hope you can hop over and join us. The event is Free. Books will be available for purchase and signing. RSVPs are encouraged but not mandatory. To RSVP and for more info
•  •  • 
Our Laundry, Our Town was recently featured on the CUNY-TV show, Book It With CA.  The thoughtful and entertaining interview was conducted by Ernabel Demillo, who is also the host of CUNY-TV’s Emmy Award-winning Asian American Life(Ernabel also interviewed me for their 10th Anniversary program that aired last fall.)  


Please click here to see this 10-minute interview.  (Thank you Ernabel and all at Book It With CA for your great work!) 

•  •  •
Starting in the Spring ’23 semester, Our Laundry Our Town will be taught in Asian American studies courses at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College and Borough of Manhattan Community College campuses.


If you, or anyone you know, would also like to teach this book, please contact me or Fordham University Press, thanks!

•  •  •
Finally, my play THREE TREES, has been acquired for the New York Public Library Collection and is available at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts as well as the Chatham Square (Chinatown) branches!  This is the first of my Portrait Plays series of historical dramas about artists. Three Trees explores the haunting relationship between renowned sculptor, Alberto Giacomettiand his primary 1950s muse/model, Japanese philosopher & professor Isaku Yanaihara.
Our Laundry, Our Town is also available in the NYPL collection. 


Gung Hay Fat Choy! Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Happy Year of the Rabbit!


To Order the Books: 
   Our Laundry, Our Town   (Fordham University Press)       
Three Trees    (No Passport Press) 
•  •  •

October/ November 2022  Events

Plus OCT 14 NYC Interdisciplinary Event & Panel Discussion: 25 Years After the Hong Kong Handover:
– NYC Chinese American Artists Respond
, in Images, Words and Music 


On the shelf sometimes has a negative connotation…not when your memoir is on the same shelf with Harvey Fierstein’s and Patti Smith’s memoirs! Grateful for the reception and response to Our Laundry, Our Town: My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond. Excited to share details on October Author Events in NYC––including my hometown of Flushing!––as well as  in the Hudson Valley in November. 
Also honored to be curating and hosting 25 Years After the Hong Kong Handover: NYC Chinese American Artists Respond, in Images, Words and Music, an Interdisciplinary Event & Panel Discussion on Friday, October 14 from 7-9 pm. Church Street School of Music & Art Performance Space, 41 White St., Tribeca, NYC.




Wednesday. OCT 12 ,  from 6:30- 7:30pm
NYPL In-Person & Virtual Conversation & Reading
Chatham Square branch, 33 East Broadway, Chinatown, NYC

Info & RSVP for In-Person Event
Virtual Event Registration  (Please click on “Register Now”) 


Friday, OCT 14 from 7-9pm  

Church Street School for Music & Art, 41 White Street, Tribeca, NYC

In this year, the 25th Anniversary year of the “Hong Kong Handover” from Great Britain back to China, NYC Chinese American artists will gather to explore Hong Kong’s relationship with and impact on NYC’s Chinese American community through images, words and music. The goal is to create a space to share and process personal experience as well as the historic precedents that planted the seeds of anti-Asian American laws and biases that have been festering in this country since Asians first arrived.

Artist Presentations from:  Chen Yi and Zhou Long  (symphonic composition via video); Alvin Eng (memoirist/acoustic punk raconteur); Nina Kuo  (painting); Lorin Roser (video art/installation); Xu Xi (novelist/essayist, longtime HK chronicler) and Sammy Yuen (artist/illustrator). EVENT PAGE with Artist Bios

Curated and Hosted by Alvin Eng

Panel Discussion moderated by Joanna C. Lee


Free Event: Please email to RSVP!

This is an LMCC Creative Engagement event.



Tuesday. OCT 25 from 3:30 – 4:30pm 

“Hometown Author Talk”
Flushing Main Street branch, 41-17 Main St, Flushing, NY 

No registration required.  More Info

Saturday, NOV 12 @ 7pm 

 Inquiring Minds Bookstore

65 Partition Street, Saugerties, New York (845) 246-5775 
Reading and Discussion with Sarah Litvin, Executive Director of Reher Center for Immigrant Culture & History (Kingston).
Co-sponsored by 

For nearly a century, two generations of the Jewish immigrant Reher family ran a bakery from the storefront of 101 Broadway in Kingston, New York, and lived upstairs.  Kingston residents of the surrounding Rondout neighborhood, mostly working class and immigrant, came to Reher’s for bread, canned goods, and gossip. Today, the site is reborn as a museum and cultural center that preserves and honors the legacy of Reher’s Bakery and amplifies immigrant stories of the Hudson Valley, past and present. The Reher Center’s mission is to foster belonging by engaging all people through culture, community, work, and bread. 

More info:   Inquiring Minds Bookstore  / 
(scroll to November events)

Monday, NOV 14  @ 5:30pm

 “Local Author Showcase” Meet and Greet 

 Rough Draft Books 

82 John Street | Kingston, NY  845-802-0027


Saturday, NOV 19 8pm

Reading and performance with Judith Sloan & Friends
People’s Voice Cafe (in Judson Memorial Church),  239 Thompson St., Greenwich Village, NYC


Ticket Info: People’s Voice Cafe

Saturday, DEC 3 2pm  
To be Re-Scheduled for May Asian Heritage Month Celebration 

NYPL Immigrant Heritage Festival / Asian Heritage Month
Hudson Park NYPL, 66 Leroy Street, West Village, NYC 
Performing a revised version of my acoustic punk raconteur work,
Here  Comes Johnny Yen Again (or How I Kicked Punk).
More info soon!

Recent Interview


To order the books:

                                       Our Laundry, Our Town       Three Trees 
                              (Fordham University Press)                     (No Passport Press)  

September/Fall 2022 Events

CUNY-TV Asian American Life Interview
NPR/WNYC Brian Lehrer Show
 Interview audio


Three Trees staged reading, Monterey, CA 9/18/22 

Word on the street is still going strong for my memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town: My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read the book, shared the book and shared a reflection––it is all greatly appreciated. Thanks as well to all of the bookstores that are carrying the book (I am pictured above in front of Word Bookstore in Green Pt, Brooklyn.) 


Also glad to share some new media coverage: Last month, I was interviewed on the esteemed The Brian Lehrer Show (NPR/WNYCThis month, the memoir is being featured on two CUNY-TV programs, the Emmy-winning Asian American Life and Book It with Ca.

This Fall, I will be participating in some exciting Author Events and Group Readings and performances in NYC, as well as in the Hudson Valley.  Here are listings and links to the September events. My next update will include October and November event links. Next year, I hope to arrange events in other states––so please let me know if you have any recommendations, thanks!

Finally, speaking of other states, my play, Three Treeswill be presented as a staged reading on Sunday, Sept. 18 @ 3pm in The Sandbox in Sand City, near Monterey, California area. More info on all of the above follows. Happy almost Autumn!


I have lined up a very busy Fall Schedule of Events. As soon as event links are live I will send them to you. 

Thur. SEPT 15 7pm
Drunken! Careening! Writers! 

At KGB BAR (85 East 4th St, East Village, NYC) group reading

September: Do You Remember, with 
Alvin Eng, Charles Salzberg Kathleen Warnock

Sunday.  SEPT 18 @ 3pm  
 Three Trees staged reading

Produced & directed by Harriet Lynn/ Monterey Coastal Lifestyles
Sandbox Gallery, Sand City, 440 Ortiz Ave, Sand City, CA 93955

Three Trees is the first of my Portrait Plays series of historical dramas about artists––and explores the haunting relationship between sculptor Alberto Giacometti and his primary muse/model of the 1950s, Japanese philosopher, Isaku Yanaihara. The play was recently published by No Passport Press

Friday,  SEPT 23  @6pm
Word Bookstore Jersey City, N.J.

29 MCWILLIAMS PL,. Jersey City, N.J.
Spotlight reader in Open Mic night

Wed.  SEPT 28 @7pm  
Guerilla Lit Reading Series

at Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St, Lower East Side, NYC)  – group reading

Alvin Eng, Beth Lisick & Philip Brunetti

SUNDAY OCT 2 – Brooklyn Book Festival

Wed. OCT 12  @6pm
Chatham Square (Chinatown) branch of NYPL

Talking Books: Asian American Authors in Conversation! 

Fri OCT 14 7pm  
25 Years After the Hong Kong Handover
– NYC Chinese American Artists Respond

Producing and hosting event for my LMCC Creative Engagement grant at Church Street School of Music and Art in Tribeca. Will read from memoir and perform  from HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN in this group show. Line up currently includes novelist Xu Xi, video artist Lorin Roser, painter Nina Kuo and the award-winning composing team of  Chen Yi and Zhou Long

Tue. OCT 25 3:30pm 
 Flushing Main St branch of Queens Public Library (Author Event) 

Sat NOV 12 7pm 
 Inquiring Minds Bookstore, Saugerties, NY  

Reading and Discussion with conversation partner: Sarah Litvin, Executive Director of Reher Center for Immigrant Culture & History (Kingston) Here’s the — please scroll to November programs. 

Mon NOV 14  @ 5:30pm  
 Rough Draft Books (Kingston, NY)
 “Local Author Showcase” meet and greet 

Sat NOV 19 @ 8pm
People’s Voice Cafe @Judston Memorial Church, NYC
Reading and performance with Judith Sloan & Friends

Recent Interviews 

Here are the airtimes on CUNY-TV, Channel 75 (Spectrum Canle NYC)  
September 2022 Tenth Anniversary Edition
Tuesday, September 13 – 8:00pm
Wednesday, September 14 – 8:00am, 2:00pm
Saturday, September 17 – 6:00pm
Sunday, September 18 – 8:30am
Tuesday, September 20 – 9:00am, 2:00pm

NPR/WNYC The Brian Lehrer Snow (8/4/22)

To order the books:

Our Laundry, Our Town       Three Trees 


               (Fordham University Press)       (No Passport Press)  



Upcoming June Book Events
Recent Broadcasts/Podcasts and Published Interviews

people holding book!

Less than a month after its May 17, 2022 publication date, my memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town: My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond (Fordham University Press/Empire State Editions) is receiving very positive responses––online, in the media and word of mouth.


Here are some upcoming in-person (NYC) and virtual events, along with recent Broadcast/Podcasts and Published Author Interviews.

In the fall, it would be great to arrange book events throughout the country…please let me know if you would be interested in hosting an event!

Grateful for your support of the book. Happy Almost Summer!


Wed. JUNE 8, from 5-7pm

In-Person Book Signing, Meet & Greet

Yu & Me Books, 44 Mulberry Street, Chinatown, NYC

Minimalist Breaking News Instagram Post

For more info on event and Yu & Me Books

––the only Asian American woman-owned indie bookstore in NYC!!!

Sunday, JUNE 12, from 3-4:30 pm

In-Person Book Reading
with Musical Guest, Skyler Chin (my cousin!)

21 Pell St. Community Center, Chinatown, NYC

6-12 21 Pell St graphic

For More Info and optional Event Registration


Sat., JUNE 25, from 2-3PM

Virtual and In-Person NYPL Author Talk

NYPL logo

 Hudson Park Branch 
66 Leroy Street, West Village, NYC 

For More Info and Virtual Link

Recent Broadcasts/Podcasts

A page listing all coverage will soon be live on this website


Recent Pocasts, Broadcasts COLLAGE

(Audio to be posted on QPL website and my own website)

ALL OF IT with ALISON STEWART ON NPR/WNYC – aired on May 31, 2022
(Audio to be posted on WNYC website and my own website)
AUTHOR TALK with KEW & WILLOW BOOKS – aired on May 26, 2022

VIRTUAL MEMORIES PODCAST with Gil Roth, posted on May 24, 2022 (my birthday, thanks, Gil!)
NEW BOOKS NETWORK podcast with Deirdre Tyler – posted May 16, 2022

OPEN BXRX FRIDAY with RHINA VALENTIN Bronx TV Net – 8-minute segment aired on May 12, 2022
LEONARD LOPATE AT LARGE  WBAI/Pacifica Radio NYC – aired on May 11, 2022
LIVE AT TEN with CHERYL WILLS – NY1 – aired on May 9, 2022

Recently Published Interviews

A page listing all coverage will soon be live on this website


TRIBECA CITIZEN published June 3, 2022
DEBORAH KALB BOOK Q&A published May 26, 2022
HASTY BOOK LIST – published May 23, 2022
QUEENS CHRONICLE – published May 19, 2022
THE WELL NEWS – Published May 17, 2022
QUEENS LEDGER – Published May 10, 2022 
BOOK MARKETING BUZZ – published March 29, 2022


May 20, 2022 Two-Part Book Launch
Media & Press Coverage • May-June Events

“If you wept while reading the memoir Crying in H Mart, ached at the injustice in Minor Feelings, and laughed during graphic novel Messy Roots, then Our Laundry, Our Town is the sweet spot between these three.”

From GoodReads book review by @the_pundlit

I am proud to share that next week my memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town: My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond, will be published by Fordham University Press/Empire State Editions! As such, I hope you will consider joining us on Friday, May 20, for an In-Person or Virtual Book Launch reading and talk. Event registration links follow.  


Virtual Book Launch, May 20 5:30pm – 7pm (EST)
Asian American/Asian Research Institute, City University of New York

In-Person Book Launch May 20 at City Lore (7-9PM), at 56 East 1st St, East Village, Manhattan 

Media/Press Coverage

Also excited to share that the book has been receiving positive press/media attention. This week I was interviewed on NY1’s Live at Ten with Cheryl Wills, as well as for a future “Sunday Routine” feature in The New York Times. A full index of press/media coverage on the memoir will soon be available on my website. Here’s a link to the NY1 interview.

NY1 Live at Ten interview with Cheryl Wills, May 9, 2022
Interview Video

Finally, this book has been acquired for both the New York Public Library and the Queens Public Library. I am honored that my memoir will be part of these collections that have nurtured me and so many.Grateful that we are on this journey together. Thank you for your interest and support all of these years.


Book Club Bar, 197 East 3rd St., East Village – 8pm

Doing a 20-minute spoken word set, including some a cappella acoustic punk raconteur  “Johnny Yen” songs” and memoir excerpts, on an amazing bill with Mel Chanté and host/curator Galinsky.

MAY 25, AARP Houston Virtual Talk
4pm-5pm (Central Time)
Asian-American Family Secrets: Hidden in Plain Sight

Virtual reading and talk with genealogist and
community advocate Amy Chin.
Event Registration 

MAY 26 – Virtual Reading & Talk 7-8pm

Fantastic Female-owned Independent Bookstore in Queens!!!


Virtual Reading & Book Talk with AMY CHIN,
Genealogist and Think!Chinatown Board President

Event Registration

MAY 31 – WNYC/NPR Interview – app 12:30pm

  All of It with Alison Stewart
NPR/WNYC radio

JUNE 2, Virtual Reading & Talk, 4-5pm

File:Queens Public Library logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Queens Public Library Literary Thursdays
Our Laundry, Our Town With Author Alvin Eng
Presented by Cambria Heights branch

Wed. JUNE 8, Book Signing, Meet & Greet, 5-7pm

Yu & Me Books, 44 Mulberry St., Chinatown, Manhattan
Only Asian American female-owned indie bookstore in NYC!

Sat., JUNE 25, NYPL Author Talk, 2-3PM

New York Public Library - Wikipedia

Hudson Park Branch 
66 Leroy Street, West Village, NYC 
NYPL event link
Eventbrite Registation Link

To Order the Book:
Fordham University Press 
Bookshop (please select a favorite indie bookstore!)


Friday, MAY 20, 2022

Virtual In-Person/NYC

My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond
A memoir by Alvin Eng


Part I (May 20)
Virtual Book Launch

Reading & Talk 5:30pm–7pm (ET)
AAARI/CUNY’s online Friday Lecture Series

Asian American/Asian Research Institute, City University of New York

Event Registration link


Part II (May 20)
In-Person Book Launch / 7pm – 9pm (ET)
CITY LORE Gallery,  56 East 1st Street, 

East Village, NYC

“Alvin Eng’s masterful, sweeping memoir about growing up with his five siblings in a dysfunctional family in the back of  the Foo J. Chin Chinese Hand Laundry in Flushing, Queens is laced with his marvelous humor, family anecdotes and metaphors that bring a century of the Chinese American Experience to life. I was deeply touched, especially by the spirits parallels between the folks in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and the laundry­­ and the beautiful idea that his parents didn’t really see each other either––like the characters in the play. Just a beautiful book.”
STEVE ZEITLIN author Poetry of Everyday LifeFounding Director of City Lore 
Hope you can join us online or in-person to celebrate the publication!
More details soon!  

My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond
Publication date: May 17, 2022


Available for Pre-Order now:
Fordham University Press 
Bookshop (please select a favorite indie bookstore!

                      1 - FUP logo   12-13-21 Eng_cover_121321       1 - EMPIRE STATE logo


Our Laundry, Our Town

My Chinese American Life from Flushing
to the Downtown Stage and Beyond
To be published by Fordham University Press on May 17th! 
12-13-21 Eng_cover_121321
“From behind the counter of his parents’ laundry and a household rooted in a different century and culture to the turbulent, exciting streets of 1970s New York City, playwright Alvin Eng shares his riveting, tender story of finding voice, identity and community through the transformative power of Asian American arts, activism, punk rock and theater.”  press release

Happy Lunar Year of the Tiger, one and all!!!

As we enter this new year, I am thrilled to share that on May 17, Fordham University Press will publish my memoir, Our Laundry, Our Town: My Chinese American Life from Flushing to the Downtown Stage and Beyond. Being a Tiger, I couldn’t be happier that my memoir is coming out this Year of the Tiger!

For more info, press/media queries or to pre-order the book, please click on one of the following links. 

Gung Hay Fat Choy / Gōnɡ Xǐ Fā Cái! 

Fordham University Press 

Press/Media contact:
Jennifer Richards, Over the River Public Relations
201-242-9637 / / @otrpr

Yu & Me Book mark
Dramatic Reading of three Trees
Sunday, March 6, 2022, 4pm & 5pm 
44 Mulberry Street, Chinatown, NYC / (646) 559-1165 / @yuandmebooks
Thrilled and honored to partner with Yu & Me Books, NYC’s only Asian American female-owned indie bookstore, for a dramatic scene reading and discussion of my play, THREE TREES––recently published by No Passport Press. The reading will be performed by Ernest Abuba and Marcus Ho, the director and lead actor of the play’s premiere with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre.
The store has limited capacity. There will be two reading/discussions––the first one at 4pm, and then repeated at 5pm. If you are unable to attend, the session will be archived on my YouTube channel, please consider subscribing by clicking here.  

Also, please consider supporting Yu & Me Books by purchasing Three Trees (and any other books!) virtually through their link

THREE TREES explores the haunting relationship between sculptor Alberto Giacometti and his primary muse/model of the 1950s, Japanese philosopher, Isaku Yanaihara. It is the first of my Portrait Plays series of historical dramas about artists.

Book cover design by Zonia Tsang / Alvin’s photo by Louis Chan


A Dramatic Portrait of Alberto Giacometti and Isaku Yanaihara

Published by No Passport Press

Excited to share that my play, THREE TREES, has been published as a print-on-demand book by Caridad Svich’s No Passport Press. The book includes an amazing Foreword from Hana Sharif and a beautiful cover design by Zonia Tsang.

Thank you, Caridad, for creating this outstanding platform for playwrights and for your invaluable support of them. The book is available for $8 from Lulu and Amazon.  A brief description of the play follows, along with links to order the book.

THREE TREES explores the haunting relationship between Parisian sculptor Alberto Giacometti and his primary muse/model of the 1950s, Japanese philosopher, Isaku Yanaihara. It is the first of my Portrait Plays series of historical dramas about artists.

To order the book:



Performances & Reading

Sat. Oct 16 at app. 3:45pm and 5:10pm
Here Comes Johnny Yen Again (or How I Kicked Punk) 
10-minute excerpts from solo acoustic punk raconteur work 
Outside 21 Pell Street, NYC

Sat. OCT 23, btw. 5:30 – 7pm 
Reading of “It’s Only a Paper Son” from Our Laundry, Our Town, 
a memoir to be published by Fordham University Press in May 2022. 
Inside 21 Pell Street, NYC
Both events are Free

The OCT 16 “Chinatown Door Jams” is a full afternoon of performances on the pedestrian street in front of the historic First Chinese Baptist Church at 21 Pell St. My former Emperor’s Club bandmate, Geoff Lee, will join me for “Chinatown Beat,” a song I wrote inspired by Henry Chang’s novel of the same name. Link for complete line-up. 
Inside 21 Pell St on Sat OCT 23, between 5:30-7pm is “Story Night.” Alongside the premiere of five new short films from Think! Chinatown’s storytelling project, I will be reading “It’s Only a Paper Son” from Our Laundry, Our Town: Portraits of a NYC Chinese American Life-in-Progress. 

I am honored to be performing for the second time in Chinatown Arts Week. Please check out the entire schedule and come on down to Chinatown!!! 

…and that’s a cartoon me in the upper left corner of the poster!



Essay, Spoken Word Video and Playlist for
National Sawdust’s Fire This Time Project

Excited to share HISTORY, NOT NOSTALGIA: CROSSROADS 2021, for JAMES BALDWINan essay, spoken word video, and Baldwin-inspired playlist––all created at the invitation of the Brooklyn-based music/arts venue, National Sawdust, for their website. The five-minute video was shot on location at City Hall Park, NYC. The current Public Art Fund installation of sculptures by Melvin Edwards seemed the ideal visual counterpoint to contemplate the impact of the great James Baldwin’s words on this unique moment in American and world history.
Click for National Sawdust page 
Click for Video only
Thumbnail Baldwin video
This project was created in conjunction with National Sawdust’s salon project, Fire This Time, hosted by poet Lynne Procope. You can also checkout these amazing salon sessions on their website.


a spoken word offering for George Floyd

––posted on the eve of sentencing of his murderer,
the former Minneapolis cop.

From the 04.17.21 “Playwrights Keeping Vigil” virtual reading produced by the Reset Theatre Coalition: Braata ProductionsConch Shell Productions and Kumu Kahua Theatre.

thumbnail CHI CAN't

Video link:

The reading was a book launch for their anthology, “We’re Not Neutral: Reset Series 2020 Collected Short Plays.” Shout out to Antonyio Artis and Tanya E. Taylor, performer and director of the first version of this piece. That clip is also on my YouTube channel.
Book link:…/dp/B092P9NWWG

24 Hour Plays Benefit: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Publishing News

24 Hour Plays Benefit: Asian Americans Advancing Justice

As anti-Asian hate crimes continue to grow in frequency and vitriol citywide and nationwide, I am proud to have written “A Seat at the Table,” for The 24 Hour Plays‘ benefit for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC. After a 24hour writing, rehearsal period (May 17-18, 2021), here’s a link to Pun Bandhu’s fantastic performance of this 6-minute monologue.

Please consider making a donation to the The 24 Hour Plays campaign to support AAJC’s mission to advance the civil and human rights for Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all by donating today: 
Also check out all of the work of the many wonderful AAPI theatre artists in this project. Thank you to all at 24 Hour Plays, and especially the guest curators, Victor Malanga Maog and Sung Rno.  #StopAsianHate

Publishing News!

Thrilled to announce that No Passport Press will be publishing the first two of my Portrait Plays cycle of historical dramas about artists, THREE TREES and 33 & 1/3 CORNELIA STREET.  2021 publication dates to be announced soon!

THREE TREES, the first Portrait Play, explores the haunting relationship between Alberto Giacometti, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and his primary 1950s muse/model, Japanese philosopher & professor Isaku Yanaihara.

The second Portrait Play33 & 1/3 CORNELIA STREET dramatizes the fateful events that forever bonded the legacies of Bohemian Greenwich Village legends, Joe Gould, proto-Beat poet and controversial oral history figure, and Joseph Mitchell, renowned writer for The New Yorker Magazine, through the powerful vortex of revered painter Alice Neel‘s groundbreaking portrait of Gould.

Finally, I have also activated my Instagram account. If you’d also like to be in touch there, my “handle” is alvin.eng8

2020 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship: Nonfiction Literature!

2 FB NYFA logos

Honored to be awarded a 2020 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature. During these most challenging of times, I am incredibly moved and inspired by this affirmation of my memoir-in-progress––somedays titled Our Laundry, Our Town and other days, The Last Emperor of Flushing’s Final Communique. 

I am forever grateful to the New York Foundation for the Arts for their long-term support. This is my third Artist Fellowship but first one in 24 years! (Previously awarded a 1996 Playwriting/Screenwriting Fellowship and a ’91 Performance Art/Emergent Forms Fellowship.) Thank you, NYFA, for recognizing myself and other “mature artists” in this era of rampant ageism as well as lifting up so many artists­­––decade after decade in your ongoing essential work. The Arts matter in every era and at every stage and age of our individual and collective journeys. Keep on doing!


CHI CAN’T BREATHE (Reset! Video) 
Now available on YouTube channel

Also excited to share that CHI CAN’T BREATHE is now available for viewing on my YouTube channel. 
CHI CAN’T BREATHE was written at the invitation of the RESET! Theatre Coalition Series for BIPOC playwrights to respond to the killing of George Floyd and related current events during the Summer of 2020. The monologue was powerfully performed by Antonyio Artis and magically directed by Tanya E. Taylor. The RESET! Theatre Coalition was formed by Braata Productions, Conch Shell Productions and Kumu Kahua Theatre. The Series consisted of live performances of the newly invited written works streamed on the three theatre’s YouTube and Facebook Live pages during the Summer of 2020 Reckoning. CHI CAN’T BREATHE had its premiere performance in the RESET series on July 24, 2020. The work runs approximately 7 minutes. 
Finally, as it does not look as if we will be sharing shows and stories in person anytime soon, hope you will consider subscribing to this YouTube channel. channel where Wendy and I will be sharing new work. Stay safe and resilient…VOTE!!! 

CHI CAN’T BREATHE (Reset! Video) 
Now available on YouTube channe


Friday, 9/25, from 8-9pm EST
Tell Me a Story, Annie: A City Lore Virtual Salon
With Annie Lanzillotto & Alvin Eng

BMCC / City University of New York 
Tue., October 6 – Asian American Literature course

Hope everyone is staying safe and resilient during this time like no other. Just wanted to share some news regarding my new acoustic punk raconteur solo work-in-progress, HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN (or How I Kicked Punk). Of course, the re-scheduled Dixon Place Workshop Residency performance has been cancelled.

But this Friday, September 25, from 8-9pm (EST), I am excited to be performing part of the show as a Special Guest in a City Lore Virtual Salon hosted by Annie Lanzillotto. The salon will include performances from Annie and myself, followed by a discussion on Asian American/Immigrant disenfranchisement––from the Chinese Exclusion Act to the spike of anti-Asian violence and immoral ICE raids during the Pandemic.
Joining the conversation will be actor/activist Ariel Estrada from Racism is a Virus and City Lore board member and Think! Chinatown president, Amy Chin.

RSVP to the FREE event: 
Click here for Facebook Event/Facebook Live page

Then on October 6, I am honored to discuss HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN as a Guest Speaker in my colleague, Dr. Linta Varghese’s, Asian American Literature course in BMCC/CUNY’s Center for Ethnic Studies.

9-25 CITY LORE flyer

If you cannot join us on Friday, the piece will eventually be archived on my YouTube channel. As it looks like we will be sharing work on the streaming screen and not the stage for the foreseeable future, hope you will also consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. 


New Video:
The Last Emperor of Flushing at 70 Mulberry St.

Restore Chen Dance Center & the Arts to 70 Mulberry St.

Now you can tear a building down, but you can’t erase a memory…”
From “Open Letter (To a Landlord)” by Living Colour & Tracie Morris

Last October, Wendy and I had the honor of presenting a 10-minute excerpt from my memoir monologue, “The Last Emperor of Flushing,” at Chen Dance Center in the historic 70 Mulberry St., building in Chinatown, NYC. This work humorously recalls Alvin’s odd odyssey of growing up in one of Flushing’s few Chinese families in the 1970s––that ran a Hand Laundry on Union St, no less!––to later becoming one of its few citizens who could not speak fluent Chinese. Flushing had become NYC’s second Chinatown! (Eng is currently expanding this work into a prose memoir.) Please click here to see The Last Emperor of Flushing at 70 Mulberry St. 

As many of you know, 70 Mulberry St., a longtime artistic and spiritual hub of the Asian American/NYC Arts world and Chinatown, suffered a devastating fire on Lunar New Year’s Eve, 2020. The building is being razed by the city right now. Please consider supporting efforts to demand that NYC officials recognize that Chen Dance Center and the Arts must have a home in the “new 70 Mulberry St.” For more information, email Dian Dong at 

New Video…
The performance was part of Chinatown Arts Week presented by Think!Chinatown. In many ways, this elegy to a pivotal turning point in NYC/Asian American history was a perfect fit on that storied Chen Dance Center stage…please join us in the fight to restore this home to the Arts in Chinatown, so we can once again create and celebrate our history and legacy at 70 Mulberry Street.

(Still photos courtesy Chen Dance Center Think!Chinatown



…on Video from Dixon Place, NYC

20-10-24, ALVIN ENG, photo by WROLF COURTNEY

Photo by Wrolf Courtney

Hope this finds everyone staying safe and engaged in all that moves you.

A quick update on the Dixon Place Workshop Residency of HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN––an acoustic punk rock raconteur work written and performed by Alvin Eng and directed by Wendy Wasdahl.

Tonight (April 18) would have been the third and final performance. Of course, this has been cancelled (but rescheduled for Saturday, October 24, 2020!). To have the show go on tonight, and keep running in a different way, we are excited to share on YouTube, a two-camera video from the March 7th performance at Dixon Place. The video will be available indefinitely.

Please click here for HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN…on Video!

This 25-minute video is from the second of three workshop performances. We were joined by Special Guests, Rick Ebihara and Perry Yung from the Slant Performance Group, for a “Tai Chi Music-Meditation Tribute to Lou Reed”…with Wendy also appearing!

The video was directed, filmed and edited by Wrolf Courtney with second camera by John Quincy Lee.  

As this is a work-in-progress, we welcome any feedback, comments or questions.

Finally, we greatly appreciate everyone who worked on this video and performance––as well as everyone who joined us onstage and off in February and March at Dixon Place. Hope to see you again on October 24!

Until we can reconvene, take good care,
Alvin & Wendy

DIXON PLACE Presents 2020 Workshop Residency


Dixon Place Presents a Three-Performance Workshop Residency a new solo work Written and Performed by Alvin Eng

Direction and Dramaturgy by Wendy Wasdahl

A solo acoustic punk rock raconteur work, Alvin Eng’s ‘HERE COMES JOHNNY YEN AGAIN (or How I Kicked Punk)’ explores the impact of opium on the Chinese Diaspora as well as NYC’s punk/counterculture through the dual prisms of William S. Burroughs’ character, “Johnny Yen”––immortalized in Iggy Pop and David Bowie’s ”Lust For Life”––and Eng’s own Grandfather’s opium overdose on the streets of NYC’s Chinatown. 

(Card design by Ivy Arce, photo by Jim Goodin)

Link to Dixon Place listing: 

Acoustic Punk Rock Raconteur  Saturday Nights @ 7:30pm -Free Admisssion

February 8,  March 7,  April 18, 2020

The Lounge at Dixon Place, 161-A Chrystie Street, New York City

(btw. Rivington & Delancey Streets) / 212.219.0736 /

Fall 2019 Events follow… (full new website soon!)

THREE TREES A Staged Reading and Workshop


Otterbein University Department of Theatre & Dance will present a staged reading and host workshops around THREE TREES, a play that explores the complex relationship between philosopher Isaku Yanaihara and sculptor Alberto Giacometti. THREE TREES is the first work of Alvin Eng’s Portrait Plays, a cycle of historical dramas that examines the parallels between portraiture, history and power as manifested in the convergence of different disciplines, eras and cultures. This play was presented Off-Broadway with the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in NYC, as well as in staged readings with Baltimore Center Stage and The Moving Parts Theatre in Paris.

THE MOURNING AFTER: A Play Reading and Discussion

City University of New York, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Tuesday, September 10, 7-8:30pm

On the Eve of the 18th Anniversary of 9/11, the BMCC Theatre Department presents The Mourning After, a one-act play written and directed by Professor Alvin Eng featuring Dominick Allen and Simone Zalusky. After the play reading, there will be a discussion and open mic: 9/11 themed poems and reflections of 2–3 minutes in length are welcomed!
The Mourning After was written on 9/11/03 aboard the A train as part of the “A Train Plays” 24-hour play festival. The play explores the then two-year aftermath of 9/11 through the prisms of class and perception as two strangers meet aboard a Queens-bound A-train. How far have we come as a country since then? Where do we need to go from here? RSVP to Facebook Event Page

Coming Soon:

THE LAST EMPEROR of FLUSHING: Our Laundry, Our Town, a memoir travelogue through Chinese America. The story begins growing up in a 1970s Chinese Hand Laundry in what was then one of the few immigrant Asian families in Flushing, Queens, to performing his one-man show, “The Last Emperor of Flushing,” in English in a former People’s Hall of the Cultural Revolution in his family’s ancestral Guangdong province.