Mouth to Mouth Open Mic: All-Stars Edition
Ed Park, Marissa Lichwick, Henry Chang, Elahe Izadi, & Gibran Saleem
Mouth to Mouth Open Mic: All-Stars Edition

Ed Lin and Jen Kwok are back with an All-Stars Edition of Mouth to Mouth Open Mic! For one night only, we’re bringing you the best of the best—so spectacular that open mic slots are only available by lottery! Will you be the lucky winner of one of the five coveted spots?

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Founder of The Believer and author of acclaimed office satire Personal Days, Ed Park will perform a dialogue in his whimsical deadpan humor. Described by The New Yorker as “comic and creepy,” Ed Park’s debut novel is often compared to the works of Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller, making The Atlantic’s list of top ten cultural moments of the decade! Set in an unnamed Manhattan office, classic office personalities—from the cube-mate who gives unwanted backrubs to the guy who always orders one too many at happy hour—comprise the “layoff narrative for our times” (NYT).

Twirling in a bright yellow dress, Marissa Lichwick gives us a taste of her upcoming one-woman show at The Sixteenth Annual New York International Fringe Festival. Yellow Dress, an interactive coming of age story, features over 20 characters on a journey of discovery from the perspective of a Korean American adoptee. LA Theater Review calls Lichwick “a star… [The] show is genuine and satisfying, thanks to Lichwick’s hard work and her compelling life story.”

Henry Chang, author of the Chinatown noir trilogy, will read from Red Jade: A Detective Jack Yu Investigation. Chinese-American NYPD detective Jack Yu returns to Chinatown when police discover two bodies on Doyers Street, the “Bloody Angle”. Is it a simple murder-suicide? Detective Yu does not think so. Kirkus Reviews calls the novel: “A sharp mix of action, post-Wire procedural and cultural commentary aimed squarely at readers who aren’t overly attached to happy, or even conclusive, endings.”

No All-Stars open mic would be complete without resident funnypeople to anchor the team. Up-and-coming stand-up comedians Elahe Izadi and Gibran Saleem get the job done. By day, Izadi covers the controversies of Councilman Barry’s “dirty (Asian) shops” and the symbiotic relationship between rock stars and Ethiopian restaurants. By night, she dispells post-9/11 prejudices and pokes fun at her Persian heritage. Not to be outdone—Saleem, nominated as the MVP of the Rooftop Comedy / TBS College festival, will leave you in stitches. Check out his winning set here.

Sign-ups for open mic start at 7:30pm.

Mouth to Mouth is AAWW’s monthly open mic, hosted by performer Jen Kwok and novelist Ed Lin, bringing together literary writers, stand-up comedians and you. 


Henry Chang is a New Yorker, a native son of Chinatown and the Lower East Side. His poems have appeared in the seminal Yellow Pearl anthology and in Gangs In New York’s Chinatown. He has written for Bridge Magazine, and his fiction has appeared in On A Bed Of Rice and in the NuyorAsian Anthology. His debut novel Chinatown Beat garnered high praise from the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, among others. He resides in the Chinatown area and his third book of the Chinatown trilogy, Red Jade, was published fall 2012.

Elahe Izadi is a Washington, D.C.-based standup comic. She grew up in rural Maryland and is the daughter of Iranian immigrants who own an Italian restaurant (talk about identity issues!). Elahe has performed at DC Improv, Riot Act, BloomBars and SuluDC. She’s also a reporter covering Congress for National Journal and previously ran a D.C.-based NPR blog on race and class. Follow her @ElaheIzadi.

Marissa Lichwick is a union actress and a recent graduate from the Professional Actors Training Program at the University of Washington in Seattle where she received her MFA. She has worked in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, and South Korea. She recently completed her one woman show Yellow Dress which will premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this June. Information can be found on the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Prior to completing graduate school she spent last summer at the prestigious Guthrie Theatre as an ensemble member of the Guthrie Experience for Actors. She can next be seen in Yellow Dress, conceived, written and directed by the actress at Comedy Sportz LA.

Ed Park is a founding editor of The Believer and the former editor of the Voice Literary Supplement, and has worked as an editor at the Poetry Foundation. His articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in The New York TimesBookforum, and other publications. From 2007 to 2011, he wrote a science fiction column, Astral Weeks, for the Los Angeles Times. His novel, Personal Days, was published by Random House in May 2008 and was a finalist for the PEN Hemingway Award, The John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, and the Asian American Literary Award. It was named one of TIME’s Top Ten Fiction Books of the year and one of The Atlantic‘s top ten pop culture moments of the decade.

Gibran Saleem was born in Greensborro, North Carolina and raised in Northern Virginia.  He started comedy while attending graduate school for psychology in New York City, performing for the TBS Rooftop Comedy College Competition. Although his team, NYU, was unfortunately eliminated, Gibran was individually handpicked as an MVP nominee on a national level out of hundreds of comedians. He also contributed to consulting with MTV on their development initiative entitled the MTV Millennial Project. As of this summer Gibran has just finished graduate school and is pursuing stand-up comedy, sketch comedy and comedy production full time.

Mouth to Mouth Open Mic: All-Stars Edition

Ed Park, Marissa Lichwick, Henry Chang, Elahe Izadi, & Gibran Saleem
Friday, August 10, 2012
7:30 PM
Asian American Writers’ Workshop
110-112 West 27th Street, 6th Floor Between 6th and 7th Avenues Buzzer 600
New York New York 10001
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