Hagedorn, Jessica Tarahata, 1949-....

Alternative names
Birth 1949

Biographical notes:

Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn was born in Manila in 1949. She moved to San Francisco in 1963, where she studied at the American Conservatory Theater. In 1978 she moved to New York, where she continues to work as a playwright, novelist, short story writer, poet and performance artists. She has won several Macdowell Colony Fellowships and the American Book Award in 1990 for her novel, "Dogeaters."

From the description of Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn papers, 1974-2006. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 170404865

Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn is a Filipino-American playwright, writer, poet, storyteller, musician, and multimedia performance artist.

Stephen Vincent founded the literary organization Momo's Press in June 1972. The press produced Shocks magazine, a critical periodical with a focus on poetry and poets of the San Francisco Bay Area and small press books featuring the work of new writers.

Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor at Duke University, received his Ph.D. from Yale University. His research and teaching interests lie in American art, African American art, and theories of race and representation in the African diaspora.

From the description of Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn correspondence with Stephen Vincent : and other material, circa 1974-1990. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 763497394

Biographical Information

Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn was born in Manila, Philippines in 1949 and immigrated to the United States at the age of 14 to live in San Francisco with her family. Her mother's background is Scotch-Irish-French Filipino and her father is considered Filipino-Spanish, although his great grandmother was Chinese.

Hagedorn studied at the American Conservatory Theater and published her first book of poems in 1972 at the age of twenty. Hagedorn continued writing poetry including Dangerous Music and Danger and Beauty while she was the lead singer and songwriter for the performance rock group, The West Coast Gangster Choir (later simplified to The Gangster Choir). She is also the editor of Charlie Chan is Dead: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian-American Fiction and Charlie Chan is Dead 2: At Home in the World . She wrote the screenplay for the film Fresh Kill, directed by Shu Lea Cheang. She was also closely involved with the animated short series "Pink Palace" which explored issues that an adolescent Filipino girl might have to deal with after emigrating to the United States.

Around 1978 Hagedorn moved to New York to build on her skills and experience as a novelist, playwright and musician. In 1988 Hagedorn returned to the Philippines to finish her first novel, Dogeaters, which after being published in 1990 received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Hagedorn currently lives in New York with her husband and two daughters and continues to write about her interest in issues surrounding the Filipino American's struggle to find a place between two cultures.

From the guide to the Jessica Tarahata Hagedorn papers, 1974-2006, (The Bancroft Library)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • American literature--Filipino American authors
  • Authors and publishers
  • American fiction--Filipino American authors
  • Filipino American authors
  • Filipino American artists
  • Women authors
  • Filipino Americans--Fiction
  • Filipino American women authors
  • American poetry--Filipino American authors
  • Small presses
  • African American artists
  • Women poets


not available for this record


  • Manila (Philippines) (as recorded)
  • California--San Francisco (as recorded)