The Lit Revue No. 5

November 16, 2022, Room 31 NYC, 7:30 PM

Readings by: Frank Haberle, Melissa Castillo Planas, Andrea Ruggirello, and Tariq Shah

Music by: Sagit Shir (Hank & Cupcakes)

Born and raised back and forth from Israel and Australia, Sagit Shir started her professional music career early at the age of 18. After extensive auditioning Shir was one of few to be accepted into the sought after entertainment units in the IDF and found herself touring the country as a singer and drummer for the next two years as her mandatory military service. Upon completion, Shir went on to study at the prestigious ‘Rimon School of Contemporary Music and Jazz’ in 2003, where she won several awards and released her debut album which was produced by one of the top producers in Israel, Moshe Levi, and hailed by the press. In 2006 Shir moved to Havana, Cuba enriching her musical landscape by studying Cuban music and drums with world renown jazz musicians, she then returned to Israel to release her 2nd album. Shir moved to NYC in 2008 with her duo Hank & Cupcakes which quickly gained local and national attention appearing in publications such as the New York Post,, Huffington Post, Vogue Italy, Rolling Stone Russia. During this time Shir’s band was signed to BMG’s mammoth publishing house and record label and toured the United States and abroad for the next 8 years playing festivals and sharing the stage with artists such as The Roots, Placebo, Chris Isaak, Lucius, Of Montreal, Crystal Castles and more.

Frank Haberle’s novel-in-stories, Shufflers, about minimum wage workers during the Reagan era, was published in September 2021 by Flexible Press ( Downlanders, a novel following 5 transients into a fictional wilderness, is forthcoming by Flexible Press in November 2023. Frank’s short stories have won awards from Pen Parentis (2011), the Sustainable Arts Foundation (2013) and the Rose Warner Prize for Fiction (2021). Frank works at New Settlement in The Bronx, and volunteers as a creative writing workshop leader with the NY Writers Coalition and the Creative Center at University Settlement. Frank’s website is .

Dr. Melissa Castillo Planas is an Associate Professor of English at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY and the CUNY Graduate Center PhD program in English specializing in Latinx Literature and Culture. She is the author of the poetry collection Coatlicue Eats the Apple, editor of the anthology, ¡Manteca!: An Anthology of Afro-Latin@ Poets, co-editor of La Verdad: An International Dialogue on Hip Hop Latinidades and co-author of the novel, Pure Bronx. Her most recent scholarly book project, with Rutgers University Press’ new Global Race and Media series (March 2020), A Mexican State of Mind: New York City and the New Borderlands of Culture, examines the creative worlds and cultural productions of Mexican migrants in New York City. Her second book of poetry, Chingona Rules, was released with Finishing Line Press in September 2021 and was a Gold Medal Winner of the Juan Felipe Herrera Best Poetry Book Award, International Latino Book Awards (2022).

Andrea Ruggirello’s writing appears in Joyland, Redivider, Gay Magazine, The Baltimore Review, Electric Literature, Catapult, the anthology, Body Language, and other places. She was a semi-finalist for the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and attended the Tin House Winter Novel Workshop. She holds an MFA in fiction from West Virginia University. Andrea was born in Korea, adopted, and raised in New York City. After many years up and down the east coast, she now lives in Jersey City.

Tariq Shah is the author of Whiteout Conditions (Two Dollar Radio, 2020). A Best of the Net award nominee, some of his recent work appears in Joyland Magazine, Prelude, Whiskey Tit, Diagram, jubilat, Heavy Feather Review, and New Moons: Contemporary Writing by North American Muslims Anthology edited by Kazim Ali (Red Hen Press, Nov 2021). A former peace corps volunteer in Mozambique, Tariq was born in Illinois and now lives in Brooklyn, NY.


About The Lit Revue…

Digging Press presents The Lit Revue at Room 31: a reading series showcasing the lyrical alchemy of words & music. Hosted by Gessy Alvarez. Room 31 is a new beautiful and intimate listening room at Arlo NoMad hotel hosting live events, Jazz, Blues, Roots, Americana, Poetry and more.