Andy Bragen is a New York-based writer. He frequently writes about his native city, and is interested in layers of history and memory, ones that are personal to him, as well as layers of memory or history for the city as a whole. Bragen’s works include This is My Office, The Play Company, NY (2013); Vengeance Can Wait, a translation, published by Samuel French (2013); and Mobro, a jazz opera co-created with John Ellis (2011).
Bragen’s awards and residencies include Workspace, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY (2009–2010); Resident Playwright, New Dramatists, NY (2012-2019); and Jerome Fellowship, The Playwrights Center, MN (2006–2007). He received his B.A. from The John Hopkins University and M.F.A. from Brown University.
Photo credit: courtesy of the artist
Excerpt from This Is My Office
Here, come see my office. That’s it, right over here. Sorry, I know it’s a pigsty. My dad’s was worse. Picture this: Papers piled up on the desk, an ashtray overflowing (it was okay to smoke back then, everyone did it). Bookshelves with overstuffed binders teetering haphazardly, a spare pair of shoes, paperweights holding down sheaves of documents, chewing gum, candy wrappers and sandwich wrappers, mayonnaise stained ties, his bosses used to come in his office and say Bragen you’re building a rat’s nest in here, or, better get this office cleaned up Bragen, before we take it and you to the garbage dump. Of course he always believed they were joking, my mother says, and he didn’t change a thing. There was a dresser drawer back at home too, his drawer, full of broken watches, Camel unfiltered cigarette packs, spare keys, loose change, penny wrappers, paper clips, rubber bands, shoehorns, defunct bankbooks, and random business cards. I still remember its musty smell. I have a drawer like that too, in my old wooden desk at home, and if someday I have a son…