Sister Spit tour poster, 2014. Courtesy the artists
Sister Spit was established in San Francisco in the early 1990s as a weekly all-female open-mic series, cofounded by Michelle Tea and Sini Anderson. The duo launched the first Sister Spit national tour in 1997: two vans chock-full with cutting-edge dyke female writers and performers. Since its inception, Sister Spit has crossed the country many times and re-emerged in 2007 as Sister Spit – Next Generation featuring established writers alongside young, emerging queer and queer-influenced artists of all genders.
Hosted by Beth Lisick
Jerry Lee Abram has spent the last fifteen years doing just about anything for queer artists. He has Tech Directed an extensive amount of projects including the Sex Workers Art Show, Homo A Gogo, Fabulous Artistic Guys Get Overtly Traumatized Sometimes: The Musical, and Sister Spit, additionally his lighting in film can be seen in music videos by Hunx and His Punx, The Younger Lovers, Harlem, and Brontez Purnell Dance Company’s film FREE JAZZ. He is honored to be a part of Valencia and will be screening his chapter on Sister Spit 2014.
Rhiannon Argo is a writer and trained librarian. She is the author of two works of literary fiction: the Lambda award-winning novel The Creamsickle, and the YA-ish novel Girls I’ve Run Away With. Her stories and novels have inspired both short films and German translations. Argo has performed her work in numerous bars, colleges, feminist squats, bookstores, and libraries. She has crisscrossed North America and Europe with Sister Spit enough times to have once acquired a mild case of scurvy. She also tours with her own band of literary renegades, the Moon Babes. Argo has been both a Lambda Literary and Radar Lab Fellow. She is the founder of Moonshine Press, and cofounder of the Que(e)rySF, a collective that throws parties to raise funds for hidden queer library collections. She enjoys discussing the art of DIY publishing, sex workers rights, and animal spirit guides.
Chinaka Hodge is a poet, educator playwright, and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, she graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May 2006, and was honored to be the student speaker at the 174th Commencement exercise. In 2010, Hodge received USC’s prestigious Annenberg Fellowship to continue her studies at its School of Cinematic Arts. She received her MFA in screenwriting in 2012. In fall of that year, she received the San Francisco Foundation’s Phelan Literary Award for emerging Bay Area talent. Hodge was a 2012 Artist in Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA. In early 2013, she was a Sundance Feature Film Lab Fellow for her script 700th&Int’l. Since the Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project’s early days (the nation’s leading literary arts nonprofit), Hodge has served as Program Director, Associate Artistic Director, and worked directly with Youth Speaks’s core population—as a teaching artist and poet mentor. When not educating or writing, Hodge rocks mics as a founding member of a collaborative hip-hop ensemble, The Getback. Her poems, editorials, interviews, and prose have been featured in Newsweek, San Francisco Magazine, Believer magazine, PBS, NPR, CNN, C-Span, and in two seasons of HBO’s “Def Poetry.”
Dia Felix is a writer and filmmaker. She has written for blogs including City Lights and the Museum of Arts and Design, and performed her work at many venues including Segue Series and Dixon Place. She is founder and editor of Personality Press. Felix’s novel Nochita will be published through City Lights/Sister Spit in early 2014. She is an award-winning digital media producer for museums (Exploratorium, Museum of Arts and Design) and teaches and mentors teens in experimental documentary filmmaking. Born and raised in California, she lives in New York.
A longtime fixture in the Bay Area arts scene, Beth Lisick has been a nightlife columnist, independent film actor, performance poet, band leader, and arts organizer. She is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool, and the cofounder of San Francisco’s Porchlight Storytelling Series. In 2012, she received a grant from the Creative Work Fund for her work with Creativity Explored, an arts center for adults with developmental disabilities. Her most recent book, Yokohama Threeway and Other Small Shames was published by City Lights/Sister Spit. She is currently at work on her comedy web series with Tara Jepsen, “Rods and Cones.”
Award-winning poet, playwright, and musician Lenelle Moïse creates jazz-infused, hip-hop bred, politicized performances about Haitian-American identity, creative resistance, and the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, memory, and spirit. Moïse is a current Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow. Her two-act comedy “Merit” won the 2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize. She also wrote, composed, and costarred in the critically acclaimed drama “Expatriate,” which launched Off Broadway at the Culture Project in 2008. Moïse was the fifth Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. Her debut manuscript of poems, Haiti Glass, is forthcoming from City Lights/Sister Spit.
Virgie Tovar is an author, fat activist, and one of the nation’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012). She holds a Master’s degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race, and gender. After teaching Female Sexuality at the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2005, Tovar went on to host “The Virgie Show” (CBS Radio) in San Francisco. She is certified as a sex educator and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008 for her first book. Tovar has been featured by MTV, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Huffington Post, Bust magazine, Jezebel, 7×7 magazine, XOJane, and SF Weekly as well as on Women’s Entertainment Television and the Ricki Lake Show. She lives in San Francisco.