From scrappy beginnings in 1994, Sister Spit tours have since gathered a rotating roster of critically acclaimed participants. Courageous, hilarious, outspoken – these fierce feminists offer multifaceted approaches to passionate stage presentations. Tonight, writer and activist Virgie Tovar hosts author and zinemaker Myriam Gurba, “Self-Made Man” Thomas Page McBee, Rad American Women A-Z author Kate Schatz and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl, and drag artist Mica Sigourney. Our special L.A. guests are writers Francesca Lia Block (the Weetzie Bat series) and Nikki Darling (Pink Trumpet and the Purple Prose), and artist/performer Zackary Drucker. Check out the participants’ publications, for sale at the merchandise table, and enjoy refreshments from the cash bar all night!
ABOUT SISTER SPIT
From 1994-1996, Sister Spit was a lesbian-feminist spoken-word and performance art collective in San Francisco. Founding members included Michelle Tea and Sini Anderson. Other members included Jane LeCroy and poet Eileen Myles. Sister Spit was noted for their Ramblin' Roadshow, performing at feminist events. The Boston Phoenix described it as "the coolest (and cutest) line-up of talented, tattooed, pierced, and purple-pigtailed performance artists the Bay Area has to offer." The Independent Weekly magazine described the group as a "literary celebration of outspoken and courageous feminists.”
Sister Spit performed on numerous occasions at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, as well as on multiple tours across the United States, chiefly to LGBT audiences, including the Castro Street Fair, Pride and Ladyfest in San Francisco. Michelle Tea revived the tour in April 2007, calling the new incarnation Sister Spit: The Next Generation. The new group includes original Sister Spitters Eileen Myles and Ali Liebegott, as well as younger writers such as Cristy Road, Nicole Georges, and Rhiannon Argo. For a month at a time, Sister Spit: The Next Generation travels across the U.S., Canada and Europe, performing mainly at universities and art centers. In order to reflect changes in gender identity and sexual orientation, the line-up no longer includes just females. Notable recent performers include Nicole Georges, Beth Lisick, Blake Nelson, Justin Vivian Bond and Ariel Schrag.
Francesca Lia Block is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. She received the Spectrum Award, the Phoenix Award, the ALA Rainbow Award and the 2005 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as other citations from the American Library Association and from the New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. Her work has been translated into Italian, French, German Japanese, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Portuguese. Francesca has also published stories, poems, essays and interviews in The Los Angeles Times, The L.A. Review of Books, Spin, Nylon, Black Clock and Rattle among others. In addition to writing, she teaches fiction workshops at UCLA Extension, Antioch University and privately in Los Angeles where she was born, raised and currently still lives.
Nikki Darling is a student in the Creative Writing/Literature PhD program at USC. Her poetry, performance and experimental essays center around subjectivity, persona, and post-structuralist methods of deconstructing literary form and meaning. Her chapbook, Pink Trumpet and the Purple Prose, was released on Econo Textual Objects in December 2014. She is a columnist for KCET’s Artbound and is finishing her first novel, Fade Into You, a story of mixed race identity in the San Gabriel Valley during the 1990s. Her criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Art Book Review, Tomorrow Magazine and Public Books, among others. Her essay “Appropriate For Destruction” was included in Best Music Writing 2010. Her works and letters are archived in the UCLA Chicano Studies Department.
Zackary Drucker is a photographer, filmmaker and performance artist who uses a range of creative devices that all strive towards the portrayal of bodily identity, her own and that of others, obsessively infusing visual media—photographs, videos and performance art—with acute, masochistic emotional compulsions. Conceiving, discovering, and manifesting herself as "a woman in the wrong world," her work is rooted in cultivating and investigating under-recognized aspects of transgender history, locating herself in that history, and communicating her contemporary experience of gender and sexuality. Drucker earned an MFA from CalArts in 2007 and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2005. Her recent films include SHE GONE ROGUE (created in collaboration with Rhys Ernst), presented in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, New York; Fan the Flames: Queer Positions in Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Feminine/Masculine at ICA London; Made in L.A. 2012, the inaugural Los Angeles Biennial at the Hammer Museum; and, At least you know you exist, presented at MoMA PS1 and the 3rd Moscow Biennial of Young Art, among other notable venues. Her videos include One Fist; The Inability to Be Looked At and The Horror of Nothing to See; Lost Lake; FISH: A Matrilineage of Cunty White-Woman Realness; and You will never be a woman. You must live the rest of your days entirely as a man and will only grow more masculine with every passing year. There is no way out.
Drucker has also performed and exhibited her work internationally in numerous museums, galleries, and film festivals including the 54th Venice Biennale (Swiss Off-Site Pavilion); Curtat Tunnel, Lausanne, Switzerland; L.U.C.C.A. Museum of Contemporary Art, Lucca, IT; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tromso Kunstaforening, Tromso, Norway; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; Hammer Museum, REDCAT and LACE, all in Los Angeles. She lives in Los Angeles and is represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Myriam Gurba is the author of Dahlia Season (Manic d Press), a novella and short story collection that won the Publishing Triangle's Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction. She is the author of the poetry collection Wish You Were Me (Future Tense Press) and several self-published 'zines and chapbooks. Gurba worked as an editorial assistant for the defunct lesbian periodical On Our Backs, and has toured North America with Sister Spit. In 2014 she won RADAR Productions' Eli Coppola Memorial Chapbook Contest, an annual poetry contest that produced a letterpress printing of her winning manuscript, Sweatsuits of the Damned.
Thomas Page McBee writes the column "Self-Made Man" for The Rumpus and the new series “The American Man” for Pacific Standard. His writings on gender have appeared in the New York Times and via TheAtlantic.com, VICE (where he was the “The Masculinity expert”) BuzzFeed, and Salon. McBee gives lectures on masculinity and media narratives across the country. He lives in New York City. His first book, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man, is out now from Sister Spit Books/City Lights. Says Roxane Gay, “Man Alive is a sweet, tender hurt of a memoir. Thomas Page McBee deftly recounts what has shaped him into the man he has become and how – from childhood trauma to a mugging in Oakland where he learned of his body's ability to save itself. This is a memoir about forgiveness and self-discovery, but mostly it's about love, so much love. McBee takes us in his capable hands and shows us what it takes to become a man who is gloriously, gloriously alive.”
Kate Schatz is a writer, editor, and educator. Her book of fiction Rid of Me: A Story, was published in 2006 on Continuum Press as part of the acclaimed 33 ⅓ series. Her writing has been published in Oxford American, Denver Quarterly, Joyland, and West Branch, among other journals, and her short story "Folsom, Survivor" was included as a Notable Short Story in Best American Short Stories 2011. She is a co-founder and editor of The Encyclopedia Project. She is the Chair of the School of Literary Arts at Oakland School for the Arts, where she teaches fiction, poetry, and journalism to 9th-12th graders. She received her MFA in Fiction from Brown University, and a double BA in Women’s Studies/Creative Writing from UC Santa Cruz. She lives in Alameda, CA, with her husband Jason, 5 yr-old daughter Ivy Cat, 1 yr-old son Benson Bowie, Buzz the old dog and Henry the middle-aged cat. Her first book, Rad American Women A-Z, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, is forthcoming on Lil Sister Spit/City Lights. Like all children’s A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of A is for Apple or Alligator, A is for Angela—as in Angela Davis, the iconic Black Panther.
As student of theater and performance for 25 years, Mica Sigourney has specialized in physical theater, improvisation and site specific performance. Nine years ago he fled the proscenium stage and traditional venues and refocused his energies on go-go performance installations and the stages of nightlife; five years ago he created drag persona VivvyAnne ForeverMORE! and since has performed internationally on stages and festivals and at venues including the de Young and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and The New Museum in New York City. Sigourney produces the WORK MORE! series, a twice a year drag production featuring nightlife performers presented in a “real” theater context, where their processes are exposed, and their boundaries pushed. He is the creator of the long-running weekly drag arts event SomeTHING. As a writer his work has been featured as part of the Radar Reading series alongside San Francisco’s Poet Laureate. Sigourney is a founding member of the performance trio Nicole Kidman is Fucking Gorgeous, which recently performed at San Francisco's Asian Art Museum.
Virgie Tovar is a hot fat Latina femme writer and activist. 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, she went onto 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, Destination DD: Adventures of a Breast Fetishist with 40DDs. Virgie and her work have been featured by MTV, the San Francisco Chronicle, Bust Magazine, Jezebel, 7x7 Magazine, XOJane, Golden Gate Express and SF Weekly as well as on Women’s Entertainment Television and The Ricki Lake Show. She lives in San Francisco and offers workshops, lectures and coaching worldwide. Find her online at www.virgietovar.com.
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