Sister Spit: A Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Reunion Showcase
Acclaimed filmmaker Sini Anderson (The Punk Singer) and award-winning author Michelle Tea (Against Memoir) reunite as the original cocreators of the long-running queer, feminist performance tour Sister Spit. To celebrate Sister Spit’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Anderson and Tea bring together a dizzying array of contemporary queer and feminist literary talent for a cabaret-style event. Featured performers include Lynn Breedlove, Nicole J. Georges, Beth Lisick, Denne Michelle Norris, Kamala Puligandla, Brontez Purnell, and Vivek Shraya.
In 1997 Anderson and Tea daringly brought two vans full of poets, writers, and performance artists—among them, Guggenheim Fellow Eileen Myles and best-selling author Beth Lisick—across the United States for a month-long journey during which they staged shows in gay bars, all-ages punk venues, art galleries, and theater spaces from Los Angeles to Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was such a success that they did it again and again, bringing a new lineup of queer performers on each tour. By 2000 Sister Spit had toured with over forty writers and performers and recorded three full albums, including I Spit on Your Country with Mercury Records (1997) and Sister Spit’s Greatest Spits with Mr. Lady Records (2000). To mark Sister Spit’s twenty-fifth anniversary, honor the legacy of their tours, and celebrate the raw, DIY-energy of independent queer performers, Anderson and Tea will travel the country throughout 2022 and 2023, bringing an ever-changing lineup of established and emerging queer and feminist performers on a series of regional tours.
Lynn Breedlove is the author of the novel Godspeed and the performance text On Freak Show, derived from his one-man show of the same name. For his long-term contributions to Bay Area queer culture—from stints in music ensembles like Tribe8 and The Homobiles, to entrepreneurial accomplishments such as establishing the first all-female bicycle courier company, Lickety Split, and the pioneering, queer-centric ride share business Homobiles—Breedlove received a Certificate of Honor from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Breedlove last joined Sister Spit on its 1998 tour.
Nicole J. Georges is a writer, illustrator, podcaster, and professor. Her Lambda Award–winning graphic memoir, Calling Dr. Laura, was called “engrossing, lovable, smart and ultimately poignant” by Rachel Maddow. Georges's second graphic memoir, Fetch: How a Bad Dog Brought Me Home, is currently being developed for television. She is the creator of the podcast Relative Fiction with Oregon Public Broadcasting and hosts a weekly queer, feminist art podcast, Sagittarian Matters. This is her third Sister Spit tour.
Writer and actor Beth Lisick is the author of six books, including the New York Times–best-selling comic memoir Everybody into the Pool and the recent novel Edie on the Green Screen. Her recent projects include the feature film Mirror Moves and the serial opera podcast The Electronic Lover, for which she and composer Lisa Mezzacappa received a grant from the Gerbode Foundation. Lisick has also worked as a promotional banana mascot, a baker, and an aide to people with developmental disabilities. This is her third time traveling with Sister Spit.
Denne Michele Norris is the editor-in-chief of Electric Literature. A 2021 Out100 Honoree, her writing has been supported by MacDowell, Tin House, VCCA, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. It appears in McSweeney's, American Short Fiction, and ZORA. She cohosts the critically acclaimed podcast Food 4 Thot and is hard at work on her debut novel. This is Norris’s first time traveling with Sister Spit.
Brontez Purnell is a writer, musician, dancer, filmmaker, and performance artist. He is the author of a graphic novel, a novella, a children’s book, and the novels Since I Laid My Burden Down and 100 Boyfriends. He is the recipient of a 2022 award from the Rauschenberg Foundation for risk-taking in art and the 2018 Whiting Award for Fiction. He was also named one of the “32 Black Male Writers for Our Time” by T: New York Times Style Magazine. Purnell is the frontman for the band The Younger Lovers. This is his second time touring with Sister Spit.
Kamala Puligandla is a writer and editor in Los Angeles, whose autobiographical fiction and essays focus on queer love and futures. Her first novel, Zigzags, was published by Not A Cult in October 2020 and her novella, You Can Vibe Me on My FemmePhone, was released by Co-Conspirator Press in 2021. Puligandla currently works at the Feminist Center for Creative Work, directing communications and marketing. This is her first time traveling with Sister Spit.
Vivek Shraya, an artist, performer, and writer from Vancouver, British Columbia, is the author of the best-selling book I’m Afraid of Men, which was lauded by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel.” Shraya was a Pride Toronto Grand Marshall, a brand ambassador for MAC Cosmetics and Pantene, a director of the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation, and an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Calgary. Her debut play, How to Fail as a Pop Star, is currently being adapted for Canadian television. This is Shraya’s first time traveling with Sister Spit.
Anderson is an award-winning film director, producer, video art maker, and feminist art activist. Her films, The Punk Singer, a documentary about Kathleen Hanna, Catherine Opie b. 1961, have won several directing awards. For The Punk Singer, Anderson received The Lena Sharpe Persistence of Vision from the Seattle International Film Festival and the ARCA Best Director Award from the Distrial Film Festival in Mexico City. For Catherine Opie, she received HBO’s Best Documentary Short at the Provincetown International Film Festival, the Excellence in American Profiles Award at the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, and the VIMEO Staff Award at OutFest Los Angeles. Anderson’s current project, So Sick, is a seven-part documentary series that she has been making since 2014.
Tea is the author of over a dozen books, including Knocking Myself Up: A Memoir of My In/Fertility, forthcoming (August 2022) from Dey Street/HarperCollins. She has been the recipient of awards from the Lambda Literary Foundation, The Rona Jaffe Foundation, the California Library Association, and PEN/America. She is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. The author of the popular tarot how-to book, Modern Tarot, Tea is also the host of the mystical podcasts Your Magic on Spotify and Ask the Tarot on SpotifyGreenroom.