Sister Spit

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Sister Spit was a lesbian-feminist spoken-word and performance art collective based in San Francisco, signed to Mr. Lady Records. They formed in 1994 and disbanded in 2006. Founding members included Michelle Tea and Sini Anderson, Other members included Jane LeCroy and poet Eileen Myles. The group were noted for their Ramblin' Roadshow, performing at feminist events such as the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. 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."[1]

The Independent Weekly magazine described the group as a "literary celebration of outspoken and courageous feminists".[2] 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.[3] They played at such locations as Boston, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Buffalo, New York.[4]

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.[5]

For a month on the road, Sister Spit: The Next Generation traveled across the U.S. and Canada, and occasionally through 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 only women. Performers have included Nicole Georges, Cristy Road, Eileen Myles, Beth Lisick, Blake Nelson, Justin Vivian Bond and Ariel Schrag.

In 2017, the 20th Anniversary Sister Spit tour included Denise Benavides, Virgie Tovar, Maya Songbird, Celeste Chan, Cathy de la Cruz, Juliana Delgado Lopera and Joshua Jennifer Espinoza.[6]

Sister Spit and City Lights Publishers[edit]

In 2012 Sister Spit made the long-desired leap from promoting and supporting up-and-coming queer, feminist writers to actually shepherding them into print via a collaboration with City Lights Publishers. The new imprint, City Lights/Sister Spit, began by publishing the anthology Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Road. Subsequently, it has published works by Ali Liebegott, Beth Lisick, and others. In their 40th-anniversary issue, Ms. magazine named the anthology a "great read" of the season that honors the cultural institution that is the Sister Spit roadshow.

The mission of the City Lights/Sister Spit imprint is to publish primarily but not exclusively writings that are informed by a queer, feminist outsider perspectives.[7] Editor Michelle Tea wishes to nurture work from people who struggle to find a place.[8]


Sister Spit had a rotating membership. Members for many or all shows included[9]



  • Tea, Michelle. Sister Spit: Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Road (City Lights, 2012). ISBN 978-0-87286-566-2
  • Felix, Dia. Nochita (City Lights, 2014). ISBN 978-0-87286-612-6
  • Moïse, Lenelle. Haiti Glass (City Lights, 2014). ISBN 978-0-87286-614-0


  1. ^ "Great expectorations: San Francisco's Sister Spit heads east" Archived 2006-10-20 at the Wayback Machine, Boston Phoenix, July 1997.
  2. ^ "Feminist/Queer Entrepreneurs: Mr. Lady Music and Videos", Independent Weekly, June 27, 2001.
  3. ^ Lynnee Breedlove's CV Archived 2007-02-09 at the Wayback Machine, includes Sister Spit festival appearances.
  4. ^ "Eileen Myles is an unregenerate punk at 50". Article on Sister Spit in the Village Voice.
  5. ^ "Quirky women spice up literary reading at Jake's"[permanent dead link]. Article on Sister Spit in The Olympian.
  6. ^ "Sister Spit - Performance" (Press release). University of California, Riverside. 2017-03-13. Archived from the original on 2017-03-04. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  7. ^ Jessa Crispin "Sister Spit: Writings, Rants & Reminiscence from the Road", Kirkus Reviews, 9/18/12.
  8. ^ Adam Rathe Tea and Spit- Out, 9/4/12.
  9. ^ Michelle Tea shrine, features line-up of Sister Spit.
  10. ^ Holman, Bob. "Mouth Almighty Records". Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  11. ^ "Sister Spit's Ramblin' Road Show - Greatest Spits". 29 May 2001. Retrieved 2017-03-28.
  12. ^ "Kriss De Jong" (PDF). Killer Banshee Studios. Retrieved 2017-03-28.

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