Open mikes in San Francisco circa 1994 tended to be ruled by male poets emulating Charles Bukowski and Henry Rollins, explains writer and Sister Spit co-founder Michelle Tea. "There was a lot of obnoxious drunk-dude energy at all of them," she says, laughing. So Tea and writer Sini Anderson started Sister Spit, a weekly all-girl open-mike night, as a refreshing antidote.
The show ran for two years in SF, and in 1997 evolved into a touring literary show. Since then, it's gone through many incarnations, but the mission has remained the same: to bring irreverent, queer-minded, feminist spoken-word artists from all over the world together for a night of lively literary performance. The current tour includes readings by activist and legendary novelist Dorothy Allison, writer and The Younger Lovers/Gravy Train!!!! musician Brontez Purnell, and Tea herself, whose prolific body of work includes thrilling confessional books like Valencia as well as the queer coming-of-age novel Rose of No Man's Land. "The people that we bring, sometimes it's the same person and the same piece, and you're both really identifying with them and really kind of getting your mind blown by them at the same time," says Tea. "A lot of our audiences are queers and feminists and outsiders who in general don't get their lives reflected back to them."
This unique night of literary performance comes to Denver tonight; the free program starts at 8 p.m. at St. Cajetan's Center, 1190 Ninth Street on the Auraria campus. For more information, visit www.radarproductions.org/tour.
Fri., April 13, 8 p.m., 2012