Elevate Difference

Sister Spit: The Next Generation (4/18/2007)

Columbia, Missouri

Some of you may have heard about the original Sister Spit tours in the mid- and late-1990’s. The tours were organized punk-rock band-style: a shoddy van with nights spent sleeping on floors of anarchist collectives and punk houses, but instead of music these tattoo-clad queer folks delivered words from their newly published books. Original Sister Spitters, Michelle Tea, Abi Liebegott & Eileen Myles join with five, young, twenty-something female writers, many anthologized in Michelle Tea’s edited volume, Baby Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing, to share a new era of exciting writing in Sister Spit: The Next Generation.

The Rag Tag Cinema in Columbia, MO pays honor to its name: its insides are filled to the brim with mismatched comfy furniture for its patrons to watch movies on a large screen. For the Sister Spit tour, the space was filled to capacity with hott dykes, fags, transfolk, and other fans ready to take in the writings of these eight writers. Michelle Tea played the part of MC introducing each writer who read to the crowd from zines, books and folded up sheets of paper. As each writer delivered her work, she left the audience hanging in the hopes that we would buy her work to hear “the rest of the story.”

Nicole Georges, author of the zine eminvincible began the performance with a hilarious tale of moving after a tumultuous break-up with her girlfriend. Canadian writer, Robin Akimbo (pictured above), delivered her work next, a story about doing laundry in public and the negotiating that takes place when a creepy guy insists on talking to you. Rhiannon Argo and Tamara Llosa-Sandor presented their work next before some of the old skool “stars” hit the stage. Abi Liebegott read from her new novel The IHOP Papers, and the crowd laughed along hearing about the shenanigans of pissed off diner waitresses. Eileen Myles shot poems from her mouth in caffeinated blurts, while Michelle Tea read the hot teenage-girl-on-teenage-girl first kiss section of her newest novel, Rose of No Man’s Land. The night ended with slides and words from punk rock illustrator extraordinaire, Cristy Roads, who chose to read an excerpt from her new book, Indestructible.

I left the free show with a lighter wallet. Yes, I hit the merch booth with a vengeance. Don’t worry, if you live on the East Coast, you have almost a dozen more opportunities to catch these ladies live. And rumor has it that they are planning an October tour. Keep an eye out on their website (www.sisterspitnextgen.com) to see if they are coming to a college or community space near you.

Written by: Ailecia Ruscin, April 29th 2007

more and more i have been noticing these strange connections in my life, small but apparent, and this article illustrates that perfectly. unsolicited long story short: i have only dated 2 men my whole life (i'm 24). both were cheaters. the first one was a dumb high school thing, and i got upset when it ended. the second.. i went into it predicting it to be my destruction. i met the guy while he was on tour. a few days later i was robbed of my editing gear (i'm a film editor), and moments after that one of my best friends called to say my other best friend had just killed himself. here is where this article starts to tie in... i was broken, sold everything i had left and bought a plane ticket to LA to goto jordan's funeral (on my 21st birthday), then i was to fly to columbia, missouri to live with luke... the tour guy who had asked me out. it being winter, and i without a car or job, i found columbia less than inviting. the only place i found solace was at the rag-tag theatre, and over the course of my 3 months in columbia... most of my time was spent in this small comfortable bit of home. i quickly found out the guy i was dating had been cheating on me with, get this, 23 girls in 2 months. being at my breaking point, i realized i was tired of being the victim. i wasn't hurt. i was disgusted and pissed. so, in the ragtag theatre, i made the first of my now gigantic steps in feminism. i stated very clearly,"luke. i know i am staying in your apartment rent free. i know it is yours, and i have no ownership of it. but what you have done to me is so disgusting, disrespectful, and outright fucked that i need you to move out of the apartment and get a hotel till i can get out of here. i don't care what you do at that hotel. have an orgy with all 23 women you cheated on me with. i'll be your designated driver from the bar to the hotel, i really don't care. but you have lost the right to be near me, and i am currently in your apartment."i have never felt more powerful, and i recieved a standing ovation from half the people in the theatre (it was during an intermission for 'Kinsey'). and since then i have been fired from jobs, put in handcuffs, and threatened by huge names within my industry all to continue fighting for not just women's rights, but women's respect. i have never been happier. and it all started at the ragtag theatre in columbia, missouri... where i was so alone and out of place, so i had to fight back.