Artsy Queers, literary babes, homos across the nation: RADAR Productions invites you to create the poster for our Sister Spit Tour 2016 that will cover the West Coast from Vancouver to L.A. We’re accepting submissions until Dec 15th. The winning artist will receive $150, an interview on the Radar blog plus bragging rights and our eternal gratitude.
- The poster should prominently state the name of the tour (Sister Spit 2016) and be designed to ultimately include images and names of all 7 performers.
- The poster must be an original creation and include no copyrighted material.
- Submit a low res mock-up on or before 12/15/15. If you win, we will ultimately ask for the high res completed work, which will have the following dimensions:
a. 11″x17″ .jpg or .pd file of 300 dpi
b. Add a 0.25″ (0.125″ to each side) bleed if the image extends to the borders. In that case the image should be submitted at 11.25″ x 17.25″
If your design is chosen we ask that you be willing to work with us following submission of work for approximately 5-10 hours to bring the poster to spec.
Send us an email with submissions or questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you need some new books this wintumn—that brief-clutching-to-the-sun-moment between autumn and winter—books you can devour while simultaneously nesting hard with your lover and listening to the new Adele single of repeat? Us too! Good thing that four incredible literary voices graced RADAR’s October Reading Series this past month and added some fresh material to our never-ending reading list. Keep an eye out for the complete version of RADAR Production’s Autumn Book List. If you don’t already own these books, we highly recommend surprise buying one for your bestie with every intention to read and write all over the margins of the copy before handing it off.
First on the list is Sara Jaffe’s novel Dryland. This book is exactly the kind of book you want keep safe in the inside pocket of your denim jacket until you hole up in a coffee shop and emerge two entire days later a better human for it. Dryland is a sensory experience. Jaffe makes a new mark on the literary scene with her first novel, stating, “I don’t hate anything more than I hate a writer getting up in front of a room and saying the inspiration just struck me—in fact, it’s detrimental.”
The point is: writing takes work. And it’s exactly this type of tenacity and resolve that produces groundbreaking works such as Robin Coste Lewis’ Voyage of the Sable Venus.
During the Q&A Robin Coste Lewis talks us through her process—giving the run down on exactly hours she spent studying, working multiple jobs, paying for childcare all while raising her daughter on her own. Lewis remarks, “I’m being so thorough and detailed here, so indulge me, because it’s important to remember our feminist politics while we discuss such things.” Let it also be known that Voyage of the Sable Venus just received the 2015 National Book Award. If you haven’t yet brought this one up to your bookclub, the time is now.
The process of sharing—sharing other writers’ works, sharing our own—is what RADAR’s Monthly Reading Series is all about. When writers get together and find courage to share their words and stories, its not vain or selfish; it’s community building, it’s opening the world up.
Allison Moon fiercely believes in this when she states that, “you should make the art that you want to see in the world.” That was the exact motivation behind the creation of Girl Sex 101. The easy to understand format of this book makes it possible for Moon, as a sex educator, to access communities of young people who need this type of information. But the anchor of
the night was undoubtedly Elizabeth Beier’s comic We Belong: Collected Stories and Portraits from the Lexington Club. The ghost of the Lexington is alive and well in the heartwarming stories Beier recorded of her time drawing in the corner of the bar. And let it be known that if anyone of you has a couple of million dollars lying around you want to invest in a new dyke bar, hit up Juliana Delgado Lopera to make that shit happen. Make sure to show your face at our next reading series on December 8th at 6pm in the basement of the SF Public Library.
Mud Howard is a queer trans poet with a lot of feelings who fiercely believes in the healing power of the selfie. Mud is a recent graduate of the IPRC’s low-res MFA Poetry Program and recently moved to the Bay Area for big, new dreamy things. Gemini Rising/Cancer Sun/Libra Moon.
Joanna Villegas: Queer Chicanx Poet Performing @ Hella Close: Stories of Fat Queer Intimacy 11/17/15
RADAR: What does “intimacy” mean to you?
RADAR Productions is looking for two interns passionate about queer literary arts! This is part-time, unpaid, college-credit required (Summer or Fall semester 2015). These are hourly positions with highly flexible schedules.
If you are interested in an internship, you should submit:
1. A resume
2.Relevant work samples
3.Your dates of availability. We ask that each intern dedicate between 8-16 hours to RADAR every week for the length of the semester.
Who we are: Founded in 2003 by writer Michelle Tea, RADAR Productions nurtures queer artists and audiences by organizing literary arts programs that authentically reflect Queer communities’ experiences. RADAR’s presenting, commissioning, touring and professional development programs give voice to innovative Queer writers and artists and explores the community-building role played by literature and the arts.
You will have firsthand experience inside the leading queer literary arts organizations in SF!
•Write pieces of varying lengths for our blog.
•Cover RADAR’s events.
•Other various editorial tasks.
•Above all: passionate about queer literary arts.
•Excellent multi-tasking and writing skills.
•Highly proactive and motivated with a positive attitude.
•Exceptional written and verbal skills.
GRAPHIC/WEB DESIGN INTERN
•Assist in handling media and editing photographs from our events.
•Develop graphic content for social media and website.
•Help with newsletter design.
•Above all: passionate about queer literary arts.
•Strong working knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver).
•HTML and CSS.
•Drawing/illustrating knowledge (a plus but not required).
•Understanding of typography (a plus but not required)
Let us know if you have any questions!
Open until filled.
Please email: email@example.com
When you get the pleasure of hearing Thomas McBee share from his history, you’re kind of immediately.. smitten. Though based out of New York, you Bay Area babes are in luck because he’s going to be in town in a big way in October.
Oh.. yeah.. and Radar totally snagged him for the 2015 Sister Spit Tour (lots and lots of details on that forthcoming, but mark your calendars for Mar-April 2015 in spots like Chicago, Arcata, New York, LA and lotslots more and we’re still booking).
We’re STOKED! THRILLED! And filled with the kind of joy that is typically only inspired by having a thousand tiny kittens crawling all over us that Thomas’ new book MAN ALIVE: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming A Man is out in the world, available in print and exploding on the interwebs as we speak. Out from the City Lights/Sister Spit imprint, this book has already been described as “exquisitely written” by Jack Halberstam and a “sweet, tender hurt of a memoir” by Roxane Gay.
We want you to know all there is to know about this book and about Thomas and make the discussion around masculinity and identity accessible to EVERYone on the internets (just in case you happen to miss him while he’s on tour with the book) so we curated a blog tour for MAN ALIVE.
Blog Tour Details:
Throughout October, Thomas and Man Alive will be featured on the following sites:
- October 3: Largehearted Boy
- October 7: HTML Giant
- October 9: RADAR Blog
- October 10: The Handsome Butch
- October 13: Schmutzie
- October 14: Lesbian Dad
- October 15: Fanzine
Some of the blog tour dates are still tentative. We’ll post updates and links on the Radar Facebook page as well as Twitter. Follow us for updates about Radar events, the Sister Spit tour, and our favorite artists! Support the book by adding the hashtag #ManAliveMonth to your social media updates.
Poet Samuel Ace spoke to Juliana Spahr and David Buuck about their collaborative new book, An Army of Lovers (City Lights), on the verge of its release and their subsequent reading at The RADAR Reading Series this Tuesday, October 15th.
SAMUEL ACE: Juliana – back in your 2001 book /Everybody’s Autonomy/, you talked about “the communities that works encourage… ” Now, in 2013, for both of you, how have your perceptions of writers and their communities, changed? Do you see an evolution? Are you hopeful or discouraged?
JULIANA SPAHR: I don’t know. That book feels so out of date to me that I can’t stand to look at it. That said, community formations still feel crucial to me to understand how poetry and other than realist fiction circulate in the US. And I don’t think you can understand literature without understanding these networks. I’m neither hopeful nor discouraged about this. It just seems an obvious fact.
SAMUEL ACE: Who are the writers/thinkers who motivated your own thinking about community and poetry?
DAVID BUUCK: This would make for an impossibly long list, from Antigone to Marx to Stein to Cesaire, from third-world revolutionaries to European anarchists to Cultural Front artists to feminist performance artists to avant-garde jazz to Latin American novelists to postcolonial theorists to contemporary poets to our comrades in the recent political movements in Oakland to to to…
SAMUEL ACE: You both teach at the college level in California. And both of you have considered deeply the problematic relationship of the academy to the practice of poetry. Could you talk about some of the methods you use with your students to engage them and their work beyond the academy?
JULIANA SPAHR: At the most simple level, I start each graduate class by having everyone share what sorts of poetry events they went to in the last week. I’m trying to suggest they should go to something without mandating it. It often doesn’t work. But sometimes it does.
DAVID BUUCK: I teach composition (and not poetry) but still use so-called creative writing techniques to investigate all kinds of questions both inside and outside the classroom.
SAMUEL ACE: The “What We Talk About When We Talk About Poetry” chapter reminded me of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and his meeting with the writer Nick Green. As Green becomes more and more inebriated, he starts to make sweeping, negative and gossipy comments about the poets and poetic practices of his time. Orlando, hoping to be initiated by a ‘true’ poet, has most, if not all, of his projections shattered about the nature of writers, and the art of poetry, especially after his aspirations are cruelly (and publicly) made fun of by Green. In your chapter as well, poetry and the poets who make poetry (especially avant-garde poetry) are roasted and satirized by their own drunken attempts to find meaning in what they are doing. Could you talk more about these characters and the project/projections of contemporary poetry?
JULIANA SPAHR: We thought of this piece, which keeps the realist fiction form of Raymond Carver and just puts different words in the mouths of each character, less as a roast and more as playful investigation. We don’t hate the Carver, in other words. And we don’t hate the avant garde either. But are more fascinated by the limitations and possibilities of both Carver-esque realism and the avant garde.
SAMUEL ACE: I know that both of you are at Santa Cruz at the Revolution and/or Poetry Conference. What are your expectations for the weekend, or, if you are looking at this post-conference, are you energized or disillusioned or both and why?
JULIANA SPAHR + DAVID BUUCK: Cautiously energized. Somewhat in love. Hoping it will lead to new and better forms of transnational solidarity. Planning to fly over for the next big UK antagonism and follow Sean Bonney around. Planning to work harder to extend the work (both artistic and political) beyond the local scenes and movements. Planning to have a less blinkered view of the world.
SAMUEL ACE: The collaborative process between Demented Panda and Koki is at the core of the book – their earnest meetings at a border land over an entire summer, their individual practices and stutters, their connection to their bodies and their own writing and/or art practices (and how those practices might literally be sickening them). In the title chapter at the end of the book, something fantastical (dare I say /transcendent/?) happens as the result of a spell they use in their last ditch effort to make something happen in their collaboration. That spell seems to owe much to CA Conrad’s somatic(s) practice, as well as other incantatory practices. Could you talk about what happens here in reference to all that comes before? And what is finally left here for poetry?
JULIANA SPAHR + DAVID BUUCK: This story might be saying, as most of the book might be saying, that as much as you talk about how poetry doesn’t do much, it does do some things. Although these things it does might not necessarily be nice or comforting. At the least the book seems to be saying that poetry might possibly fuck up your body. And it seems to also suggest that it might lead you astray and into the war machine, whether you like it or not. But yes to the debt to CA Conrad. For sure. I’d add that that chapter grew out of various hypnotherapy templates, which are an interesting form of language use, just weird and new-agey enough to befit our anti-heroes in their quest to find new multitudes with which to merge.
SAMUEL ACE: (I asked two writer friends here in Tucson what they would like to ask you both if they had the chance. Here are their questions):
What are the characteristics of an interesting work on-site? What makes a particular site worthwhile for attention? What factors go into a successful performance/ interaction on site – and what’s an alternative way of valuing an interaction in lieu of any kind of record?
DAVID BUUCK: Any site could be potentially interesting for art and/or intervention, though as we discovered (and is somewhat lampooned in the first chapter), this doesn’t mean it is easy, or that all site-work (writing, performance, actions, whatever) will necessarily make for *good* or interesting results.
Who is your /we/?
DAVID BUUCK: Our we is utopian, an impossible yet necessary aspiration (if it is to move beyond two friends to some kind of revolutionary collective) and in the book we hope that by the end this we becomes expansive and alive, if however unwieldy and unpredictable as any army of lovers would be in our time—
Samuel Ace is the author of three collections of poetry: Normal Sex (Firebrand Books), Home in three days. Don’t wash., a hybrid project of poetry, video and photography (Hard Press), and most recently Stealth, co-authored with Maureen Seaton (Chax Press). He is a recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts grant, two-time finalist for a Lambda Literary Award in Poetry, winner of the Astraea Lesbian Writer’s Fund Prize in Poetry, The Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction and the Firecracker Alternative Book Award in Poetry. His work has been widely anthologized and has appeared in or is forthcoming from, Ploughshares, Eoagh, Spiral Orb, , Kenyon Review, van Gogh’s Ear, Rhino, 3:am, Trickhouse, The Volta, and others. He lives in Tucson, AZ and Truth or Consequences, NM.
Juliana Spahr + David Buuck read alongside Phoebe Gloeckner, Holly Hughes and Jerry Stahl at The RADAR Reading Series / LitQuake Edition Tuesday, October 15th at the San Francisco Public Library.
In Real Man Adventures, T Cooper interrogates and explores his experiences of being a trans man, both personally and in community. A collection of essays and interviews, dotted with clip art, it is a book with the feel of a ‘zine – uber-personal, unafraid to expose self-doubt and fear, illustrated with hand-drawn graphs and photos. The book is threaded with haiku-like six-word memoirs, actual haikus, interviews with the parents of his trans male friends, tributes to admired writers, pictures of shirtless trans men with unicorn heads, lists of short men, an in-depth investigation to when men pee sitting down and why, and interviews with his own wife and brother. It is by turns absurdly hilarious and upsetting (the piece about trying to get a passport captures that gamut of emotion perfectly), and here is a Lookbook I made for it:
Hear T Cooper at the RADAR Reading Series Wednesday, February 6th with Nicole J Georges, Amrit Donaldson and Arisa White. San Francisco Public Library, Latino Reading Room, 6pm, Free.
Shawna Elizabeth is a PhD Candidate specializing in Queer Theory. Some
of her writing can be found online at femmetheory.com and she has also
been a Guest Blogger for Ironing Board Collective
She is originally from Canada.
Over the next few months Nicole J. Georges, zinester, illustrator, and pet portrait artist extraordinaire will be leaving her home in Portland, Oregon to tour extensively in support of her recently published graphic novel memoir Calling Dr. Laura. Nicole took some time out before her whirlwind reading schedule to answer some questions for the RADAR Blog.
When did you start making autobiographical comics?
I believe my first autobiographical comics were in high school. I drew comics about my teenage life living with Beija (who is still my live-in muse). I drew them using really thin Crayola markers on a stupid Crayola pad. I published those in my zine at the time, which was embarassingly called “Kitten Breath”.
I started doing Invincible Summer, my long-standing autobiographical comic, in 2000, when I moved to Portland. I do NOT use Crayola markers any more, but I do still draw comics about myself and Beija. (Note: Beija is Nicole’s beagle/corgi/shar pei mix).
What are the advantages of storytelling and documenting your life in this medium?
I am able to draw scenarios much more quickly and efficiently than I would be able to write them. It is easier for me to draw the expressions of everyone in the room reacting to something than it would be for me to write an entire page describing what each person was wearing and how their faces looked when they heard this or that.
What other autobiographical comics, or graphic novel memoirs have inspired you?
Daddy’s Girl by Debbie Drechsler, Diary of a Teenage Girl by Phoebe Gloeckner, and anything by Julie Doucet. I am excited for Geneviève Castrée’s new book, which will undoubtedly be a new inspiration. I love her work.
Explain some of the work you do teaching others to use zines and comic strips as a form of self-expression and documentation. Why do you feel this is important for you as an artist and educator?
I teach children and adults about comics and zines as my day job. I am a teaching artist, going into elementary and middle schools, and I also teach adults for a good portion of the year through the Independent Publishing Resource Program’s Comic Certificate Program.
I believe in empowerment through self-expression.
With young people, I want to introduce them to the idea that comics don’t have to be fiction, or about super-heroes, and that their lives are interesting and unique. Creating media that reflects your viewpoint, and sharing that media with the world, can be life changing for those who discover it.
I remember the first time I saw a picture of lesbians with buzz-cuts kissing in a zine and I almost lost my mind. As a teenager in Kansas, it made me feel understood, not so alone, and willing to wait out the hard years when I found representations of people like me in zines and books. I want to recreate that experience for young people.
In my spare time I volunteer with senior citizens once a week. I have been doing it for six years. I make a zine about them called Tell It Like It Tiz, which is full of interviews and drawings, photos and comics about the seniors in question. They are like family to me. Grouchy family, of course. I just received a grant through RACC (the Regional Art and Culture Council) to create a book based on our zine work together.
I saw you present a slideshow of material where you told the story of calling the Dr. Laura show a few years ago at Sister Spit in Portland, OR. Were you already working on the book at that time? Did the book evolve from material from your zine Invincible Summer?
I have been working on the book since 2007, when I first started reading a story about Dr. Laura on Sister Spit. I thought I was going to be finished with the book in time for the 2010 tour (that was the plan), but at the last minute there were some publishing hijinks and it was not ready for press. It required an additional year and a half of editing, which I didn’t know at the time. I went on tour anyway, because it was already planned, and I read bits of the book because I truly believed it would be out soon.
Some of the stories in the book are things I touched on in Invincible Summer but I started stringing them together into a longer, cohesive narrative in 2007.
How did touring with Sister Spit and going on the Radar LAB Retreat influence your creative process and progress on the book?
Sister Spit changed my entire life! I traveled the country reading my Dr. Laura Story in 2007, and this is how I met my literary agent who helped me to sell the story to a major publisher. I would not have made that connection if it weren’t for Sister Spit. Sister Spit also constantly introduces me to new, exciting performers and writers. Each year I find a new favorite author.
I worked on the book at the Radar LAB, and got advice and support from my fellow writers. The nice thing about Radar is that it encourages writers to support each other, and it offers young writers the opportunity to work with more established authors, tour their work to audiences they otherwise wouldn’t have accessed, and to have a space (a NICE space) to work on their writing in a hive of like minded individuals who all want the best for their project. What a dream!
I am so glad that RADAR exists.
How would you summarize the plot of the book?
When I was 23, my friend bought me a palm reading for my birthday. The palm reader flipped over my hand, and within about 5 minutes revealed that my father was alive. This was odd, because I’d been told he was dead my entire life.
I kept this information to myself, met a girl who encouraged me to ask my family about it, and that is the beginning of the book. It follows my relationship with that girl, with my family, and leads us up to the point where I call none other than Dr. Laura Schlessinger herself for advice.
It seems like the book reveals some personal information about your family, how do they feel about it now that they have read it?
One of my sisters has read it and really likes it and is proud of me, and happy that I revealed the truth. The rest of my family is letting it lay, which I think is a good idea. In general, they know I was in a very unique, incomprehensible situation with all of this Dad deception, and they support me working through it however I can. I made an effort to change their names and obscure their identities so that hopefully the book can stay in the comic realm, and doesn’t cross too far into their day-to-day lives. I love and respect all of my family members depicted in the book.
How did you make the leap from self-publishing your comic book zine to publishing with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt? What were the biggest surprises and challenges working with a major publisher?
I met a literary agent while I was on the 2007 Sister Spit Tour, and she really liked the Dr. Laura Story I was reading on tour. She wanted to know more, what happened with my family, and asked if I would consider adapting the story into a graphic memoir. I had a lot more to say, and this story meant a lot to me, so I was delighted to give it a shot. It turned out to be a life-changing experience, both personally and artistically. Working on the book helped me discover truths about my family that I otherwise wouldn’t have broached. It also helped me learn (the hard way) about things like layout, consistency, and working with a professional editor for the first time.
One of the most valuable experiences in all of this was getting to work with an editor and get feedback on stories to make them better, and more accessible for readers.
What’s the story behind the giant chicken on the cover of the book?
It shouldn’t have been that giant, but I was so fried by the end of the book, that when it came to the cover, I think I drew the chicken too big, but I couldn’t bear to go back and change it by the time I figured it out. So big chicken it is!
The book is full of chickens. I had chickens in the book, and was devastated by the loss of one of them in the story.
What are your current creative projects and what are your plans for the future?
I am about to go on a gigantic book tour with Cassie J. Sneider, so that is my current project- emailing every person in the known universe and asking if I can read to them.
I would like to do a book of autobiographical comic stories about my misadventures with animals. I would also like to find a way to go visit real life chimpanzees in Africa, or orangutans in Guatemala. I just really like them. I would like to draw them and find a way to make a difference in their lives through art. Maybe highlighting deforestation, poaching, or the entertainment industry. Something fun like that.
For details about Nicole’s upcoming appearances visit http://beijamon.tumblr.com
She’ll also be reading at The RADAR Reading Series on Feb. 6th!
A much-overlooked bonus of having a job as a model is getting TONS of time to read! When most people think of a model’s duties, they think of sitting for hair and makeup, being dressed in amazing clothes and flying on aeroplanes to glamourous locales across the globe. But guess what? These are all activities that go GREAT with reading books! I personally can’t sit still with nothing to do without having a book to stick my face in – with all those hours hanging around backstage and on the set, a model’s life is clearly a living nightmare without literature! Also, reading is my most favorite thing to do because you can do it while doing all my other favorite things – getting pampered, wearing outfits and traveling internationally! While you might think that becoming a writer, publisher, editor, teacher, librarian or arts administrator might be the ultimate job for book worms, I say no. Being a model is much better paying and allows for maximum reading hours and the purchase of any book you ever want for the rest of your life. Think about it. Also, fishtail braids are so pretty.
People think models are dumb because everyone hates women. Period. Our culture insists that women be beautiful, and then when they go and make being beautiful a career, it tells them they’re stupid. Also, The Great Gatsby is classic fashion literature. I can still picture in my mind the white, flowey outfits the ladies are wearing as they lounge in the parlor, and obviously it’s inspired a million collections and editorials, not to mention the wedding of two of the most fashionable writers I know, Thomas McBee and Michael von Braithwaite.
Something many misogynists and feminists can agree upon is that an interest in fashion is for morons. When I published my book It’s So You (I didn’t give it that title, BTWs) which is full of women like Kim Deal, Sandra Tsing Loh and Eileen Myles writing about fashion, some people thought it was super weird of me, because I am famously feminist or whatever. So dopey! But fashion is a great place to talk and think about class, race and gender, and you can still love the clothes while you’re doing it. Just like with any other kind of art! Now, onward.
Backstage at Marni 2005 – an especially brainy line, dontcha think?
Striped shirts and JD Salinger: Classics.
This model is like, ‘Sorry Jules, but try around the world in 30 days, okay? ‘Cause that’s my life!’
Um, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but whatever.
And America’s Next Top Model commits yet another crime against women and models!
She just finished reading it, okay?
That one model is SO PISSED that none of these books represent her life experiences, she’s sick of it! And that other model is just pulling out her hair with frustration with the straight white male literary canon!
I would recommend Look at Me By Jennifer Egan and Veronica By Mary Gaitskill if you’re hankering for amazing books that show models to be the complex and sophisticated women they surely must be.
I spend a lot of time reading a book with my cellie on my lap in case any texts come in, too! But I’m usually not getting a strip of hair sewn into my head.
Lily better not be committing the major bookstore crime of looking for what books you want in an in actual bookstore and then going off and downloading the electronic version! Providing she is not guilty of this very serious infraction, I will say that considering the heavy travel schedule of a model, they are excused for having Kindles.
Downtime with literature and flip flops. As models are excused for owning Kindles, they are also off the hook for the occasional non-beach wearing of flip flops, considering what their job requires them to stomp around in.
If you liked all this, you’ll love the I HOPEÂ ironically named Tumblr Models Can’t Read, where many of these photos were filched from.
Chase Joynt is a filmmaker, writer and performer who is coming all the way from Toronto to present some work at RADAR tomorrow. Which means that tomorrow’s RADAR will be INTERNATIONAL! So great! I caught Chase’s film Akin at Frameline this year and guess what? It was very poetic, perhaps even hauntingly so. Chase’s most recent visual production is more on the hilarious side, a book trailer for his in-the-works MAN LIBS, a memoir in the form of Mad Libs! I talked to Chase about his project here, come check him out at RADAR with Susan Straight, Michael Warr and fellow Canadian Mariko Tamaki!
Michelle Tea: What was the inspiration for a Mad Libs memoir?
Chase Joynt: In some ways, the fill-in-the-blank format of MAN LIBS is a direct response to what I experience as the fill-in-the-blank nature of how some/many/most trans narratives are told. How often do we hear a story that starts with âI always knew I was a (gender)â¦â and/or concludes with âI would like to thank my (nickname for a parent) for my intimacy issues.â I think those statements and sentiments can be true, but I also think that revealing the form asks the reader to question various parts. As much as the content of MAN LIBS is about me and my life, the format allows the details to quickly become about the reader, and/or if Iâve done it right, about (a famous 90âs sitcom star).
Â MT: What is the larger story inside that you’re telling?
CJ: I think MAN LIBS might actually be about the smaller stories. As a trans person, I so often feel like my life/experiences/identity get truncated by other story telling machines (medicine, media, melodrama), and as such I use this project as a way to tell stories about other things.
Â MT: Were you super into Mad Libs as a kid?
CJ: Actually, no! But I was super into playing soccer, wearing tuxedos, and doing karaoke in my basement for an audience of no one.
CJ: MAN LIBS is a book that you will be able to read like any other airport-available-paperback-
Â MT: Are there any books that tell their story non-traditionally that you love or were inspiring for you?
CJ: I feel inclined to google a non-traditionally formatted book in order to appear like I have done my research, but then I worry that the plethora of other things on the Internet will interrupt my flow. I believe that artists who endeavor to break form create opportunities for others to emerge; writers like James Baldwin and Dorothy Allison, filmmakers like Mike Hoolboom and TV lesbians like Ellen DeGeneres, just to name a few.
Â MT: What else are you working on?
CJ: I fly out of San Francisco immediately after RADAR to install a solo exhibition of my work at Access Gallery in Vancouver, which opens on September 7th. Back at home, Iâm in pre-production for my next film STEALTH, which is being made in collaboration with Alexis Mitchell, a Toronto-based genius. Iâm also writing my comprehensive exams for my PhD, so if you ever have trouble sleeping at night, feel free to ask me to elaborate on that more extensively.
MT: What are you reading right now?
CJ: Iâm reading The Devil Finds Work by James Baldwin. I also just got back from a cottage wherein I read every issue of US Magazine available to me.
Â MT: What will you be showing/reading at RADAR?
CJ: Iâm going to read/run a chapter of MAN LIBS called âOn San Franciscoâ. If for some reason that decision starts to feel too âvulnerableâ and/or âspecificâ, I might read the chapter called âOn Los Angelesâ; because nothing screams reading at RADAR like a good lesbian coming of age story from the lips of a Canadian transsexual.
MT: All right! I’m excited!
Catch Chase Joynt with Susan Straight, Michael Warr and Mariko Tamaki at The RADAR Reading Series, Wednesday, September 5th (tomorrow!) at the San Francisco Public Library. 6pm, free!