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Artistic Director Michelle Tea organizes and curates all of RADAR Productions’s artistic programs. In 1994, Tea co-founded the legendary and long-running Sister Spit all-female open mics; from 1997 to 2003, Sister Spit conducted several national tours that called attention to the City’s emerging lesbian artists who performed to sold-out houses across America. Tea has published 5 novels, a book of poetry, numerous short stories, hundreds of Bay Area newspaper articles and has edited several anthologies on fashion, class, queer writing and personal narrative. Her novel Valencia won the 2000 Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction, a San Francisco Bay Guardian Goldie Award for Literature, and the prestigious Rona Jaffe Foundation award for early-career female writers.
In May 2001, she published a seminal article on gender and sexual identity issues entitled “What Is A Woman?” in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Tea’s article “Transmissions from Camp Trans” was published in Best American Non-required Reading 2004, edited by Dave Eggers. In 2006, both the SF Weekly and the Bay Guardian’s reader polls named Tea the Bay Area’s best writer. Her most recent novel, Rose of No Man’s Land, has been translated into Italian. She has received four Individual Artist grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission. In addition to her prolific literary output, Tea has curated/or emceed more than 1000 Bay Area spoken word events over the past fourteen years that have enabled emerging queer writers and performers to reach audiences of a significant size.
In spring 2007, Tea re-launched Sister Spit: Next Generation, an all-gendered and trans-inclusive national tour that presents queer and queer-influenced artists before audiences in universities, art galleries, performance venues, bookstores and community spaces throughout North America.
Her 2009 article “The Gossip Takes Paris” was selected for Best Music Writing 2010 and, with The Gossip’s Beth Ditto, Michelle Tea wrote Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir (forthcoming on Spiegel & Grau.) Her upcoming books include a Young Adult fantasy and an apocalyptic romance tome.