Sister Spit 2014 Performers
Chinaka Hodge is a poet, educator playwright and screenwriter. Originally from Oakland, California, she graduated from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in May of 2006, and was honored to be the student speaker at the 174th Commencement exercise. In 2010, Chinaka received USC’s prestigious Annenberg Fellowship to continue her studies at its School of Cinematic Arts. She received her MFA in screenwriting, in 2012. In the Fall of that year, she received the San Francisco Foundation’s Phelan Literary Award for emerging Bay Area talent. Chinaka was a 2012 Artist in Residence at The Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, CA. In early 2013, Hodge was a Sundance Feature Film lab Fellow for her script, 700th&Int’l. Since its early days, Chinaka has served in various capacities at Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project, the nation’s leading literary arts non-profit. During her tenure there, Hodge served as Program Director, Associate Artistic Director, and worked directly with Youth Speaks’ core population — as a teaching artist and poet mentor. When not educating or writing for page, Chinaka rocks mics as a founding member of a collaborative Hip Hop ensemble, The Getback. Her poems, editorials, interviews and prose have been featured in Newsweek, San Francisco Magazine, Believer Magazine, PBS, NPR, CNN, C-Span, and in two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry.
Rhiannon Argo is a writer and schooled librarian. She is the author of two works of literary fiction: the Lambda award–winning novel, The Creamsickle, and the YA-ish novel, Girls I’ve Run Away With. Her stories and novels have inspired both short films and German translations. Argo has performed her work in gazillions of bars, colleges, feminist squats, bookstores, and libraries. She has criss-crossed North America and Europe with Sister Spit enough times to have once acquired a mild case of scurvy. She also tours with her own band of literary renegades, the Moon Babes. Argo has been both a Lambda Literary and Radar Lab Fellow. She is the founder Moonshine Press, and co-founder of the Que(e)rySF, a collective that throws parties to raise funds for hidden queer library collections. She enjoys discussing the art of DIY publishing, sex workers rights, and animal spirit guides.
Virgie Tovar, MA is an author, fat activist and one of the nation’s leading experts and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the editor of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion (Seal Press, November 2012). She holds a Master’s degree in Human Sexuality with a focus on the intersections of body size, race and gender. After teaching “Female Sexuality” at the University of California at Berkeley, where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 2005, she went onto host “The Virgie Show” (CBS Radio) in San Francisco. She is certified as a sex educator and was voted Best Sex Writer by the Bay Area Guardian in 2008 for her first book. Virgie has been featured by MTV, the San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Huffington Post, Bust Magazine, Jezebel, 7×7 Magazine, XOJane, and SF Weekly as well as on Women’s Entertainment Television and The Ricki Lake Show. She lives in San Francisco. Find her online at www.virgietovar.com.
Dia Felix is a writer and filmmaker. She has written for blogs including City Lights and the Museum of Arts and Design and performed her work at many venues including Segue Series and Dixon Place. She is founder and editor of “Personality Press.” Her novel “Nochita” will be published through City Lights/Sister Spit in early 2014. She is an award-winning digital media producer for museums (Exploratorium, Museum of Arts and Design) and teaches and mentors teens in experimental documentary filmmaking. Born and raised in California, she lives in New York.
Award-winning poet, playwright and musician Lenelle Moïse creates jazz-infused, hip-hop bred, politicized performances about Haitian-American identity, creative resistance and the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, memory and spirit. Moïse is a current Huntington Theatre Company Playwriting Fellow. Her two-act comedy Merit won the 2012 Southern Rep Ruby Prize. She also wrote, composed, and co-starred in the critically acclaimed drama Expatriate, which launched Off Broadway at the Culture Project in 2008. Lenelle was the fifth Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. Her debut manuscript of poems, Haiti Glass, is forthcoming from City Lights/ Sister Spit. http://www.lenellemoise.com
A longtime fixture in the Bay Area arts scene, Beth Lisick has been a nightlife columnist, independent film actor, performance poet, band leader, and arts organizer. She is the author of five books, including the NY Times bestseller Everybody Into the Pool, and the co-founder of San Francisco’s Porchlight Storytelling Series. In 2012 she received a grant from the Creative Work Fund for her work with Creativity Explored, an arts center for adults with developmental disabilities. Her most recent book, Yokohama Threeway and Other Small Shames was published by City Lights/Sister Spit. She is currently at work on her comedy web series with Tara Jepsen, Rods and Cones. www.bethlisick.com
Jerry Lee Abram has spent the last 15yrs doing just about anything for queer artists. He has Tech Directed an extensive amount of projects including The Sex Workers Art Show, Homo A Gogo, Fabulous Artistic Guys Get Overtly Traumatized Sometimes: The Musical and Sister Spit, additionally his lighting in film can be seen in music videos by Hunx and His Punx, The Younger Lovers, Harlem and Brontez Purnell Dance Company’s film FREE JAZZ. He is honored to be a part of Valencia and will be screening his chapter on Sister Spit 2014.