WHY SHOULD ONLY musicians get to go on tour? Since the mid '90s, Michelle Tea's traveling roadshow Sister Spit has packed poets, storytellers, and performance artists into a tour van, a touring brigade of queer-friendly, countercultural ambassadors crashing venues across the country and the world. Initially conceived as a way to harness the energy of San Francisco's poetry scene in the early '90s, Sister Spit has since featured such notables as Eileen Myles, Beth Lisick, Blake Nelson, Portland's Nicole J. Georges, and many, many more.
Sister Spit: Writing, Rants, and Reminiscence from the Road collects diaries, comics, poems, and stories from Sister Spit participants—some tour specific, some not. Nelson's tour diary captures an endearing disenchantment with the students at the colleges they're visiting ("generally I'm finding college kids to be a bit more clueless than expected"); Georges turns in a food-focused comic shot through with the crankiness of being vegan on the road; and Tamara Llosa-Sandor's entry is a dour reflection on that soggy Oregon logging town to the south ("Living in Eugene is like dating a girl you're slightly embarrassed by"). Taken together, it's an energetic, diverse collection in which wildly disparate styles and sensibilities all casually coexist—just like, one imagines, they do on the road.