Michelle Tea is a queer writer, editor, and curator of literary arts programs. She was born in 1971 in Chelsea, Massachusetts, a working class suburb of Boston.
Much of Tea's work is concerned with the working class, feminism, and queer punk culture. She is a fierce proponent of self-publishing as a way for poor and marginalized people to tell their stories, and got her start making zines. Most of her early writing was poetry that has now been collected into a volume calledThe Beautiful (2003).
Michelle Tea is perhaps best known for her memoirs: The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America (1998), Valencia (2000), The Chelsea Whistle (2002), and Rent Girl (2004), which was illustrated by Lauren McCubbin.
Michelle Tea has written a novel, Rose of No Man's Land (2006), and has edited several anthologies including Without A Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class (ed.) (2004), Baby, Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl's Writing (ed.) (2006), and Pills, Thrills, Chills, and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person (with Clint Catalyst) (2004).
Tea has also founded two notable literary arts programs, Sister Spit and RADAR Productions. Sister Spit is a queer spoken word and performance art tour started by Michelle Tea and Sini Anderson in the nineties and revived as Sister Spit: The Next Generation in 2007. RADAR Productions is a non-profit literary organization that produces events such as a writer's retreat and a free monthly Reading Series at the San Francisco Public Library.
While at Tulane as the 23rd Zale Writer, Michelle visited creative writing and gender studies classes, gave a reading from one of her works in progress (a young adult novel set in a futuristic dystopia), sat for an interview by gender studies professor Dr. Kate Drabinski, led a self publishing workshop, and read from her novel Rose of No Man's Land at the 17 Poets series downtown.
by Michelle Sands '10
"Michelle Tea." Radar Productions. 1 December 2009.
Transforming Community (2007)
Baby, Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl's Writing (ed.) (2006)
Rose of No Man's Land (2006)
Without A Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class (ed.) (2004)
Pills, Thrills, Chills, and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person (ed. with Clint Catalyst) (2004)
Rent Girl (2004)
The Beautiful (2003)
The Chelsea Whistle (2002)
The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America (1998)