Michelle Tea is the author of over a dozen books of memoir, fiction, poetry and children’s lit — including her latest, Knocking Myself Up. Her memoir Valencia won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Fiction, even though it was obviously all true. It was also made into a sprawling, feature-length art film using nearly 20 different directors and different Michelles. Her recent-ish essay collection, Against Memoir, was awarded the PEN/America Diamonstein-Speilvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. She is also the recipient of the legendary Rona Jaffe Awards, and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow.
In addition to her writing, Michelle has instigated many cultural interventions aimed at increasing access and visibility for queer writers and artists. She is the founder of RADAR Productions, the Bay Area literary non-profit, and worked as Executive Director for over a decade, running a monthly reading and conversation series at the San Francisco Public Library, organizing a free, queer literary retreat in the Yucatan, operating an annual poetry chapbook contest, and many other events. Michelle’s last move as ED was to conceptualize Drag Queen Story Hour, the kid’s lit event that has since become a global sensation. She is the co-founder of the international performance tour Sister Spit, and founding editor-at-large for the online parenting zine Mutha.
Tea created and edited the Sister Spit Books imprint at City Lights Publishers, putting out work such as Lennelle Moise’s PEN-award winning Haiti Glass, and the best seller Rad American Women A-Z. She went on to establish the Amethyst Editions series at The Feminist Press, an imprint which continues to bring out award-winning work by queer voices.
Michelle produces and hosts the mystical Spotify podcast Your Magic, and fronts a weekly live tarot show on Spotify Live. Her 30-plus years as a tarot reader is encapsulated in her popular how-to book, Modern Tarot.