Miss Spoken is billed as “lady live lit”. This is not entirely true, in that it’s true but it’s not all. When we started this series, it was never the intent to be exclusive. However, we do choose to highlight stories by those whose work we know is underrepresented. Women definitely fall into this category, but this not where it ends: queer, non-white, trans, poor, and non-cis experiences are still woefully underrepresented in the live lit world and beyond. We are not the exception. We’re working on it.
A big part of our series is not only featuring readers who don’t get that exposure, but giving their feelings and history weight. The themes we cover are often dismissed as frivolous at best, lies at worst. We want to hear about your everyday, your personal, your feelings, because it’s real and that’s vital. Equally important is having a space where you can comfortably talk about that, get the audience talking and thinking, and maybe make a little money in the process.
Jesus Rose, stop with the PSA and get to the point.
Recently, we reached out to a reader who identifies as non-binary. It made me stop and realize: Miss Spoken welcomes non-cis readers. If your voice doesn’t get a lot of play, we want to hear you. No, this doesn’t mean we’re going to start having male readers. If you’re a man, especially a straight, white, able-bodied man, you are well-represented in the world and can seek out the multitude of options currently available. You will find there are many. The atmosphere we’re trying to create is one where tales that don’t get top societal billing can be center stage – a safe space to perform and listen. We also like if you’re funny, but like falling somewhere traditional on the gender spectrum, that’s not a requirement.
But but but Rose, you just said “lady live lit”, right there at the top of this post.
I did. It’s catchier than “genders less-represented in the artistic canon live lit”. Also, it’s our show and we can do what we want. Readers are chosen at our discretion. We think that makes the show great, and hope you agree.