Postpunk performance poet and writer Michelle Tea grew up in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Influenced by poet Eileen Myles and photographer Nan Goldin, Tea writes narrative poetry and prose that explore issues of class, queer identity, feminism, and autobiography.
Her numerous books include the poetry collection The Beautiful: Collected Poems (2003), the novels Valencia (2000) and Rose of No Man’s Land (2006), and memoirs Rent Girl (2004, illustrated by Lauren McCubbin), The Chelsea Whistle (2002), and The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America (1998). She edited the anthologies Baby, Remember My Name: An Anthology of New Queer Girl Writing (2007), Without a Net: The Female Experience of Growing Up Working Class (2004), and, with Clint Catalyst, Pills, Chills, Thrills and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person (2004).
A self-publishing advocate, Tea has won a Lambda Literary Award and was Zale Writer-in-Residence at Tulane University. Tea founded the literary nonprofit RADAR Productions and, with Sini Anderson, the spoken word tour Sister Spit. She lives in San Francisco.