Author Event: Susan Elizabeth Shepard in Conversation with Jessica Powell

Join us for a special night!
Fact and Fiction will be hosting Authors Susan Elizabeth Shepard and Jessica Powell at 7pm Tuesday, Sept. 26th for a conversation and reading of their writing in the 2023 sex worker anthology Working It: Sex Workers on the Work of Sex

About the book:

"Fiercely intelligent, fantastically transgressive, Working It is an intimate portrait of the lives of sex workers. A polyphonic story of triumph, survival, and solidarity, this collection showcases the vastly different experiences and interests of those who have traded sex, among them a brothel worker in Australia, First Nation survivors of the Canadian child welfare system, and an Afro Latina single parent raising a radicalized child. Packed with first-person essays, interviews, poetry, drawings, mixed media collage, and photographs Working It honors the complexity of lived experience. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hardboiled, these dazzling pieces will go straight to the heart."


“If you ever want to know what is really up, talk to a sex worker. Working It is chock-full of harsh realities, hopeful activism, hot takes, sharp writing, electric intellects, dark humor—all from the culture heroes making their dollars at the intersection of all our country's worst problems. This is true outlaw writing, and the stories inside are of crucial importance for us all.”
 —Michelle Tea, author of over a dozen books, including Rent Girl, Valencia, and Against Memoir

“A serious, eclectic collection that takes a critical eye to the tricky questions surrounding care and work within our society. The thinkers in the pages of Working It have a lot to teach us about both.”
—Rax King, author of Tacky, and co-host of the podcast Low Culture Boil

“Under neoliberal late capitalism—where wage growth fails to meet the ever-growing cost of living, and the already-frayed social safety net is ever-receding—laborers in many sectors of the economy struggle to provide for themselves, their families, and their communities. Sex workers are among these laborers, and Working It offers what the editors rightly refer to as a ‘kaleidoscope’ of thought-provoking historical commentaries, academic examinations, personal narratives, and interviews. Interspersed with beautiful poems and creative images, the pieces in this collection, written by contributors representing a wide range of identities and experiences, offer readers an expansive view of sex work, while also highlighting sex workers’ broader struggles, triumphs, and collective efforts. Variously confronting issues including but not limited to racism, classism, sexism, police brutality, consent, and respectability politics, Working It indicates the challenges—but also the hope and radical imagination—of workers striving to meet their own needs and support each other in a broader sociocultural, political, and economic climate that is often hostile to their interests.”
—Samantha Majic, author of Sex Work Politics: From Protest to Service Provision, coeditor of Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism, and coauthor of Youth Who Trade Sex in the US: Agency, Intersectionality, and Vulnerability

About the Authors:

Jessica Powell has been stripping to put herself through life since 2003. She started a blog in 2009 because everyone had a lot to say about her job and she wanted to share how she felt about it. She is a co-founder of Tits and Sass, along with Susan Shepard. Having stripped in eleven states (and one US territory), she has a well-rounded background when it comes to being misclassified as a worker. She is ready to talk labor issues and really let ‘er rip. 

Susan Elizabeth Shepard is the proud holder of awards in the realms of both journalism and stripping. She was one of the cofounders of the sex workers' site Tits and Sass, and has written extensively on labor issues in strip clubs. Susan is from South Texas and recently moved to Philadelphia after multiple stints in Austin, Portland OR, and Missoula MT, where she was part of organizing the Missoula Independent, an alt weekly that was closed by its corporate owners in 2018 after the staff voted to form a union. During the pandemic lockdowns, she produced and hosted virtual shows for her fellow dancers from Mary's Club in Portland.



Event date: 
Tuesday, September 26, 2023 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Event address: 
220 N Higgins Ave.
Missoula, MT 59802-4435
Working It: Sex Workers on the Work of Sex By Matilda Bickers (Editor), Peech Breshears (Editor), Janis Luna (Editor) Cover Image
By Matilda Bickers (Editor), Peech Breshears (Editor), Janis Luna (Editor)
ISBN: 9781629639918
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PM Press - April 4th, 2023