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SWITCHYARD – Marissa R. Moss & Hilary Saunders

May 8 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

This is a *FREE* kick-off event for Switchyard at Mayfest.

Join authors Marissa R. Moss and Hilary Saunders to discuss women in country music, their past, present and future. Marissa is the author of Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Busted Up the Old Boys Club. This event will start at 6:00pm in the Algonquin Room at Magic City Books (221 E. Archer Street).

About Her Country:

This is the full and unbridled story of the past twenty years of country music seen through the lens of these trailblazers’ careers–their paths to stardom and their battles against a deeply embedded boys’ club, as well as their efforts to transform the genre into a more inclusive place–as told by award-winning Nashville journalist Marissa R. Moss.

For the women of country music, 1999 was an entirely different universe–a brief blip in time, when women like Shania Twain and the Chicks topped every chart and made country music a woman’s world. But the industry, which prefers its stars to be neutral, be obedient, and never rock the boat, had other plans. It wanted its women to “shut up and sing”–or else.

In 2021, women are played on country radio as little as 10 percent of the time, but they’re still selling out arenas, as Kacey Musgraves does, and becoming infinitely bigger live draws than most of their male counterparts, creating massive pop crossover hits like Maren Morris’s “The Middle,” pushing the industry to confront its racial biases with Mickey Guyton’s “Black Like Me,” and winning heaps of Grammy nominations.

Her Country is the story of how in the past two decades, country’s women fought back against systems designed to keep them down and created entirely new pathways to success. It’s the behind-the-scenes story of how women like Kacey, Mickey, Maren, Miranda Lambert, Rissi Palmer, Brandi Carlile, and many more have reinvented their place in an industry stacked against them. When the rules stopped working for these women, they threw them out, made their own, and took control–changing the genre forever, and for the better.

About Switchyard at Mayfest:

The University of Tulsa (TU), in collaboration with Magic City Books, announces Switchyard at Mayfest, May 8-11 in the Tulsa Arts District. This festival within a festival convenes writers and musicians featured in the latest issue of the award-winning Switchyard magazine to examine, celebrate and reimagine the future of rural America. Switchyard at Mayfest includes six events over three days with 15 speakers, including bestselling authors Bill McKibben, Monica Potts, and Jeff Sharlet, among others. Tickets begin at $10.

“Every election cycle, rural America is oversimplified and reduced to a set of easy cliches,” reflected Switchyard magazine Editor and University of Tulsa Presidential Professor Ted Genoways. “This issue of Switchyard-and accompanying talks at this festival-are intended to present a richer, more complex version of multiple rural Americas.”

Switchyard at Mayfest complements the latest issue of the magazine to present a multifaceted view of rural America that captures the dynamics and intricacies of this under-covered and often misrepresented region. Award-winning journalist C.J. Janovy describes coming of age as a lesbian in Nebraska. New York Times bestselling author Monica Potts documents the shortage of in-home health workers in Upstate New York. Jeff Sharlet, a finalist for this year’s National Book Critics’ Circle Award, explains how the hippie communes of rural Vermont became havens for conspiracy theory and hate. Bill McKibben, considered the leading voice on climate change, writes about how farmers and ranchers across the Farm Belt are joining the climate fight.

The alignment of the Switchyard magazine issue launch with Mayfest is no accident. University of Tulsa President Brad R. Carson said he welcomes the opportunity to bring new content to Tulsa’s beloved Mayfest tradition.

“Art, music, and literature are the soul of society; they reflect our deepest emotions, challenge our perceptions, and inspire our greatest achievements. At The University of Tulsa, we believe in providing a platform for writers and artists to share their unique voices with the world,” said Carson. “By fostering these opportunities, we not only enrich our cultural landscape but also empower individuals to contribute to a diverse and vibrant tapestry of human experience.”

Switchyard at Mayfest tickets range in price from $10 to $20 per talk, per person. TU offers an all-event VIP pass for $100, which also includes access to VIP areas of Mayfest as well as tickets to two concerts at Cain’s Ballroom: Waxahatchee on Wednesday, May 8, and The Great Divide on Saturday, May 11. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit switchyardmag.com or tulsamayfest.org.


May 8
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm


Magic City Books
221 E. Archer St.
Tulsa, OK 74103 United States
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