Since its beginnings in 2020, Unbidden Tongues has published previously produced yet relatively uncirculated work by cultural practitioners busy with questions surrounding civility and civic life—particularly in relation to language and its administration. Not only interested in overt forms of creative and experimental writing, Unbidden Tongues also considers documents that might otherwise slip through the cracks of interest, or of what is perceived to be writing and, correspondingly, publishing in the first place. As such, supplementary paperwork like nursing records and regulatory reports have been points of reference throughout.
The first seven titles—each dedicated to a single person, namely Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Karen Brodine, Adrian Piper, Janet McCalman, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Lorraine O'Grady and Naomi Pearce—have focused on people who alongside their practices also happen to have been, at one time or another, administrators of sorts. While this is not a calculated coincidence, the ways each of the women have engaged with language and its handling is what brings them together, particularly when it comes to the act of speaking up, out, or not in turn—often within the constraints of behavioural requirement, such as while at work or when flouting expectation to conform. Therefore, the series is an ode to unmediated expression, or, as the title goes, to unbidden tongues everywhere.
Each title is printed in black-and-white and made with the intention to keep production efforts low, easily reproducible and financially sustainable, so as to contribute as effectively as possible to a wider circulation of the work.