The Poetry Brothel
The Poetry Brothel, The Poetry Society of New York’s crown jewel event series, is a unique and immersive poetry experience that takes poetry outside classrooms and lecture halls and locates it in the lush interiors of a figurative bordello. Based in concept on the fin-de-siècle bordellos in New Orleans and Paris, many of which functioned as safe havens for fledgling, avant-garde artists, The Poetry Brothel presents poets as courtesans, each operating within a carefully constructed character, who impart their work in public readings, spontaneous eruptions of poetry, and most distinctly, as purveyors of private poetry readings on couches, chaise lounges, and in private rooms. Poets performing at the Brothel are male and female, emerging and established, local and international, and they engage audiences in an immersive experience that flows seamlessly through the Brothel’s public spaces into its private poetry readings. Central to this experience is the creation of character, which for poet and audience function as disguise and as freeing device, enabling The Poetry Brothel to be a place of uninhibited creative expression in which the poets and audience can be themselves in private.