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The Poetry Brothel is Boston’s premiere immersive literary event, which fuses poetry, activism, vaudeville, burlesque, live music, magic, mysticism, and private on-on-one readings.
Inspired by the turn-of-the-century brothels in New Orleans, Paris, and Buenos Aires, many of which functioned as permissive spaces where marginalized, fringe, and avant-garde artists could experiment and perform their work alongside sex workers or while also performing sex work, The Poetry Brothel strives to promote empowered sexuality practices and radically open artistic expression.
At The Poetry Brothel, a “madam” presents a rotating cast of poets, artists, and artisans who operate within self-constructed character, “erupting into verse in public and luring guests into back rooms for private readings,” as described in The New Yorker. Central to The Poetry Brothel experience is the creation of character, which for each artist serves as disguise and freeing device, enabling The Poetry Brothel to be a place of uninhibited creative expression in which artists and audience members alike can communicate more authentically.
Artists performing with the Brothel are women, men, folx, people of color, queer, straight, emerging, established, local, and international, and their alter-egos are faeries, sea creatures, witches, aliens, virgins, whores, and everything in between. Some of the artists within The Poetry Brothel universe perform sex work in their off-hours. Because not everyone can take the