Poetry Brothel: Inauguration Day

  • Oberon 2 Arrow Street Cambridge, MA, 02138 United States

The Poetry Brothel is a unique and immersive poetry event that takes poetry outside classrooms and lecture halls and places it in the lush interiors of a bordello. Based in concept on the fin-de-siecle bordellos in New Orleans and Paris, many of which functioned as safe havens for fledgling, fringe and avant-garde artists, The Poetry Brothel's "Madame" presents a rotating cast of poets as "whores," 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, one-on-one poetry readings in back rooms. For a small fee, all of the "poetry whores" are available for these sequestered readings at any time during the event. Of course, any true brothel needs a good cover; The Poetry Brothel's is an immersive cabaret, offering live jazz, burlesque dancers, painters, and fortune-tellers, with newly integrated themes, performances and installations at each event.

This event will feature honored guest reader Janaka Stucky, house band, Hounds on an Island, burlesque beauties, Cassandra Estelle and Ginny Nightshade, tarot readings, body paitings, sketch artists, illusions, and of course, your poetry whores. 

Doors open at 7:30pm. The show runs from 8pm to 11ppm. Themed costumes and/or evening wear are encouraged but not required. 

About our featured reader, Janaka Stucky:

Janaka Stucky is an American poet, performer, and publisher. The founding editor of Black Ocean, as well as the annual poetry journal, Handsome, he is also the author of a few poetry collections. His poems have appeared in such journals as Denver Quarterly, Fence and North American Review, and his articles have been published by The Huffington Post and The Poetry Foundation. He is a two-time National Haiku Champion and in 2010 he was voted “Boston’s Best Poet” in The Boston Phoenix.

In 2015 Jack White’s Third Man Records launched a new publishing imprint, Third Man Books, and chose Janaka’s full-length poetry collection, The Truth Is We Are Perfect, as their inaugural title. Janaka’s poems are at once incantatory, mystic, and epigrammatic. His esoteric & occult influences, combined with a mesmeric approach to performance, create an almost ecstatic presence on stage.

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“Stucky’s raw works … give a dreamlike power to an antinomian religion of erotic love”
—Publishers Weekly