- $24 for one general-admission ticket (up to $32.49 value)
The Poetry Brothel
The bordellos of fin-de-siecle Paris and New Orleans housed more than just women of negotiable virtue. They were also creative havens where artists could lower their inhibitions and let their imaginations run free. In that spirit, The Poetry Brothel yanks poetry out of the confines of the classroom, dusts its face with rouge, and accessorizes with a full bar and a sexy mix of live jazz, burlesque dancers, fortune-tellers, and painters—and each branch has its own sultry roster of performers and artists.
Each cabaret event immerses audiences in a different theme, but the guiding principle is always the same: the brothel’s “madame” presents a rotating cast of male and female “poetry whores”—each a carefully constructed character with a rich backstory. Throughout the evening, the performers mingle with the crowd, give public readings, and burst into on-the-spot poetry whenever inspiration strikes.
The Poetry Society of New York
Layers upon layers of press clippings—three from the New York Times, others from Ploughshares and Time Out—cling to The Poetry Society of New York, whose diverse projects and events in the name of poetic excellence can't help but attract attention. After all, this is the organization behind the New York City Poetry Festival, whose poets and poetry fans gather annually on Governor's Island to cite verse, hone imaginations, and pole-vault using nothing but giant quill pens.
The Poetry Society of New York also pilots Brothel Books, a small publisher aiming to "[b]ring orange groves to New York City" by printing epic, affecting work. The society's other programs include an ongoing reading series that's hosted poets well-known and obscure since 1978, an immersive theatrical experience called The Poetry Brothel, and a video literary journal. It's all in support of the organization's mission statement, whose three-item list of goals concludes with a simple promise: "to never bore you."