If you haven’t seen this video yet, why the hell not? Here’s me in various stages of the hustle - saving money for my US Tour!
- taken from the Brothellian Manifesto
“Brothellian individuals understand that our creative talents and imagination are sexually intriguing, and that this holds great mystery to others. There is no shame in ‘sexing up’ the arts establishment as the appeal is already there, it’s just rarely…
Apologies for being slack in my posting as of late, I’ve been preparing for ‘The Caravan’ and ‘Gomorrah’, (both carnivals of artists ‘prostituting’ their work for the public, in association with the UK Poetry Brothel). There will be a Poetry Brothel, of course, but there will also be a number of rather wonderful sideshows, each tailored for those daunted by the idea of hiring a private Poetry Whore.
Both of these shows will be held in Leicester City, England. The Caravan is on Saturday 20th and Gomorrah will be Saturday 27th August. You can check out more details and precise locations on the website: www.gomorrah.co.uk
Here is a brief account of the history of the Poetry Brothel. It is liable for modification as more information exposes itself, but for now (as far as I’m aware) this is the most comprehensive history available on our Movement:
Jimmy Cairney and Chris Parkinson hold the world’s first Poetry Brothel in a converted house as part of the 2007 Brighton Fringe Festival, UK. This was largely a tongue-in-cheek, comedy-edged approach and won numerous awards including “Best Literary Event” - beating Gordon Brown (the UK Prime Minister) and his series of Economics Lectures into second place.
Stephanie Berger (The Madame) visits the Brighton Poetry Brothel, then returns to the US and writes to Cairney and Parkinson to ask if she could twist the original approach to a more seductive affair. Cairney and Parkinson accept this, and in early 2008 Berger and Nicholas Adamski (Tennessee Pink) set up the NYC Poetry Brothel in fin de siecle style.
Kiely Sweatt (Madame Eva) moves from being an NYC Poetry Whore to the Barcelona Madame, bringing NYC’s classy version of the Poetry Brothel to Europe in April 2009 (during Spain’s Poetry Week).
Timothy Grayson (Mr. Grayson) meets with Cairney in Brighton. Cairney tells him about the Poetry Brothel idea, how it’s spread to NYC and mentions it might make sense to bring it to Leicester. Grayson researches the NYC brothel and contacts them to see if Leicester could be associated with them, (to reinforce the feeling of the ‘movement’). Berger agrees to this, Grayson advises Daniel Lamoon (of From Dusk 2 Dawn Magazine) of his wish to host this internationally acclaimed show, who in turn enlists the expertise of local cultural oracle Carol Leeming (Madame Caramel). The Leicester Poetry Brothel is launched in 2009 with ties to NYC and Barcelona, bringing the Poetry Brothel back to the UK and incorporating a spectrum of Byronic influences.
Berger and her bordello partner Adamski take a travelling troupe of Poetry Whores to a number of cities within the US, including Washington DC and LA, hosting one-off shows with local poets from each city and spreading the word of the movement across the US. They eventually arrive in Chicago and employ a few local poets including Susan Yount (Black-eyed Susan). Berger later discusses the show with Yount, who is inspired to keep the show running in Chicago (with ties to NYC, Barcelona & Leicester). Yount moves from being a Poetry Whore to the ‘Madam’ (dropping the ‘e’) of the Chicago Poetry Brothel. An all Chicago cast is organized with a Victorian theme (inspired by the infamous Chicago Everleigh Club) and their first all Chicago show was Sept. 24, 2010.
In October 2011, Timothy Grayson travelled to the US to meet with the hosts of the New York & Chicago Poetry Brothels and spread the findings of the English Brothellian Movement from the pages of the Brothellian Manifesto. It is noted that there is apparent tension growing between the two, as it was learnt that a contract was sent from New York to Chicago to ask them to pay for the right to use the name ‘Poetry Brothel’. Chicago refused, and New York concedes, allowing them to continue to host the Poetry Brothel.
The Brothellian War begins in January 2012, when New York was awarded the US Trademark for the term ‘Poetry Brothel’, and a lawyer immediately contacts Chicago to cease and desist trading under that name. This outrages Chicago, the current UK Poetry Brothel as well as the founders in Brighton, dividing the UK & Chicago Poetry Brothels from NY & Barcelona. Grayson accuses the New York brothel of profiteering and Mark Smith, founder of Slam Poetry, offers his support to Chicago. Chicago changes name to the ‘Chicago Poetry Bordello’ to continue operating.
The Brothellian Manifesto is published mid January 2012.
New York, in an attempt to rewrite history and cut ties with the UK, claims on multiple websites that the Poetry Brothel was ‘birthed’ in NY.
This ‘Brothellian Movement’ of writers, artists and intellectuals is continuously spreading with the proliferation of Poetry Brothels (inc. one-off shows held in Northern Ireland, Hanoi, Greece, etc) and is aided by the recent definition of the Brothellian ideal in the manifesto. It may be divided, but we’re now in three continents: North America, Europe and Asia You can join the English Facebook Group here or search ‘Poetry Brothel’ on Google to find a collective near you!
Had a great meeting tonight with friend and esteemed colleague Tim Grayson. Planning a tour of the US, we have so many ideas and plans it took 3 hours to get it into a coherent plan of action. New York here we come!
Here’s a photograph of the notorious Talulah Blue taken at Belshazzar’s Feast, Saturday 4th June. Thanks to everyone who came down; it was certainly nice to put a few faces to [tumblr] names! If you’d like to see more photographs from the night, here’s the link, (you may be in one!)
All images copyright Miles Kenneth Lance Marr, www.studio68.co.uk.
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