Last night, I attended an event at the Cock ‘n’ Bull Gallery in London, put on by a lecturer in the Creative Writing department of my school, called a Poetry Brothel. Apparently this kind of event is gaining popularity across Europe, and in New York City. The main dealio is this: rather than exchanging money for sex, you’re paying to hear poetry. At this particular P.B. you change money for “tokens” (£5 per) in the form of miniature playing cards. A blue card got you a drink, a red one got you a reading with one of the brothel girls (or guy). You could purchase as many tokens as you liked. Each courtesan was appropriately dressed in corsets, gorgeous skirts, feather boas. One even wore a top-hat (which was super cute), and the guy had on 1920s appropriate garb. I paid for a session with one poet-of-the-evening and totally got my £5 worth. It may have been because I was her first customer of the night, but she read me 4 poems, which shakes out to £1.25 a poem (like that cider deal I thought I was getting, except this one was legit).
The space is (as its name suggests) an art gallery. The current exhibition is a solo show by Kirsten Glass titled Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. Here are a few of my favorite pieces:
In addition to private poetry readings, there was burlesque dancing by Talulah Blue.
I had my fortune told, which was fun. I got an interesting (and scarily accurate) reading. My supervisor also read from the new book he’s been working on (and wore a feather boa to get into the spirit of things 😀 ).
I met new people, chatted with folks I already knew, drank lots of wine and beer, and had an all-around good time. I’d highly recommend checking out an event like this if you find one in your area! In fact, there’s supposed to be another one in London soon…
Tomorrow I’m attending a talk on vampires at Strawberry Hill House, and Saturday I’m headed to Cardiff!
Talk soon 😉