News / Edmonton

Edmonton poets take to brothel

Most brothels don’t accept by donation payments, but Edmonton’s first-ever poetry brothel is always happy to oblige for whatever a customer can afford.

Described as an intimate night of spoken-word and literary poetry, the city’s poetry brothel connects local scribes with paying customers for a one-on-one reading.

Morgan Smith, creator of Edmonton’s poetry brothel, first got the idea from similar brothels held in New York

“I realized Edmonton has a very interesting spoken work and poetry scene,” said Smith, who hosts the event every few months at Wunderbar Hofbrauhaus.

The event, which features music and entertainment, is centered on poets who give one-on-one poetry readings with paying customers.

Now as the official Edmonton branch, Smith said the brothels encourage poets to take on new identities or personas to act out different characters.

“It’s just a unique way to get music and dance and burlesque, all under the same roof as poetry and to get people more intimately involved in listening to poetry,” Smith said, noting that they want to break down any preconceived notions people have of poetry.

“It think people look at poetry as sort of an ivory tower art form."

Liam Coady, a local spoken work poet and one of Edmonton’s Poetry Brothel stables, said he was first interested in the connotation surrounding a brothel.

“It’s about the poetry,” Coady said. “It’s about creating an environment where intimate poetry readings can happen.”

As a spoken word poet, Coady said his poems are always evolving and he continues to present them in different ways.

“It’s a performance and at the end of the day I don’t always know the best way to perform my poems,” he said.

Sweet words:

  • Edmonton poets, including Kasia Gawlak and Colin Matty, are also mainstays at the poetry brothel
  • For more details, check out Edmonton’s Poetry Brothel fan page on Facebook

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