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The Poetry Society of New York has a simple three-fold mission:
a.) to unite New York poetry communities
b.) to bring the works of New York poets to the world
c.) to never bore you
The New York City poetry world has largely isolated itself to a small and Balkanized circle. The Poetry Society of New York moves through and opens up that circle to unite the community of makers with the community of appreciators in new and mysterious ways.
The Poetry Society of New York first emerged under the guise of The Poetry Brothel at The Living Theater in early 2007. The Poetry Brothel was a performance art event aimed at fostering intimacy, urgency and exaltation within the New York poetry community, and at expanding that community to include a more diverse population of artists. At that time New York City, the place perceived by thousands of young writers to be the epicenter of the contemporary poetry world, felt boring. Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara and Edna St. Vincent Millay had quit running amok decades earlier, and a clear vitalizing alternative was required. The Brothel provided one cure: a pastiche of back-alley history and literary revelry, The Poetry Brothel remedied the monotony of the slam poetry reading’s endless bravado, and charmed patrons of the one-note, one-format academic poetry readings out of their fold-up chairs into back rooms for private readings.
But it wasn’t enough. The Poetry Brothel bridged difficult social and sociological gaps between individuals, but soon, The Poetry Brothel’s founders, Stephanie Berger and Nicholas Adamski, felt the need to cross literal borders. They created The Translation Project in the hopes of opening the lines of communication between New York poets and poets living abroad, but in order to get funding for such a project, it was time to get legal and form business entity. When the state of New York rejected the business name "The Poetry Brothel," citing it as "lewd and illegal," Berger and Adamski requested "The Poetry Society of New York," and much to their surprise, they got it. Since forming The Poetry Society of New York, they have produced the New York City Poetry Festival, Quartier Rouge, and Brothel Books in addition to The Poetry Brothel, with several projects in the works.
- Stephanie Berger
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