Local Literary Events

Published on May 3rd, 2016 | by TLV News


The Poetry Brothel Rouses Literary Intimacy May 7 at Shelter

The Poetry Brothel: Derby Day Delights

Doors 8pm | Show 9 pm – midnight

$12 at the door, $10 online, includes one free token


Mississippi’s first Poetry Brothel will come to Shelter on Van Buren Saturday, May 7 kicking off with live jazz by The Skid Rogues at 8 pm. Sophisticated Southern attire is encouraged to celebrate Derby Day and encourage attendees to step into another persona for a night of anonymous soul searching.

The Poetry Brothel is an interactive cabaret set up as a fin de siècle brothel. Poets performing under pseydonyms offer private, one-on-one poetry readings of their original work in candlelit back rooms for a small fee. The main room presents an immersive themed party, which consists of live music, burlesque performances, sketch artists, magic tricks, and more. The Poetry Brothel premiered in New York City in 2008 and now has branches in Los Angeles, Paris, Portland, Barcelona, Belgium, and beyond.

The evening, entitled “Derby Day Delights,” is hosted by Missy Assink and Bruce Butler and will feature a sultry lineup of poets consisting of Oxford locals as well as Ole Miss MFA program students and staff including but not limited to:


  • Verbena Sappho, the elegant Greek goddess and poetess
  • Witch Baby, a spooky and sly creature of the night
  • Pipi de Toilette, the dark -ipped dame who was raised in the sewers
  • Betty Biscuits, who may look as luscious and tender as grandma’s dumplings, but is rarely seen without her trusty rolling pin. Set a spell and try a bite (or three)


Missy Assink, formerly Green, discovered the magic of the Poetry Brothel while living abroad in Paris and has since attended and participated in poetry brothels in New York and Belgium. “Sharing a poem with someone is an intensely intimate experience that can make you peak in mysterious ways,” said Assink. “Come and see for yourself.” The Local Voice Ligature

Photograph by Gaetano Catelli.

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The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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