Brothel Books, The Poetry Society of New York’s newest imprint, is a small book publisher based in New York City. The Poetry Brothel has long been a proponent of bringing poetry to the masses–exclusively, and with absolute discretion. Likewise, The Poetry Brothel’s publishing arm, Brothel Books, publishes the most intimate, most charming, and most crafted works being produced today, primarily by The Poetry Brothel’s poets across the globe, but also the general public.
The poems that we want are those that touch our nerves and our hearts and make us want to throw your book across the room because it’s so damn good. Poems that are aware of, instructed by, and in awe of what has come before them, both historically and in terms of literary tradition. Poems we like are often obsessed with myth, foreign languages, and our fathers. Bring orange groves to New York City, the epistolary language of turn-of-the-century Paris to an email exchange, or a fight with your boyfriend to pre-Roman Gaul. Poems that import and export imagery, but handle it carefully. We want to publish poets who are honest with themselves and the world about who they are, such that they can just as easily go with or without a mask. We want the poems you would hide from your mother if you could, but you wouldn’t. There must be a brazenness about even the most quiet works. Still, we don’t want poetry that steps on you. It ought to step over you while you pretend to be asleep, so you can’t help but look up its skirt.
Poems that take linguistic and personal risks feel more important to us. The ground covered by a poem willing to say, literally, anything in order to relay the poet’s unique experience provide more, in our opinion, than poems that employ safe conventions and are only willing to exist within a accepted set of social morays. Fearlessness, in other words, or fearlessness imbued with sincere vulnerability, interests us deeply.
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