Tarot readings, bondage, and local lit’s finest mingle for bordello-themed fair

Wordello, a bordello-themed literary fair and fundraiser, will open its doors on March 5 at Green Sun

by Rogue

Wordello, a bordello-themed literary fair and fundraiser inspired by the Poetry Brothel in New York, will open its doors on March 5 at Green Sun

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Say “bordello,” and the word instantly conjures up images of secret doors behind which perfumed women, in dishabille or altogether in the altogether, lounge around and wait. Shadowy backrooms into which men, emboldened by anonymity and the dark (and perhaps a few quaffed beers), slink to indulge in the dissolute pleasures of the flesh.

Well, actually, in short, the word conjures up—sex.

On Saturday, 5 March 2016, we welcome you to a bordello of a different kind. Here, pleasure derives from the rhythm and lyricism of words, the unexpected jab to the heart of an elegant metaphor, the punch-in-the-gut power of imagery. Here, the mind and the senses are astonished by the possibilities of language—its grittiness and gracefulness, its tenderness and paper-cut keenness—and one is not only moved, but also transformed.

Inspired by the Poetry Brothel in New York, “Wordello” is a fundraising event hosted by the Likhaan Creative Writing Foundation. Helmed by Likhaan’s officers and trustees—Linda Panlilio, Mert Loinaz, Chichi Lizot, Cecile Lilles, and Rhona Lopa-Macasaet—with help from members Mabek Kawsek, Risa Garcia, and Popi Laudico, Wordello will benefit Creative Writing MA students in financial need and help support the literary pursuits of the UP Institute of Creative Writing.

What promises to be an evening of stirring poetry and other activities with a literary twist begins with readings by both distinguished and up-and-coming poets—significant voices, all—like Jimmy Abad, Butch Dalisay, Marne Kilates, Vim Nadera, RayVi Sunico, Neil Garcia, Ramil Digal-Gulle, Alma Anonas-Carpio, Peachy Paderna, Asha Macam, Danton Remoto, Juan Enonly, Mii Marci, Eliza Victoria, Karen Kunawicz, Claire Miranda, Monique Obligacion, and the list goes on.


Wordello organizers Linda Panlilio, Rhona Lopa-Macasaet, Risa Regala-Garcia, and Chichi Lizot. Not in photo are Mert Jacinto-Loinaz, Cecile Lilles, Mabek Kawsek, and Popi Laudico.


Satellite activities will include the display and sale of books reworked into art pieces by Pancho Francisco and Nathaniel Alapide; while Anvil, the UP and UST presses will sate literary cravings with their pop-up bookstalls.

In a small nod to the bordello theme, Sensei Shinobi will demonstrate the Japanese art of rope bondage through Kinbaku, the operative word here being “art.” Featured as well will be tarot card readings (by Randy Bustamante, English professor in his other life), which figured prominently in 19th c. bordello life. Then, perhaps—who knows?—there will also be the sweep of brush on skin in body calligraphy.

So check Wordello on Facebook for notices, updates, tickets.

Remember, doors open at 5:00 P.M. in Green Sun.

And don’t forget to bring an open mind.

Wordello happens at 5:00 P.M. on Saturday, 5 March 2016, in Green Sun, 2285 Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati.