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Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers' Poetry

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In this trailblazing anthology, more than fifty self-identified sex workers from all walks of the industry (survival and trade, past and present) explore their lived experience through the expressive nuance and beauty of poetry. In a variety of forms ranging from lyrics to list poems to found poetry to hybrid works, these authors express themselves with the complexity, In this trailblazing anthology, more than fifty self-identified sex workers from all walks of the industry (survival and trade, past and present) explore their lived experience through the expressive nuance and beauty of poetry. In a variety of forms ranging from lyrics to list poems to found poetry to hybrid works, these authors express themselves with the complexity, agency, and honesty that sex workers are rarely afforded. Contributors from Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia include Gregory Scofield, Tracy Quan, Summer Wright, and Akira the Hustler. As an antidote to the invasive and often biased media depictions of sex workers, Hustling Verse is a fiercely groundbreaking exploration of intimacy, transactional sex, identity, healing, and resilience.


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In this trailblazing anthology, more than fifty self-identified sex workers from all walks of the industry (survival and trade, past and present) explore their lived experience through the expressive nuance and beauty of poetry. In a variety of forms ranging from lyrics to list poems to found poetry to hybrid works, these authors express themselves with the complexity, In this trailblazing anthology, more than fifty self-identified sex workers from all walks of the industry (survival and trade, past and present) explore their lived experience through the expressive nuance and beauty of poetry. In a variety of forms ranging from lyrics to list poems to found poetry to hybrid works, these authors express themselves with the complexity, agency, and honesty that sex workers are rarely afforded. Contributors from Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia include Gregory Scofield, Tracy Quan, Summer Wright, and Akira the Hustler. As an antidote to the invasive and often biased media depictions of sex workers, Hustling Verse is a fiercely groundbreaking exploration of intimacy, transactional sex, identity, healing, and resilience.

30 review for Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers' Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    - ̗̀ amy ̖́-

    ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I really loved what this anthology was trying to do but unfortunately it didn’t really work for me. The poetry wasn’t my cup of tea as it resembled modern poetry generally. Even though all these poems are written by different people I could hardly tell and after reading multiple poems in a row they all started to blend together. I understand they were all tackling the same theme and so their poems would all be linked but I found they ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I really loved what this anthology was trying to do but unfortunately it didn’t really work for me. The poetry wasn’t my cup of tea as it resembled modern poetry generally. Even though all these poems are written by different people I could hardly tell and after reading multiple poems in a row they all started to blend together. I understand they were all tackling the same theme and so their poems would all be linked but I found they were all saying the same thing. I feel bad saying that because you could tell these people were really putting themselves out there in these poems. I completely respect them for that and I appreciate them sharing their stories in this collection. I no way do I want to sound like i’m invalidating these peoples experiences. I’m happy this book exists for other people, but unfortunately it wasn’t for me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Hustling Verse is a fucking accomplishment. A blend of the absurd alongside poems so real, so conjured from a truth that you can sense its beating heart. This anthology is rife with trauma but it's also alive with a fierceness, a combination of forces to be reckoned with. I couldn't devour this anthology with the usual speed I read poetry because it felt like I was being devoured back. I am a sensitive creature and this collection in its raw yet sharpened glory was a lot to absorb. I have much Hustling Verse is a fucking accomplishment. A blend of the absurd alongside poems so real, so conjured from a truth that you can sense its beating heart. This anthology is rife with trauma but it's also alive with a fierceness, a combination of forces to be reckoned with. I couldn't devour this anthology with the usual speed I read poetry because it felt like I was being devoured back. I am a sensitive creature and this collection in its raw yet sharpened glory was a lot to absorb. I have much respect for sex workers and for poets, and this powerful blend of professions is nothing short of fantastic. Bravo.

  3. 5 out of 5

    amanda

    I don't believe I can write a review well enough to give this book of poetry the justice and the power it deserves. But I will try, forgive me if it's not enough. Sex work is one of the oldest and dangerous professions in the world. It has and possibly will be for awhile something that people often look down at or turn a blind eye to. There's the stigmatization of course but this world in general is not kind to people who use their bodies to achieve higher means. This book was perfection. It was I don't believe I can write a review well enough to give this book of poetry the justice and the power it deserves. But I will try, forgive me if it's not enough. Sex work is one of the oldest and dangerous professions in the world. It has and possibly will be for awhile something that people often look down at or turn a blind eye to. There's the stigmatization of course but this world in general is not kind to people who use their bodies to achieve higher means. This book was perfection. It was raw, explicit, and unapologetic. It showcased the violence attributed to sex work and highlighted the marginalized. LGBT, people of color, everything in between. The poetry was stark and real and I don't want to choose favorites because so many were amazing but one that stood out to me especially was You especially, by Pluma Sumaq. This is a collection of pain, desire, resilience, and love and I am so happy that it was published and I have the honor of reviewing it. Thanks very much to Edelweiss and the publisher for this DRC. All opinions are my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karla Strand

    This is a much-needed volume of poetry from an often invisible group. With over 50 contributors, Hustling Verse full of candid, sharp, and wise works covering the spectrum of contemporary poetry styles. As Amber Dawn and others explain in the introductory pieces, it is imperative that sex workers express themselves and their truths instead of outsiders always being the ones who tell their stories. This is a wonderful example of the passion and creativity we can experience if we just listen to This is a much-needed volume of poetry from an often invisible group. With over 50 contributors, Hustling Verse full of candid, sharp, and wise works covering the spectrum of contemporary poetry styles. As Amber Dawn and others explain in the introductory pieces, it is imperative that sex workers express themselves and their truths instead of outsiders always being the ones who tell their stories. This is a wonderful example of the passion and creativity we can experience if we just listen to sex workers themselves. A wide variety of poets are represented here, from Indigenous people, transgender, gender-nonconforming, and Two Spirit, to queer people, and more. Topics vary widely as well and include poems about sex, Johns, violence, love, joy, pain, humor, police, and more. I appreciated the focus on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in a lot of the pieces. This is a fantastic volume of poetry and adds so much to the genre. Thank you to the publisher for the paperback ARC; my views are honest and my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Loni

    While I liked that this book shared the thoughts and feelings of those whose voices are rarely heard, I found the poetry to be poorly written. I get that they are not professional writers, but as an avid poetry reader this didn't work for me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Adira

    Reading this book has fired up my passion for poetry all over again. It's a diverse, bold, and fierce collection that I look forward to rereading in years to come. If you plan to peruse it, please note: TRIGGER WARNING for sexual/physical/verbal/emotional abuse, assault, trafficking, substance use and addiction, suicide, sexual content, mental illness... the works. Take care of yourself while reading.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Hasan Namir

    The most powerful anthology I’ve read, combining incredible poetry from the amazing contributors. I recommend this book to everyone. Thank you so much to editors Amber Dawn and Justin Ducharm for compiling these poems that I guarantee readers will not forget.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily Gillespie

    Beautiful collection of sex worker poetry and stories. Authors from various backgrounds sharing diverse stories, including some good laughs.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Wish I had more stars to give

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  11. 5 out of 5

    Aimee

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sybil Lamb

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peyton

  14. 5 out of 5

    Demarcus Robinson

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

  16. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Hoefer

  18. 4 out of 5

    David Ly

  19. 5 out of 5

    Amy LeBlanc

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Rae

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ina Wt

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lizz

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jaiden Dembo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dina Bucchia

  26. 5 out of 5

    Allison Gauvin

  27. 4 out of 5

    Doretta Lau

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amara

  30. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

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