Hustling Verse Anthology Launch

In Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers Poetry, more than fifty self-identified sex workers explore their lived experience through the expressive nuance and beauty of poetry. Hustling Verse is a fiercely groundbreaking exploration of intimacy, transactional sex, identity, healing, and resilience. Join editors Justin Ducharme and Amber Dawn, and local contributors Audacia Ray, Tracy Quan, Sugar Mamasota, Aimee Herman and Lorelei Lee in celebrating sex worker creativity and truth.

Justin Ducharme was born and raised in the small Metis community of St. Ambroise, Manitoba. He is a graduate of Vancouver Film School and the writer/director of three short films, most recently the 2018 drama Positions, which tells the story of a queer, Indigenous, male sex worker in Vancouver. Justin has been a Metis dancer since the age of ten and is passionate about dance, radicalizing Indigenous “Canadian” Cinema, and writing poetry about the people who broke his heart and the ones who paid to do so.

Amber Dawn is the author of the novels Sodom Road Exit (2018) and Sub Rosa (winner of a Lambda Literary Award, 2010), the Vancouver Book Award-winning memoir How Poetry Saved My Life (2013). She is also editor of Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire and co-editor of With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn. She teaches creative writing at Douglas College in Vancouver, and also leads several low-barrier community writing classes.

Aimee Herman is a Brooklyn-based queer performance artist, writer, and teacher with two full-length books of poetry. Aimee’s work has been published in a variety of journals and anthologies including, cream city review, BOMB, and Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics (Nightboat books).

Audacia Ray is a New York-based social justice advocate, storyteller, writer, and editor. She is the author of the book Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing In on Internet Sexploration (Seal Press, 2007) and an editor of the anthology $pread: The Best of the Magazine that Illuminated the Sex Industry and Started a Media Revolution (Feminist Press, 2015). She edited the literary journal Prose & Lore: Memoir Stories About Sex Work for three years, publishing stories generated in workshops she led for the Red Umbrella Project, where she was the founding executive director.

Miss Sugar Mamasota is an interdisciplinary artist, burlesque performer and nude model. In her recent travels abroad, Miss Sugar wrote a series of poems addressing bodily autonomy and recovery from trauma and disassociation.

Tracy Quan is the author of three novels, including Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl, narrated by a duplicitous Ottawa runaway. Tracy’s juvenile career began in lobby bars and hostess clubs, with Times Square and The Pierre hotel playing equally prominent roles. Inspired by an international gathering of sex workers held in Ann Snitow’s New York loft, Tracy joined PONY (Prostitutes of New York), chaired a few meetings and was, for a brief time, its token conservative. Tracy’s essays have been published in The Globe and Mail, Marie Claire, New York Times, Washington Post Book World, Financial Times, Der Tagesspiegel, South China Morning Post, The Guardian, Bookanista, and The Daily Beast. Tracy’s poetry has appeared in Poets Reading the News and Los Angeles Review of Books.

Lorelei Lee is a sex worker and writer. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared or are forthcoming in Salon, The Rumpus, WIRED, Denver Quarterly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Establishment, Buzzfeed, $pread Magazine, 1111, The Feminist Porn Book, Coming Out Like a Porn Star, and elsewhere. She owes her life to other sex workers.