About The Punany Poets 

Poetry Never “Felt” So Good

(Show review by an audience member)

Written by Soulfull

Founded by Jessica Holter in 1995, The Punany Poets have been on a mission to educate and entertain people with their exotic form of “cabaret-styled poetry, music and dance production”.

On a small stage decorated with chains and whips, Jessica, better known as Ghetto Girl Blue and founder of The Punany Poets, welcomes all to Black Lovers & Little White Lies, the first Valentines’ Day show in Washington DC. Wearing a flattering hot pink and black corset accented with fishnet stockings and stiletto heels, she peeks from below the brim of her black top hat which covers her crown of reddish-brown coils and asks, “How many of you haven’t experienced Punany before?” Timidly, several people raise their hands. “This is gonna be a good show,” she purrs. From then on, Ghetto Girl Blue (GGB) presented a dueling conversation about sex, love, and relationships together with the ever so handsome rock poet, Keno Mapp, author of the inspirational poetry book Senseless Murder, and fellow poet, Mis.Little, a multi-disciplined dancer/choreographer, who had a strikingly effortless way of intertwining the beautiful art of nudity with provocative dance.

Throughout the show, they touched on topics, such as condom use and masturbation, with GGB sharing the wonders of discovering how to love herself with her best bud the Rabbit, as well as performing “Black Love”, and the infamous performance piece “The Head Doctor”, in which selected audience members are allowed to receive “head” from the “doctor”. Definitely a treat for the eyes, mind, and body! The evening was full of romance, laughter, and interestingly enough, seriousness. Keno Mapp invoked women to remember the simple joy of having our men return home to us, stating, “There are so many things that can prevent him from returning to you”. Additionally, he spoke on the first love of his life, his mother, reading the poem, Mommie, sharing with us the important role of mothers to men. While GGB asked us not to deny the beauty of our female form, regardless of worldly standards, remarking that, “We are… just beautiful”, Mis.Little was on stage moving to the rhythm, making the audience of mostly virgin Punany attendees, including me, feel amazingly comfortable with her nakedness.

In a world full of misogynistic music and p-poppin’, sometimes love can get kicked to the curb for the quickness of lust; however The Punany Poets reminded us to relish in the easy beauty of our black bodies, our black kinship, and our black love. I was pleased by the candor and respect these artists brought to every subject matter and at midnight, everyone exited The Crucible feeling more in sync with love than ever before. Thanks to The Punany Poets, Valentines’ Day will not exist synonymously alongside a date, but reveled in day after day as a result of their warmhearted, yet spicy celebration of bona fide black love.

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