Free Speech and Brave Space Policy:

The Pittsburgh Poetry Collective and all of its projects are committed to maintaining free speech zones within their venues by the construction and preservation of a Brave Space and practicing mandatory consent. 

Our Free Speech Zone is maintained by allowing safe expression, not just for the person on the mic, but for everyone present in the space. This means you may hear: mature language, mature themes, or difficult and/or triggering content on our microphone. However, our audiences are also empowered with free speech, and are encouraged to respond accordingly to content presented on the mic, as freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. 

In our Brave Spaces free speech ends when other people are silenced. If someone advocates violence, threatens, harasses, or in some other way silences someone else, the free speech zone is destroyed. This violence will not be tolerated. All visitors to our space can say what they want, but no one in our space is obligated to like them for it, support them for it, or give them a platform for it on or off our stages.

We advise our board, staff,  poets and audience to be respectful to one another and engage each other in conversation about the content of the poetry and behaviour presented on and off our stage to allow the individuals within the community as well as the community as a whole, grow and learn from our successes, our mistakes, and each other’s experiences.

In order to maintain freedom of speech, and our brave space, Pittsburgh Poetry Collective and all of its projects also practice and enforce mandatory consent in our venues and at our shows. Performers, audience, and guests will seek and respect the bodily and creative autonomy of other community members; this includes but isn’t limited to unauthorized touching or affection, or unauthorized reproduction or communication of onstage work. 

Pittsburgh Poetry Collective asks that any venue our events are held at be respected. Be aware that Pittsburgh Poetry Collective may have events where alcohol will be available. We ask that you drink responsibility and seek alternative forms of transportation if you are unfit to drive. 

Absolutely NO ONE is above the rules expressed here, and destruction of free speech and breaches of consent are unacceptable for the entire community.