One of the biggest fears of many Americans is speaking in public, but in the literary world of Chicago, many writers do just that each week. One of the most novel ideas for a series was born back in 2005, and has become one of the most popular events in the Chicago literary scene. Reading Under the Influence is simple: authors read a short piece of original work, and also read a few lines from a famous author on a particular theme that changes with each reading, but before reading the “famous” work, the author orders up a shot, toast the audience, and kicks back their beverage of choice. Trivia with the audience commences after the shot, and the winner with the most points win prizes. Even writers get nervous speaking in public, and Reading Under the Influence understands and even encourages a drink or two to calm those nerves and jitters that creep up as you head to the front of the stage.
This Wednesday, October 7th, the theme will be Where the Wild Things Are, to celebrate the release of the new Spike Jonze film based on the classic Maurice Sendak children’s book. Columbia College professor Devon Polderman, local writer, teacher and 826Chi member John Flaherty, and RUI’s Rob Duffer and Jesse Jordan will all be reading Wednesday night.
Reading Under the Influence takes place in the back room at Sheffield’s, 3258 N. Sheffield Ave, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. There is a $3 cover, and readings begin at 7:30pm.