Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chicago Curiosities - More Pictures You Won't See in the Book!

Sheffield's - exterior
I don't remember where or how I first heard of Reading Under the Influence (RUI), but I immediately knew I wanted to include it in Chicago Curiosities

RUI was developed by a group of Chicago writers in 2005. It meets weekly at Sheffield's Beer Garden and Backroom Barbecue Restaurant on North Sheffield Avenue. I was sorry that I wasn't able to time my visits to Chicago so that I could attend one of the meetings, but I did go to Sheffield's to get a feel for what it might be like. 

The group meets in the back room, surrounded by exposed brick and ductwork, next to a glowing fireplace. Each meeting has a theme (for example, Fighting Words, Dog Days, Cubbie Blues). 

As usual, I drew a HUGE crowd...
If you're scheduled to read your work, you order a shot, toast the audience, down the shot, read a short piece, then down another shot. (The shot doesn't have to be alcohol.) Readings are followed by trivia contests and drawings. 

When I visited (during the day), the place was empty, so I took a few pictures and had my husband take a couple photos of me at the "lectern." 

The best part is that you won't get a ticket or fine for "RUI" like you will for "DUI." Assuming, of course, that you don't DUI on the way home from RUI. 

And here I am, without a "shot"... at becoming famous...
You can read more about Reading Under the Influence on pages 91-92 of Chicago Curiosities.