Guts & Glory Reading Series

Samantha Irby reading from her Love Letter to White People

Samantha Irby reading from her Love Letter to White People

Location + Time:

On June 18, 2014 I attended the Guts & Glory live lit event at Schubas Tavern located on 3159 N Southport Ave.— a third Wednesday of the month series featuring storytellers spilling their guts through prose, essays, and poetry.

Atmosphere + Feel:

The show took place in Schubas upstairs room. Walking up the wooden stairs to the right of the entrance made me feel like I belonged to a secret club. Upon entering, I immediately cursed myself because even though the room was a decent size, every folding chair had been taken or somebody had laid their light saber-length umbrella across the row. Thankfully, a fully stocked bar sat to the left helped me forget about my rain-sodden shoes, and I found an unoccupied large leather chair situated in the back of the room. I suggest arriving thirty minutes prior to avoid being the individuals standing in the corners of the room.

The venue was dimly lit, with a string of fairy lights strung around the performer’s stage. Overall, the upstairs room felt intimate, reminding me of the secret room I had just entered, and the secrets the performers were about to share.

Performers + Quality:

As the Facebook event promised, this spoken lit series was all about “badass storytellers telling badass stories.” Those badass storytellers included Kate Duva, John Burger, Renee Albrecht-Mallinger, Samantha Irby, Janna Sobel, Dina Walters, and Keith Ecker. Topics ranged from infertility and abortion, to identity and class social structure, to bachelorette parties and popping doodoo bubbles. Each story was highly personal, but related in such an informal, refreshing way. The audience felt free to converse with the speaker, as the speaker felt free to break from their reading and laugh or point out an audience member. This structure may not appeal to everyone, but I found it lovely and refreshing to be able to move about, laugh, and generally not feel as if I were listening to a eulogy. The whole performance felt as if I were sharing secrets with friends.

John Burger, as he retells the tale of love and 'doodoo bubbles'

John Burger, as he retells the tale of love and ‘doodoo bubbles’

Kate Duva reading a graphic story about a bachelorette party gone awry.

Kate Duva reading a graphic story about a bachelorette party gone awry.