Get "Gutsy"

by Sarah Hollenbeck

"I have slept with men I never kissed."

That sentence is how I began my June performance at Guts & Glory, a live lit event hosted by Keith Ecker  and Samantha Irby. Sharing this as-of-yet unpublished essay, chronicling my fraught relationship with kissing--from my first terrible mouth-mauling to my most recent lip-locks--helped me understand the appeal of confession. Like confession, I can't repeat to you any of the stories that I've heard at Guts over the last year. I can tell you that they are often haunting and beautiful, riveting and humbling, and that they routinely make me cry in public. Sometiimes, I feel as if what the writers do on that stage is the equivalent of what dancers do when they "leave it all on the dance floor."

So, if you're in Chicago on the third Wednesday of the month, go to the backroom of Powell's Books on Lincoln Avenue and get punched where it counts the most. Also, it's free. It's BYOB and your donations benefit charities. Mid-month Wednesdays never had it so good.