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Stark Prose: International Read Naked Day

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Sun-Times photos and video by Scott Stewart

The fine folks at the private Everleigh Social Club, 939 W. Randolph, had some revealing news over the weekend.

International Read Naked Day is July 5.

It's a nice spin off the World Naked Bike Ride which takes place on June 8.

The "Naked Girls Reading" arm of the Chicago based literary salon will spread the word through it's 18 international outposts, including Victoria, British Columbia and London, England. International Read Naked Day was announced during Friday's 4th anniversary celebration of "Naked Girls Reading....."

.....Michellle L'Amour, Greta Layne and Honey Halfpint read provocative literature in the buff while sitting on a Victorian parlor sofa. The private club was packed with more than 75 rapt listeners. The fun couple behind me was playing touchy feel while drinking from a bottle of Midnight Moon moonshine.

A promotional sign promised "Girls Gone Oscar Wilde." It was set next to real peacock bookmarks for sale at $5 each.
Naked Girls Reading is held monthly at the social club. Each month has a different theme. The anniversary theme was "Come Into My Parlor, Courtesans & Love For Sale." "Greek Mythology" is up April 25. That announcement brought an ooooh from the crowd.

Cupcakes were served.
L'Amour made eight dozen chocolate with cream cheese frosting. She baked naked, of course (with an apron).

"We've wanted to launch 'International Read Naked Day' for a long time," L'Amour said after her reading.

It's funny. In the sports world you interview naked athletes after they perform.
At the social club, you interview the clothed performers after they appear naked.

My new friends (L to R) Greta, Michelle and Honey.

"We want people to dedicate five minutes, an hour or the full day to reading," L'Amour said. "And reading naked in particular. We think reading should be a special and sensual experience. That means feeling a book, and old books are great for that.

Like my tattered 1959 first edition copy of William Burroughs' "Naked Lunch".

L'Amour would not read an e-Book naked. "That is against the rules," she said. "Just sitting down wherever you are most comfortable, dropping your drawers and pull out your favorite book. This will be the first read naked day as far as I know."

But International Read Naked Day is not for everyone. I wouldn't want to see the hefty all male Chicago Bulls "Matadors" mascots read naked. Or Michelle Shocked.

L'Amour does not advocate reading naked at Starbuck-Naked.

Halfpint is a graphic designer by day. She explained, "Not very many people read as a hobby anymore. People are interested in seeing cute girls. Maybe that would interest them a little bit more to read. It's a different experience every time I read (naked), depending on the material. Sometimes I can be nervous about my reading especially if it is emotional. But it's always fun to make an audience laugh."

Over the course of the two-hour reading the titillating trio developed onstage chemistry. I enjoyed the slightly dark humor of Layne who read wide-eyed from the acclaimed 2009 anthology "Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys."
"It's all writing from professionals working on the line," said Layne, who by day works in veterinary medicine in the suburbs.

And on Friday Miss Rosie Bitt of the Victoria, B.C. branch of "Naked Girls Reading" read parts of "Diary of A Courtesan" to the audience over Skype. The connection broke off a couple times. One time upon her return Miss Rosie declared, "I'm just too hot to handle, Chicago."

We will see you in July.
All of you.

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Dave Hoekstra

Dave Hoekstra has been a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer since 1985. His collection of Sun-Times travel columns, "Ticket To Everywhere," was published in 2000 by Lake Claremont Press. He was lead writer for "Farm Aid: Song for America" (Rodale Press, 2005) which commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Willie Nelson inspired effort.
He won a 1987 Chicago Newspaper Guild Stick O-Type Award for Column Writing. Hoekstra wrote and co-proudced the WTTW-Channel 11 PBS special: "The Staple Singers and the Civil Rights Movement," nominated for a 2001-02 Chicago Emmy for a documentary program/cultural significance.
He lives in Chicago.


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This page contains a single entry by David Hoekstra published on March 19, 2013 3:28 PM.

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