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Are You There God? It's Me....

By Margaret Hicks in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 11, 2006 4:05PM

Full.jpgWe remember our first “real kiss”. It was a bajillion years ago, on a hot, sticky, summer night. We were at Great America, exhilarated after one last, wet ride on Logger's Run. We remember an unmemorable boy sticking a dry and bumpy tongue into our virgin mouth. We were disappointingly shocked, wondering out loud to our tittering friends, “wait, this is supposed to feel good?”

Maybe if we had known then what we know now, we would have made it out with fewer scars. Maybe, if we had known there was someone out there feeling the same way we were, we could have seen the beauty of a bumpy tongue a little sooner.

David Leviathan (co-author of YA novel "Nick & Nora’s Infinite Playlist") and poet Billy Merrell are trying to impart that important knowledge to teens with their book "Full Spectrum", a collection of non-fiction stories, poetry and photographs. The contributions are by Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered and Straight writers who are all under 23, and they spill the beans about everything from coming out, to saying “I love you”, to the dreaded first kiss.

Local store Manifold is hosting a reading on Saturday with three of the contributors to Full Spectrum, and all three are Illinois residents: Benjamin Zumsteg, author of "Snow and Hot Asphalt", Anthony Rella will read from his piece "Without a Trace" and Christopher Wilcox will read from "Falling Off my Bike and Riding into the Sunset".

Manifold will also be donating part of its proceeds from Saturday to The Center on Halsted.

You can see Full Spectrum on Saturday, July 15th, 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Manifold, 2850 Clark Street, Chicago, IL 773.525.2929