12 March 2011

Literary Death Match Turns 5

On Thursday I went to my second ever Literary Death Match, a reading series where four writers are pitted against each other in front of three judges whose attention toward great books is at best tenuous. Literary Death Match started here, but I had to go to Baltimore this past fall to discover how fun it was, and saw BIG FISH author Daniel Wallace eke out a win at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

At the anniversary show, Iowa memoirist Andre Perry bested British memoirist Jane Bussmann (whose initial reaction to losing was unprintable, yet hilarious) in the final round featuring cupcake throwing and icing dart guns. Bussmann probably had a slight lead because her one-woman show was about to open here, but in the end no one could have predicted the outcome. Jimmy Donn of "The Daily Show" and Alison Espach also read in earlier rounds, Donn from a parody sex manual called OUR BODIES, OUR JUNK and Espach from her debut THE NEIGHBORS.

I highly recommend you seek out Literary Death Match if it's ever near to you; I go to a fair amount of readings, but most of them aren't so rowdy, and it is a welcome change. (I only look like I'm not having fun in Electric Literature's recap.) My initial attraction toward this edition was judge Hannibal Buress, "covering" literary merit -- "I thought this was supposed to be a nerdy '8 Mile,'" he said on finding out every competitor was reading an excerpt from a longer piece -- but not knowing the panelists is no object. New York's next edition is May 25.


Anonymous said...


Ellen said...

I don't have any intel for you on that account, Anonymous. But I suggest reading her book first! All authors like that.

Wade Garrett said...

I saw Espach's reading at Greenlight Books last week, and Anonymous is on to something - she is as cute as a button. She's got a little bit of the Alison Brie thing going on (and, icing on the cake, I've always been a sucker for brunettes with blue eyes). Her book is on my shelf, but it'll have to wait until I finish the three books I am currently in the middle of - Everything and More, How Did You Get This Number, and The Surrendered