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Chicago, Ep. 1

February 11, 2009—Chicago’s first Literary Death Match was a debut to remember, as The Hideout was filled with a litany of literary talent, culminating with local favorite Megan Stielstra (Dollar Store Reading Series) claimed the LDM crown by out-stabbing-a-hole-in-Nebraska against Rachel Yoder (Quick Fiction).

A twist to the usual proceedings, there were six readers (instead of four) for Chicago’s debut, and the first round kicked off with Stielstra against Julius Kalamarz (Juked) and Gwendolyn Knapp (Hayden’s Ferry Review) as each read for five minutes or less, a series of twisted, hilarious, surprising stories that awed the fun-struck onlookers. After, the attention turned to the judges, a cast of Chicago staples: Kevin Guilfoile (author of Cast of Shadows), Matt Herlihy (founder of Sweet Fancy Moses) and Mark Bazer (“The Interview Show”), all who chimed in with riling witticisms--including Mark’s declaration that, when Stielstra’s story went over the five-minute time limit he “quit listening for the last minute and twenty seconds.” Still, after a tough decision, the judges selected Stielstra to go on to the finals.

After a zero second intermission, co-host Claire Zulkey took over the stage, welcoming Yoder, Holly Wilson (The Southeast Review) and Hobart’s founding editor, Aaron Burch. Wilson, fresh off a flight, and Burch, reading from the newly released Big World written by Mary Miller, were ultimately deemed by the judges as no match for Yoder’s quizzical, understated tale. She moved on to the finals by a narrow margin to go knife-to-knife with Stielstra.

An Ep. 1 tradition--after debuting as the final challenge in both New York City and San Francisco--the final combatants were in for a stirring game of Stab a Hole in Nebraska!, the winner being the one who’s stab-mark was closest to Omaha. Using a Guilefoile pocket knife, and a crowd-borrowed pocket knife, Stielstra went first, striking the border between Wyoming and Colorado. Next up was Yoder, who wildly stabbed at our western-most volunteer, nearly gouging his eye, but instead putting a hole in Northern California. The result: Stielstra made Literary Death Match history, as the first-ever Chicago champion, scoring a medal and fandom forever and more!


Reader Comments (1)

Forgive me for asking but what the heck is going on here? Stabbing maps of the U.S.? Anyway, interesting blog.

January 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChicago web design

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