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Dallas, Ep. 2

Click to listen to LDM Dallas, Ep. 2 on iTunes!

April 9, 2015 — An event five years in the make, Literary Death Match returned to glorious Dallas, where we teamed with the masterminds at Deep Vellum for a night at The Texas Theatre that saw Merritt Tierce outduel Joaquin Zihuatanejo in a Lone Star Lit finale to win Tierce the LDM Dallas, Ep. 2 crown. 

But before the finale was even a consideration, the night kicked off with J. Suzanne Frank, director of The Writer's Path at SMU, who read a dazzling excerpt from her novel Laws of Migration that led to thunderous applause from the thrilled audience. Next up was Joaquin Zihuatanejo, a poet, spoken word artist featured on Def Poetry Jam and award-winning teacher, who blew minds with a pair of poems, one about his father leaving and the other a hysterical re-rendering of a book report on, like, To Kill a Mockingbird

The mic was then handed over to the night's trio of all-star judges: Ben Fountain, award-winning author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Brief Encounters with Che GuevaraAlice Laussade, James Beard Award-winner for Humor and CEO of Meat Fight; and Tim Rogers, Editor of D Magazine and National Magazine Award-winning journalist. The trio flung endless praise at both Frank and Zihuatanejo, and Rogers appreciated how neither authors work gave him an erection, before they announced the night's first impossible decision, declaring Zihautanejo as the night's first finalist. 

Then came Round 2, which led off with the outstanding Will Clarke, author of The Worthy: A Ghost's Story and Lord Vishnu's Love Handles, who read a startling excerpt from his just-finished novel that had the audience squirming. Finally it was Merritt Tierce, author of Love Me Back and a 2013 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Author, who related writing to soccer in an essay that was both whimsical and powerful at every turn. 

Then, again, the judges were handed the mic, and after doting on both authros, Rogers admitted he was disappointed that Will Clarke wasn't baseball's Will Clark, and Laussade encouraged both authors to "show more cleav." Again they were faced with an impossible decision, finally announcing Tierce as the night's second finalist.  

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga who announced the night's finale: Lone Star Lit, in which he read off 1-star Amazon book reviews written about classic books. Team Tierce caught fire early on, and after building a nearly-insurmountable lead, Team Zihuatanejo, stormed back and with all to play for it was Team Tierce who nailed the final answer, winning her the LDM Dallas, Ep. 2 medal and literary immortality to go with it.