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Thursday
Jan312013

DC, Ep. 5 (at Kennedy Center)

January 31, 2013 — LDM kicked off 2013 in brilliant style, as our Kennedy Center debut (presented by Story League) was jam-packed and lightning-swift, an hour of sheer literary and comedic power witnessed by a glorious audience that saw bestselling author Carolyn Parkhurst outduel co-finalist and show-stopper Adele Hampton in a wowing blaze of Literary Card Sharks that won Parkhurst the Literary Death Match crown. 

But before the finale was even a consideration, the early evening kicked off with comedian/author Dan Wilbur (the mind behind Better Book Titles) rollicking the gleeful audience with a humming performance of his book How Not to ReadNext up was Parkhurst (author of three novels including The Nobodies Album and The Dogs of Babel — soon to be a motion picture starring Steve Carell), who read a heart-aching short story called "Hair & Feeding," about a child born with wings and its complicated downside (the teasing, the onesies that don't fit). 

The mic was then handed over to the trio of all-star judges: New Yorker editor Ben Greenman (author of What He's Poised to Do and Superbad), creator of the fabulous Pink Line ProjectPhilippa Hughes, and comedian Remy Munasifi (a.k.a. GoRemy and the auteur of "The Falafel Album"). Greenman loved how Wilbur's opener "put everyone else's work in ridiculous context" and used "good literary writing to mock good literary writing," while Hughes was reminded of the time she was in Cuba and Fidel Castro gave her a mojito mixed with the time she was climbing Mount Everest and lost a few fingers (her fingers, by the way, were intact). Finally, Munasifi chimed in with how he loved Wilbur's book because he read it, and was able to "quit reading well before [he] ever started." About Parkhurst, Greenman loved how she was the only reader who dressed to match the Kennedy Center, while Hughes praised Parkhurst's soothing voice and presentation. Finally, Munasifi quipped that Parkhurst's reading was before the most-ever severed president heads, but she didn't balk in the least. 

The judges then huddled, and by the narrowest of margins decided it was Parkhurst who would advance as the night's first finalist. 

Then came Round 2, led off by co-host the Discovery Channel’s upcoming "You Have Been Warned": Adam Ruben (a molecular biologist), who reeled off a giddifying G-rated excerpt from his book Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School. Then up stepped Hampton, who powerhoused the night with a hope-washed performance poem that touched on body image, beauty, human touch, faking orgasms, and about every other single thing worth listening to. 

Then the mic went back to the judges, with Greenman admonishing Ruben's pacing and reading, but admitted distraction when he heard the word blueberry, with Hughes begging for Ruben to skew more nerdy, and admitting she was scarred by grad school. Munasifi liked the blueberry reference, as well — "of all the berries, that's my favorite." About Hampton, Greenman lauded Hampton's turns of phrase, before talking about how he knows of someone who was eaten (or at least "chewed on") by a bear. Hughes congratulated Hampton on addressing the issue of faking orgasms. Munasifi ended the night's judging, talking about a cousin of his who did steamy, hot poetic performances ("we've since stopped asking him to come to Thanksgiving"). 

The judges, after a hurried huddle, made the night's second impossible decision, naming Hampton as the second finalist. 

Then host and LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga welcomed Story League's SM Shrake to assist him in the Literary Card Sharks finale, which was a wild back-and-forth affair, that saw Parkhurst come all the way from behind to stun Hampton in the final round, and win not only the Literary Death Match D.C., Ep. 5 medal, but win literary immortality to go with it. 

Follow LDM on Twitter and/or Facebook now! 

 


Co-Produced by Story League.

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