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Denver, Ep. 3

April 8 — To celebrate the 4th stop on Opium100's Fundraising Tour, the Literary Death Match returned to the Mile High City with an epic-sized six-reader AWP affair that ended when New England Review rep Matthew Olzmann outdueled Naugatuck Review's M in a wild finale of Literary Resurrection. Olzmann won by a narrow 3-2 margin, resurrecting Willem Defoe Jesus before M could raise Mel Gibson Jesus.

But before the finale's religious experience wildly unfolded, the night kicked off with Opium's Todd Zuniga and past-champ Carter Edwards introducing Eleven Eleven's Ian M. McCarty, who kicked things off with a poetic string of wonderfulness, followed by ACM rep Fred Sasaki's hilarious letter to American Apparel about the attempted return of a pair of tights, and concluding with Olzmann's perfectly-pitched poem that had onlookers enthralled.  

The mic was then handed over to the all-star trio of judges, led by best-selling Denver-based Dave Cullen (author of Columbine), Love Junkie author Rachel Resnick, and Owen Egerton, author of the pre-orderable/soon-to-release The Book of Harold: The Illegitimate Son of God. After a spewing of hilarious comments — many focused on Sasaki's allure. In the end, though, it was Olzmann who was chosen as the night's first finalist. 

Then came the second round, with Spire Press rep by Damian Dressick going first with a love-laden tale about a girl named Shelly, then M, who performed New Jersey-based verse, and finally failbetter's Mary Donnelly who read a pair of poems that drew a mass of applause.  

Again, the judges were tasked with the tall order of deciding a winner, with Egerton finishing off the judging with a ridiculously wonderful rant that had the crowd doubled over in near-painful laughter. The judges, won over by M's memorization and commanding demeanor elected her to go on as the night's second finalist. 

Then came the Easter-based finale, in which both finalists were asked to resurrect Jesus — M to resurrect a Mel Gibson-headed cardboard Jesus surrogate and Olzmann in charge of resurrecting a Willem Defoe-headed Jesus. They were then handed three types of projectiles: Cadbury Eggs, chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs, and a pair of foam baseballs. They were then asked to knock over copies of Egerton's book with each projectile. For each hit, Defoe-Jesus or Gibson-Jesus were lifted 1/3. M charged to an early 2-0 lead, but then Olzmann morphed into a a literary Greg Maddux, striking down Egerton's book three consecutive times, and fully raising Willem Defoe before M could complete the rejuvenation trifecta. Olzmann was crowned LDM champ, and literary immortality was his. 

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Reader Comments (1)

I think it bears mentioning that Fred's American Apparel experience revolved around the return of leggings, not tights. Returning tights would have just been too over the top, don't you think?

April 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJody Reale

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