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Dublin, Ep. 6

November 3, 2011 — In what's being hailed "the feel-good literary event of Dublin's year" it was Peter Sheridan who shined brightest amongst the e'er twinkling lit-and-comic stars at The Workman's Club, winning a literary spelling bee by only a smidgen (6-5) over poetess Erin Fornoff to win himself the Literary Death Match crown. 

The evening kicked off in a technological mood with Sheridan (author of 44: A Dublin Memoir) reciting a childhood memory which evoked Dublin at the dawn of the television era, followed by Sabina Sirbu's Kafka-esque description of one man’s relationship with his smartphone.  

The unenviable task of judging was led by literary chameleon Mia Gallagher, and ably followed by Father Ted notable Joe Rooney, slightly thrown by Sheridan not actually reading, and deadpan punster Colm Keegan, who took his role of judging intangibles to new and dizzy heights. It was a photo-finish but Sheridan’s timekeeping gave him the edge and he progressed to the final.

After a leisurely interval, Fornoff took to the stage with a brace of poems, the first about New Orleans in August, so hot you could feel the Big Easy sizzle; the second a poignant family memoir. Last but by no means least, the evening was rounded off by Fintan O’Higgins, whose two poems were met with a raucous reception, undimmed by being vastly in excess of the time limit.

The judges gave both competitors careful consideration and, in a decision worthy of Solomon himself, again chose the time limit as the ultimate decider, seeing Fornoff comfortably into the final.

Host and LDM creator Todd Zuniga moderated a dastardly spelling bee, which saw our valiant finalists stumble over the spelling of such legends as Palahniuk, Kerouac, and Ondaatje in a game show mash-up. A tense few rounds ensued with the dubious assistance of a rowdy audience, and after a cameo appearance by Dublin, Ep. 5 champion Sarah Maria Griffin failed to secure victory for Fornoff, Peter Sheridan took the laurels by a single point, winning the Literary Death Match title, and claiming the evening as the highlight of his career.

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