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Edinburgh, Ep. 1

August 10, 2010 — Deep in the recesses of a brilliant dungeon (a.k.a. The Banshee Labyrinth), the Literary Death Match's Edinburgh debut — teamed with Utter! at the Free Fringe — was pitch- and picture-perfect, with Scotland's homegrown Jenny Lindsay narrowly winning over Molly Naylor (Whenever I Get Blown Up I Think Of You) in a breakneck game of Pass-the-Haggis to take the LDM crown. 

But well before the haggis was handed around, the night began with Naylor (representing leading off with a poem that served as mixed tape, versus Steve Larkin (representing Hammer & Tongue) who launched off a performed piece that had the crowd on the edge of their seats. 

The mic was then turned over to the all-star judges, including Liz Niven (award-winning poet and LDM Beijing, Ep. 1 champion), London's chronic scribbler Tim Wells, and Edinburgh-born performance poet master Ross Sutherland. The three reeled off comments, then declared, after a long and considered huddle, to anoint Naylor as the night's first finalist. 

Then the night zipped right to round two, with Lindsay — representing all of Scotland — leading off against Utter!'s  Niall Spooner-Harvey. Lindsay was fantastic, a brogue-spoken poem (video to come!) that won the audience, but Spooner-Harvey's fired fearlessly back with the night's shortest reading — a piece about death and love that titillated and unsettled. 

Again to the judges, who, faced with the night's second tough decision, opted for, as Wells said, "girl on girl action" in the finale, moving Lindsay on as the night's second finalist. 

At that point, co-host Ann Heatherington handed around polyurethane gloves, and LDM creator Todd Zuniga explained the rules: the first finalist to have their haggis passed around their half of the room — touching every onlookers palms — would be declared winner. Lindsay's team was relentless, hurrying the sheep stomach-wrapped meat ball around as if they'd trained for ages, while Naylor's team was equally skilled, until a momentary hiccup that on the fourth turn (we know, that makes no sense) put her behind, and Lindsay's team was impeccable, handing the haggis with wild haste, and winning Jenny Lindsay the Literary Death Match championship, and literary immortality. 

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