Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Newsletters you can trust


Hong Kong, Ep. 1

September 6, 2013 — In a charm-filled night of enthusiastic wildness, Literary Death Match teamed with Story Worthy Week to make Hong Kong it's 50th city in extravagent fashion, as the sold out audience witnessed Blair Reeve outduel co-finalist Matthew Harrison in a Literary Spelling Bee by the narrowest of margins (21-20) to win Reeve the LDM Hong Kong, Ep. 1 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the night began with storyteller Lynne Kirk (of Ancestral Voices and co-founder of Hong Kong Talespinners) who told a tale of bad decisions and nearly sleeping in a garage with a man she knew from a pub. Next up was Reeve, a New Zealand poet who spun his poetic pyrotechnics into a story about mistaking the title of the event as "Literal" Death Match and eventually killing off his competitors. 

The mic was then passed to the trio of judges: Xu Xi, author of 9 novels & founder of the first low-residency MFA in creative writing in Asia; Eman Lam, choreographer at Le Jeu; and Andrew Chu, award-winning stand-up comic in Cantonese and English. The trio traded kudos for Kirk and Reeve — her memorization, his wordplay, and after a long huddle they emerged to announce Reeve as the night's first finalist. 

After a booze-fueled intermission, Round 2 was led off by Bey Logan, a screenwriter, director and author of The Blood Bond and Hong Kong Action Cinema, who wowed with a fantastic piece of prose about kung fu's leading actor being threatened with death. Lastly, it was Matthew Harrison who entranced the crowd. The best-selling author of Queen's Road Central read an excerpt from Benjamin Bunce about a man-eating Portuguese woman that boasted more twists and turns than Hong Kong's Wyndham Street. 

Again the judges took to the mic, cracking intelligent-wise before delivering another impossible verdict — Logan's strong arms that Chu feared would be weaponized against him if he voted for Harrison; Harrison's prose that delighted Xi endlessly. But in the end, it was Harrison who would be the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zunigawho brought producer Tom Tiding to center stage to assist with the Literary Spelling Bee finale, that tasked Reeve and Harrison with spelling increasingly difficult author names. After a hot start, Reeve was in the driver's seat, but Harrison wouldn't back down. In the final round, with all to play for, Harrison climbed back from being seven points down by nearly spelling the author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, but he came up a letter short, and thus Reeve was named LDM Hong Kong's debut champion, winning literary immortality to go with it. 

Follow LDM on Twitter and/or Facebook now! 


Reader Comments (1)

I'm heading to Hong Kong next year. First time. Hope it doesn't disappoint.

August 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>