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

Wednesday
Nov162011

Kansas City, Ep. 2

November 16, 2011 — In a literary and comedic romp for the midwestern ages, a packed house at The Brick witnessed a literary spelling bee finish between co-finalists Matthew Eck and Sarah Smarsh that ended with a closer-than-it-appears score of 13-1, winning Eck the LDM crown. 

But before the first difficult-to-spell author’s name was presented, the night kicked off with Danny Volin reading a quiet piece about a lifetime of collecting smells in glass jars that had the audience following every twist and turn. Next up was Matthew Eck (author of The Farther Shore), who entranced with a question-mark-ful story of how channeling Chekhov can win you acclaim in the Ivy Leagues, that had the audience giggling and quietly focused in consecutive moments.  

The mic was then turned over to the trio of all-star judges: KC public library's Jason F. Harper (formerly the music editor of The Pitch), novelist Brian Shawver (author of Aftermath and The Cuban Prospect) and award-winning poet/brainiac Hadara Bar-Nadav (author of A Glass of Milk to Kiss Goodnight and director of the creative writing program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City). 

The star arbiters traded witticisms — Martin being reminded of pancakes by Volin’s reading, while Eck’s story reminded Shawver of all the words he pronounces poorly (“rural,” for one). After a taxing deliberation the three emerged to announce Eck as the night’s first finalist.

After a booze-skewed intermission, Round 2 kicked off with Sarah Smarsh (Washburn University's creative nonfiction writing professor) taking center stage and wowing with a beautifully detailed story which recollected summers spent manning the family fireworks stand that had the audience applauding rabidly. Finally, it was Brandon Tietz (author of Out of Touch) going for LDM gold, firing off a tawdry, written-for-LDM story about a guy who finally stands up to his stand-up comedian girlfriend. 

Again the judges were handed the mic, responding with gentle and bemusing reactions, before it was Hadara Ben-Nadav who — after admitting it was the closest vote in Literary Death Match history — announced Smarsh as the night’s second finalist. 

Then LDM creator Todd Zuniga rushed onto the stage to explain the night’s finale: a literary spelling bee featuring hard-to-spell author names. Eck excelled early, nailing Kerouac and Thoreau. After Smarsh was tripped up by Theroux, Eck was up 3-1, and after using his “50-50” to swap out an author’s name, he flew to victory by correctly spelling one of his favorite author’s names: Ondaatje, securing a 13-3 victory, winning him the Literary Death Match crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

Follow LDM on Twitter and/or Facebook now! 

References (15)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: Jay Cutler Jersey
    Football is actually one particular of the biggest sports in America. It has a main following.
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Response: Click On this site
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Response: check out your url
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match
  • Response
    Kansas City, Ep. 2 - Journal - Literary Death Match

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

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):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>