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Tuesday
Oct232007

NYC, Ep. 6

October 23, 2007—The Literary Death Match’s triumphant return to New York City, Ep. 6 included the LDM’s biggest crowd east of the Mississippi as a wowing 155 filled The Kitchen’s sold-out theater space, as each audience member was rewarded with a fresh new copy of Opium5: Bad Company. 

The brilliant night concluded when New York Tyrant’s Giancarlo DiTrapano out-Cyrillic’d co-finalist Susan Buttenwieser (failbetter), for the win, scoring the LDM Championship medal, the blazing red (and we’ll say it if you won’t: beautiful) LDM sash, and headware to end all headware: the not-diamond encrusted LDM tiara.

Though long before the final Cyrillic-spelled Pulitzer Prize winning author was decoded, the night began with Susan Buttenwieser squaring off against Pedro Ponce (Quick Fiction). Buttenwieser led off, hypnotizing the crowd with a dazzling handful of stories, before giving way to Ponce, who read from a captivating series of story’s that had the judges on their heels, as they were forced to pick a finalist from two worthy contestants. After much consideration Ben Greenman (New Yorker), Amanda Stearn (host of the Happy Ending Reading Series) and Joshua Furst (Short People) selected Buttenwieser by the narrowest of margins.

 

A worthy champion.Unlike in LDM’s-past, there was no intermission--a thrown loop that led to DiTrapano facing off against Thomas Cooper (Opium). After a coinflip, Cooper opted to go last, and DiTrapano confidently approached the podium before ripping off a rewrite of one of Opium5’s best stories (and a 500-Word Memoir Contest finalist): “Benediction.” Then Cooper, who came all the way in from Florida to compete, stepped the stage to read “The Old-Fashioned Way”--the Pushcart Prize-nominated lead story from Opium5. Cooper read with verve and passion, but after much (hilarious) debate by the judges, they went with DiTrapano (it marked the first time ever an Opium-sponsored reader didn’t make the finals).

Then the finale begun. With Buttenwieser and DiTrapano at the podium, co-hosts Todd Zuniga and Elizabeth Koch flashed through a series of Pulitzer author’s names written out in Cyrillic (e-mail if you’d like to try the “quiz” at home). After laboring through the early rounds, DiTrapano caught fire late, and scored a tasty 8-3 victory, and raised his hands with a joy known only to champions. It was an epic evening, a fantastic slice of glory for all involved.

See all the photos of this event here!

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