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Sunday
May292011

Orlando, Ep. 1

May 29, 2011 — After a brilliant night of literary fascination, Literary Death Match at Urban ReThink ended after Gregory Sherl out-sniped co-finalist Ashley Inguanta in a wild Kerouac-inspired Cupcake-Tipped Nerf Dart-Off to earn the LDM crown. 

But before the first icing'd dart was pistoled forward, the night began with Sherl (author of the forthcoming The Oregon Trail Is the Oregon Trail, repping Dark Sky Books) leading off against Ryan Rivas (repping Burrow Press). Sherl had the judges pluck his poems from a silver-hearted paper sack at random, reeling off three gems that had the packed house on the edge of their seat. Next up, Rivas was masterful, admitting his story wouldn't fit within the seven-minute time limit, but wowed onlookers with only 30 extra seconds necessary. 

Then the mic was handed over to the night's all-star judging geniuses: former Seven Mary Three Drummer Giti Khalsa (co-chair of the Urban think! Foundation), Madden NFL 12's executive producer Phil Frazier, and local lit star Vanessa Blakeslee. After a few kindly not-quite-critiques, the judges huddled, and after a difficult deliberation chose Sherl to advance as the night's first finalist. 

After a booze break, Round 2 commenced with performance poet J. Bradley (author of Dodging Traffic, repping Ampersand Press) going up against the oft-award nominated Ashley Inguanta (representing the University of Central Florida's MFA program). Bradley read a heartaching/hilarious story about a dating web site for widows (Six Feet Undercovers), followed by Inguanta, whose rapturous tale had her many followers booming with after-story applause. 

Again the mic was turned over to the judges, who had another too-close-to-call decision on their hands, but it was Inguanta who was selected to be the night's final finalist. 

Then host and LDM creator Todd Zuniga introduced the finale, which asked the two finalists to shoot celebratory, cake icing-tipped Nerf darts at a poster of Jack Kerouac (Kerouac became a literary celebrity for On the Road days after moving to Orlando) with the dart closest to Kerouac's maw. Sherl fired first, a strike that went well high, suctioning against the window, while Inguanta's first shot struck the volunteer Kerouac-holder in the loins. Then both finalists got serious, with Sherl striking Kerouac's left cheek, Inguanta firing nearby but not closer, Sherl pulling a Robin Hood and nearly splitting his dart with another dart. With LDM Orlando's championship in the balance, Inguanta had one final shot...which sailed just southeast of Sherl's closest dart, winning Sherl the Literary Death Match crown, and literary immortality along with it. 

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Reader Comments (1)

This looks fun, what a great idea.

May 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChester Pane

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