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Oxford, MS, Ep. 1

October 13, 2015 — In a debut that changed lives, Literary Death Match headed to the literary haven of Oxford, Mississippi for the first time with an all-star lineup and brilliance blazing, in a show that saw Beth Ann Fennelly outduel Kiese Laymon in a sudden death Lone Star Lit finale that won Fennelly the LDM Oxford, MS, Ep. 1 crown. 

But before the finale was even a thought, the night kicked off with a clash of prose vs. poetry, with the crackling prose coming from Kiese Laymon, award-winning author of Long Division and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, followed by all-world poetry coming from Derrick Harriell, poet and author of Ropes and Cotton

The mic was then handed to our trio of star judges: Mary Miller, author of The Last Days of California and Big WorldDamein Wash, musician, conductor, composer, performer and producer; and Jim Dees, host of the The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour and author of Lies and Other TruthsThe three praised and quipped before making the night's first impossible decision, as Laymon was advanced as the night's first finalist. 

Then the brilliant Mississippi eve zipped into Round 2, with a blaze of striking fiction versus a wow of pitch-perfect poetry, with the startling work of Matt Bondurant, author of The Wettest County in the World and The Night Swimmer, and followed by the all-amazing poetics of Fennelly, award-winning poet and author of Unmentionables and Great with Child

Again the mic was handed to the judges who delivered oddballetry, wisdom and laughs before making the night's second impossible decision, naming Fennelly the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga who announced the night's finale: Lone Star Lit, in which he read off 1-star Amazon book reviews written about classic books. Team Laymon caught fire early on, but then Team Fennelly stormed back to force sudden death overtime. With all to play for it was Fennelly herself who nailed the final answer, winning her the LDM Oxford, MS, Ep. 1 medal and literary immortality to go with it.