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Philadelphia, Ep. 4

October 17, 2012 — On a cool autumn night in brilliant Philadelphia, Literary Death Match returned to World Cafe Live to celebrate our 250th-ever show with Painted Bride Quarterly. The night ended with Dan Wilbur (author of How Not to Read) outdueling General Idea co-curator Kim Gek Lin Short in an air-tight game of Literary Card Sharks that ended with him being crowned as LDM champ. 

But before a deck of cards was hauled out, the night kicked off with award-winning flash fictionist Randall Brown reading a dazzling short piece of his from Upstreet, before Kim Gek Lin Short enchanted the audience with a series of pieces from her book China Cowboy (published by Tarpaulin Sky Press). 

The mic was then handed over to the night's brilliant trio of judges: Philadelphia Tribune's lifestyle reporter Bobbi Booker, one of Philly's finest storytellers (along with being a playwright and teaching artist) R. Eric Thomas, and comedian Carolyn Busa (cohost of Laughs on Fairmount, voted Philly's Best Open Mic). The three praised both readers work, with quick quips pouring forth, but after a huddle, the judges made the difficult decision of advancing Gek Lin Short on as the night's first finalist. 

After a lightning-quick intermission, Round 2 commenced, with Wilbur reading from a sizzlingly hilarious excerpt from How Not to Read: Harnessing the Power of a Literature-Free Life. Her back against the wall, Gigantic Sequins editor-in-chief Kimberly Southwick fired back with a series of gorgeous poems that left the judges decision in doubt. 

The judges once again passed the mic, reeling off humorous commentary, before huddling a second time. Another impossible decision, but after a long conversation, they announced that Wilbur would be the night's second finalist. 

Then came the finale, in which LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage, pitting the two finalists against one another in a nip-tuck game of Literary Card Sharks, while the crowd hollered "higher" and "lower" encouragement as each of the finalists was faced with playing cards with legendary LDM participants from Henry Rollins to Jeffrey Eugenides to Etgar Keret that ended in sudden death. Each finalist had one card, and the higher would win. Wilbur flipped a 4 (Jenny Slate) and seemed doomed, but Gek Lin Short pulled a 2 (Karen Russell), undoing her LDM hopes, and winning Wilbur both the LDM medal, and literary immortality to go with it. 

Preorder tickets are non-refundable. They can be transferred one time to another person or same-priced event.

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Reader Comments (1)

Sounds like an awesome event for writers to converge upon. I hope there are more events like this one for the writers' tribe.

October 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer Ayoub

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