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Portland (ME), Ep. 4

February 14, 2014 — The first Literary Death Match of 2014 was a rollicking, love-fueled affair that saw Debra Spark outlast co-finalist Travis Baker in a Literary Spelling Bee II finale by a score of 35-20 to win Spark the LDM Portland (ME), Ep. 4 crown. 

But before the finale was even a consideration, the night kicked off with Christian Barter (author of The Singers I Prefer (a Lenore Marshall Prize finalist) and In Someone Else's House) who reeled off a startlingly wonderful excerpt to a book length poem. Next was Travis Baker, winner of the 2013 Clauder New England Playwrighting Competition for One Blue Tarp, who read about his experience meeting the one-and-only Arthur Miller that had the crowd in throes. 

The mic was then handed over to the trio of all-star judges: Megan Grumbling, Robert Frost Award-winning poet and theater critic; Moira Driscoll, actor seen in See Girl Run and Boardwalk Empire; and Nick Schroeder, reporter/arts writer for the Portland Phoenix. The trio riffed and quipped, praising Barter's scrumptious stylings and Baker's performative might (and his red-tinged shirt). Then they made the night's first impossible decision, naming Baker the night's first finalist. 

After a boozy intermission, Round 2 kicked off with Debra Spark (journalist, professor and award-winning author of The Pretty Girl) who enchanted the wide-eyed audience with her anti-love book excerpt on Valentine's Day. Finally it was Kathryn Miles (author of All Standing and Adventures with Ari) who wowed with her alluring essay, “Menage a fungo,” from the the food journal, Alimentum. 

Again the judges were center stage, with hoorays and delight delivered in the direction of both writers before they made their night's second impossible choice, naming Spark as the night's second finalist. 

Then host and LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage to announce the night's finale: Literary Spelling Bee II, in which Spark and Baker were tasked with spelling complicated author names. After Spark took charge, it was up to Baker to pull off a hyphante-named miracle, but it wasn't to be. Spark took the title 35-20, and was crowned champ, winning the LDM Portland, Ep. 4 medal, and literary immortality to go with it.  

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Presented by Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance

Reader Comments (1)

Where can we watch the replay??

February 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKTS

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