November 13, 2012 — It was all about academic splendor and surprise as Literary Death Match touched down at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut for the first time ever. This piercing event, sponsored by Montage literary magazine, ended when Benjamin Goodheart just barely beat out Samantha Austin in an Author Spelling Bee, winning Goodheart the title of LDM champion of Quinnipiac.
Before the final duel, Ben Goodheart’s narcotic-infused prose pulled laughs from the crowd as he detailed the realization that one should always buy their drugs from a reliable source. Stepping up next was Cara Jackson, who slammed down and delivered a fueled performance that left audience members vibrating in their seats.
Then the mic was turned over to the trio of all-star judges: Timothy Dansdill (professor of English at Quinnipiac), Colin Kuusisto (QU alum and current MFA candidate at The New School), and Edith Zimmerman (founding editor of The Hairpin). They offered their zany commentary that had on-lookers in stitches, eventually announcing Goodheart as the night’s first finalist.
After a competition so intense, Round 2 began without the interruption of an intermission. Samantha Austin’s irony-tinged poetry managed to conquer Reid Engwall’s sexually-charged fiction, which went over the 7 minute time limit, garnering a scolding from Zimmerman.
The finale commenced as host and LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage, announcing the night's finale would be an Author Spelling Bee, in which Goodheart and Austin had to spell impossibly difficult last names of authors. After a neck-in-neck showdown, Goodheart managed to out-spell Austin by mere syllables and was crowned champion, winning the Literary Death Match Quinnipiac medal, and literary immortality to go with it.