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Salt Lake City, Ep. 3

October 16, 2014 — In our annual jaunt to Salt Lake City, we once again teamed up with the bright minds behind the Utah Humanities Book Festival to put on a wild night of literary delights that finished with DeAnn Emett outdueling co-finalist Rachel Levy in a Lone Star Lit finale that went to sudden death, winning Emett the LDM Salt Lake City, Ep. 3 crown. 

But before the final battle began, the night kicked off with the exceptional Rob Carney, winner of 2014 Robinson Jeffers/Tor House Foundation Poetry Prize, author of Story Problems who performed a poem from memory about a road trip to Big Sur with his wife and later receiving her ashes in the mail many, many years later. Next up was Rachel Levy, a writer published in Gigantic, Fence, and The Collagist and co-editor of DREGINALD, who told a series of wonderful stories about a guy named Wayne ("He's a dildo," Levy said). 

The mic was then handed to the trio of all-star judges: Molly Gaudry, poet and short storyist shortlisted for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry; Matthew Ivan Bennett, award-winning playwright and resident of Plan-B Theatre Company; and Angela Lovell, award-winning playwright, director, screenwriter, podcaster, and performer. The threesome ripped off a series of praise-riddled, hilarious comments about each author before deciding that it would be Levy who would advance as the night's first finalist. 

Then came Round 2, which featured DeAnn Emett, slam master of Salt City Slam who has been on six consecutive national poetry slam teams, who dazzled with three poems that ranged from domestic violence, and giving a blowjob. Finally it was Jeff Metcalf, award-winning teacher and author who read an excerpt from his play A Slight Discomfort, about a man with prostrate cancer having a conversation with his penis. 

Again the judges were center stage, and after more joy-inducing quips, and cheers aplenty, it was Emett who was advanced as the night's second finalist. 

Then LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage, announcing the night's finale: Lone Star Lit — a game in which Zuniga read off 1-star Amazon book reviews written about classic books. The finalists, teamed with volunteers, traded points, and with everything to play for, it was Team Emett who slapped the bell first, nailing the final answer, winning her the LDM Salt Lake City, Ep. 3 crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

Follow us on Twitter: @litdeathmatch

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