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Savannah, Ep. 1

March 11, 2010 — The Literary Death Match's deep south debut at Blowin’ Smoke was a boisterous clash that ended with Zach Powers out-Georgia peach-tossing co-finalist Adam Davies to claim Georgia's first-ever Literary Death Match title.

But well before the first fruit was thrown, the night kicked off with Davies (representing Deep) leading off against Oxford American rep, J. Charlotte Jarrett. Davies, standing on a brick structure at the center of a packed house, led off with a charming excerpt from his first novel, The Frog King. Next up was Jarrett, the first-ever barefoot LDM scribe, who read a sequence of three poetic and evocative pieces that had the audience holding their breath. 

The mic was then handed over to the team of three all-star judges: slam poet Clinton Powell, co-founder of the Spitfire Poetry Group, radio personality Shawn “J. Chris” Christopher and writer/comedian Phil Keeling. Powell gently skewered Davies for shooting well over the 7-minute time limit, J. Chris struggled to catch his breath after Jarrett's reading, followed by Keeling hammering home a few key points in hilarious fashion. After a difficult deliberation, the judges selected Davies as the night's first finalist. 

Eschewing an intermission to keep things pushing forward, Maryanne Stahl (representing The Poetry Society of Georgia) and Zach Powers (The Peacock Guild) squared off, with Stahl going first. Stahl was brilliant, reading three flash fictions, the second of which inspired her to place devil horns on her head, and at the finishing words, a devil tail sprung from beneath her shirt. She flung confetti-as-meteors for her finale. Then Powers took center-of-the-room stage, winding through a six-part story that was rife with whimsy, the home town crowd boomed with laughter and applause with each delicate twist. 

Zach Powers reads from on-high with co-finalist Adam Davies in the background

Again, the judges were the focus, with another staggering decision ahead of them. After a few lines about each, they opted for Powers to be the night's second finalist. 

Then came a finale that featured Davies and Powers tasked with throwing delicious Georgia peaches through the mouths of some of Savannah's finest artists. First up, Powers missed Flannery O'Connor's open mouth, then Davies went Wild Thing and launched a peach into the far recesses of the restaurant. Powers turned his opportunity into the night's first point, sailing the fruit through O'Connor's gob. Then it was Davies opportunity to tie, facing a giant picture of Outkast's Big Boi. Davies opening toss sailed well north of the hole in Big Boi's flexed arm, and Powers, the Literary Death Match title only one toss away, refused to lose. His lone second-round shot sailed through, making the score an insurmountable 2-0 (and shelving the Stacy Keach portrait), giving himself the title, and in the process winning LDM immortality.  

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