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SF, Ep. 13

November 14, 2008—Like a deep-frying turkey, LDM SF XIII at Amnesia sizzled so vigorously it almost exploded. The show’s theme was Family Thanksgiving, and indeed the family jewels figured prominently in three readings. Nevertheless, a story about a man and a fish won the day (and the Literary Death Match championship) for Joshua Citrak of Slouch Magazine.

Round 1 pitted Jeff O’Keefe of Epoch Magazine against Vince Donovan of Fiction Attic. After O’Keefe meditated on what leads a grown man to pants a small child, Donovan unleashed a chapter from his great American gothic ski novel—a tale that resulted from the unholy union of Emily Bronte and Stephen King, on ice.

Judges Jonathon Keats, Leslie Waggoner, and Robin Ekiss (pictured below) next combined incisive wit with searing intellect to choose Round 1’s winner. Keats, rocking tweed and bowtie like only a philosopher/writer/conceptual artist can, weighed in on literary merit. Judging what she knows, Killing My Lobster troupe member and dirty-comic artist Leslie Waggoner commented on performance. And Ekiss, a poet whose name means “ethereal” in several non-Indo-European languages, judged intangibles. At the end of their hilarious deliberations, the hegemons anointed O’Keefe the Round 1 victor.

James Hass raises his hand to the sky.Round 2 witnessed James Hass of the Farallon Review squaring off against Slouch’s Citrak. Hass recounted a basement conversation amongst his coevals regarding the relative merits of having a lava-lamp testicle versus a man-in-the-moon testicle. Then Citrak—not unlike Melville and Hemingway--movingly described the struggles of a disgruntled employee and the office fish, Fred. Punctuating their verdicts with snorts and chortles, the judges narrowly selected Citrak the Round 2 winner.

For the final round, co-host Alana Conner of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (seen below glimpsing the LDM program) dusted off her favorite bar game: the full-body audience-participation scavenger hunt. O’Keefe and Citrak had two minutes to find audience members who met such stringent familial criteria as being in therapy, bearing photographs of blood-relatives, and having either a twin, three siblings, or an extra appendage. Although O’Keefe was the first to fill his bill, Citrak rousted out better exemplars, and so the judges granted the much-coveted title of LDM Grand Champion to Citrak.

With grace, charm, and a hot new dress, writer and co-host Sky Hornig bedecked young Citrak with his medal (photographed below). Ever the empath, she also awarded amusing field-day ribbons to the other readers. She and co-host Conner are happy to report that, despite the family theme, no one got hurt. Indeed, some even got laid, if rumors are to be believed.

See all the photos from this event here!

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