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SF, Ep. 24

December 11, 2009 — San Francisco’s Literary Death Match embraced December in all of its holiday glory, holding a free/fundraiser LDM at the Elbo room. Holiday stories, a jingle bells/Mad Libs finale, and the first night of Channukah all came together on Dec. 11, when Beth Spotswood was crowned the final LDM champion of 2009.

In round one, past LDM runners-up Derek Powazek (August) and Lynka Adams (October) had four minutes each to tell their stories of holiday cheer and woe. Powazek (Fray Magazine founder) won the round with his story of Torah portions, teen angst, and self-mutilation, edging out Adams’s "Chicken Soup for the Bag-Lady’s Soul."

In round two, former judges Beth Spotswood (SF Appeal and SF Gate) and Elissa Bassist ( went head-to-head to see who would take on Powazek in the finale. Spotswood’s hilarious telling of her December 1989 “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day,” complete with ’fro picks in perms and urine-covered shoes. Bassist followed with a fictional letter from her mom, about the perils of single-hood and Plan B. Intangibles judge Chicken John (mayoral elections, Burning Man, cars running on coffee grounds), performance judge Isaac Fitzgerald (managing editor of The Rumpus), and literary merit judge Nina Lesowitz (Spinergy Group, Litquake executive committee) had an incredibly difficult task in picking winners of both rounds, but eventually Spotswood went on to battle Powazek.

Beth Spotswood - Fake Plastic Trees from Evan Karp on Vimeo.



Elissa Bassist - Seasons Greetings from Evan Karp on Vimeo.


Hosts Sky Horning and Alana Conner solicited Powazek and Spotswood for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and onomonopias to complete a Madlibs version of Jingle Bells, which they then had to perform for the adoring audience. Spotswood’s used of words like “groovy” and “elbow” got her the win, making her the final 2009 SF LDM champion. 

More Videos to come! 

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