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SF, Ep. 57

December 5, 2014 — In our final jaunt SF-ward this year, a knockout lineup of charmsters and charmstresses convened for a holiday jolt of levity, literature and sweetness, in a night that ended with Maisha Z. Johnson outdueling Janine Kovac in a down-to-the-wire Literary 20 Questions finale, winning Johnson the LDM SF, Ep. 57 crown. 

But before the finale was even a consideration, the night kicked off with Janine Kovac, executive committee member of Litquake, founding member of the Write On Mamas, reading an electric piece that had the audience on the edge of their chairs. Next, it was John Leary, a short storyist found in Zoetrope, One Story and the Gettysburg Review who gave a pitch-perfect recount of his strange-as experience of going to North Korea. 

The mic was then handed over to the trio of all-star judges: Scott Hutchins, Truman Capote fellow at Stanford and author of A Working Theory of Love; Emily Epstein White, Comedian, writer, editor, and co-host of  & ; and Tim Federle, award-winning author of Better Nate than Never and Tequila Mockingbird and former Broadway dancer. The three combined to be a Voltron-like force of thoughtful response and hysterics before huddling up and deciding it would be Kovac who would be the night's first finalist. 

After a brief intermission, the night zipped into a staggering Round 2, led off by Maisha Z. Johnson, poet and teaching artist with Streetside Stories, who wowed with a series of five poems that ranged from "Black Girls Don't Do Yoga" to "Black Girls Don't Get Kinky." Finally it was Ali Eteraz, award-winning author of Children of Dust and Falsipedies and Fibsiennes, who honored Johnson's work before ripping off a brilliant story called "Honey" that had the audience wanting more.

Again the judges were center stage, with praise and quips aplenty before the made the night's second impossible decision, choosing Johnson to advance as the night's second finalist. 

Then up stepped LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga, who announced the night's finale: Literary 20 Questions, in which Kovac and Johnson each held pictures of a popular author/lyricist/actor-in-a-literary-movie figures to their forehead and asked the audience yes/no (and beyond) questions, trying to figure out who they were. With everything to play for in the final round it was Johnson who nailed the final answer, winning her the Literary Death Match San Francisco, Ep. 57 crown, and literary immortality to go with it. 

Follow us on Twitter: @litdeathmatch

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January 2, 2015 | Unregistered Commentermichael

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