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Entries in Elissa Bassist (7)


Quinnipiac, Ep. 2

November 5, 2013 — In Literary Death Match's victorious return to Quinnipiac University for our second-ever episode in Connecticut, it was Sam Austin who narrowly outshined co-finalist Joe Virgillito in a wild game of Literary Pictionary that finished with a closer-than-it-appears score of 13-3 to win Austin the LDM Quinnipiac crown.

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Brooklyn, Ep. 1

May 9, 2013 — After 44 Manhattan-based events, Literary Death Match is made the obvious move to the better borough, with an offiical Brooklyn debut at Union Hall that saw Alexander Chee outduel co-finalist Alina Simone in an exhilirating Literary Pictionary finale that Chee won with a closer-than-it-seems 9-1 victory, to win him the LDM Brookyn, Ep. 1 crown. 

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NYC, Ep. 34

December 16, 2010 — On a holly, jolly, cut throat night of poetic gift-giving at the Bowery Poetry Club, Literary Death Match’s final event of the year ended with “Team Hanukkah” (featuring Clay McCleod Chapman) outdid “Team Christmas” (headed by Elissa Bassist) in a vicious battle of "Mad Lib Christmas Caroling" that led to the crowning of Chapman as LDM champion.

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SF, Ep. 27

March 12, 2010 — Raucous readings. Hilarious tales of personal highs and lows. An Elbo Room so packed it should have to change its name. But in the end, the never-less-than-sidesplittingly-funny Ali Liebegott (The IHOP Papers) reigned victorious, and deservedly so, after first-round winner Tania Katan (My One Night Stand With Cancer) narrowly lost The Shortest Spelling Bee in Modern History finale. 

To kick off the evening, Katan stared down Chris Colin and won the coin flip, the coin being host Elissa Bassist's constant companion: Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Katan impressed the crowd with the tale of a lesbian couple applying to work as period characters in a Mormon version of Colonial Willamsburg. They would wear bonnets and churn prairie butter, but with a sense of post-modern irony. Colin then showed class with a let's-hear-it-for-Katan, generating a fresh round of applause for his adversary. Then: "If you like that sort of thing..." He proceeded to wow the crowd with a reflective tale of a mid-30s husband and father encountering a nonsensical phrase, scribbled down on a piece of scrap paper, that ten years before had encapsulated for him the meaning of life and love. A twisting tale with unexpected turns featuring French Canadians in Austria. But alas, this was the LDM, not a hockey game! The judges — Julie Greicius826 Valencia's publishing and pirate store director Justin Carder, and memoirist Rebecca Walker — chose Katan, who celebrated with a rock-star salute kick to the literary gods.

French Canadians in Austria 0, Ironic Mormon Lesbians 1.

Round Two started with another book toss. Unfortunately, co-host Braden Marks' cherished copy of In a Queer Time and Place (Judith Halberstam) insisted on ambiguity, landing open-faced twice, forcing the judges to stop-loss The [ever reliable] Bell Jar back into service. Ally won and read from her memoir, The IHOP Papers. The crowd roared with laughter at the tale of a young girl taking her own virginity with a marker pen. 

Chicken John followed up with a powerful reading from his new book Fail... to Win! Essays of Engineered Disperfection. He even broke out his ukelele.

Host Elissa Bassist paying homage to Carmen Electra. Click to see more partying shots.The judges conferred and conferred and conferred some more—long enough for both Marks and Bassist to demonstrate their best dance moves (Thank you, Carmen Electra!) — before announcing the finale would be a Lesbian Spelling Bee Smackdown between Liebegott and (who claimed she is technically bi-sexual, hello). The finale was a Comp Lit exercise in which Bassist read a sentence from a great work of literature, then selected a word for the finalist to spell. Liebegott struggled with a selection from James Joyce, having to spell the word "yes." But pulled through. Then Katan was challenged with "it." Despite asking to hear it in a sentence, she misspelled it as "T-I-T," and Liebegott took home the Literary Death Match medal!

Winner Ali Liebegott. Click to see more partying shots.

See more event coverage (video!) from San Francisco’s own Evan Karp.

Write-up by Andy Dugas

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SF, Ep. 26

February 12, 2010 — An epic night—referred to some as "the best LDM in SF ever"—ended with Dylan Schaffer out-chocolate-launching Valentine's Day chocolates into the mouths of famous love writers (Pablo Neruda, Danielle Steele, and Sigmund Freud), narrowly edging out Samantha Schoech to snare the LDM championship. 


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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.


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SF, Ep. 21

September's Literary Death Match SF marked was a night to remember at Elbo Room, as Tracy Clark-Flory—pitted against finalist Genie Grotto—took home the LDM crown in a ferociously heated game of Literary Beer Pong. 

See all the photos for this event!

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