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Twin Cities, Ep. 1

April 6, 2010 — The LDM Twin Cities debut at Club Jager was a raucous and sold-out affair that proved Minnesota was a perfect spot (excitable crowd, talent-rich judges and writers) for the series. After a series of sensational readings and as-sensational judging, it was The Evergreen Review rep Brian Beatty who outdueled Replacement Press' John Jodzio 2-0 in closer-than-the-score-appeared finale of Toss the Squishy Baseball through the Various Literary Holes.  

But well before the night's first pitch was tossed, the L'Etoile Magazine-sponsored evening began with co-hosts Todd Zuniga and Steve Marsh introducing a first round that pitted Beatty against Paper Darts rep John Gordon. Gordon skewed humorous, relaying a prison-based tale that had the crowd in titters before Beatty, big beard and all, stole the show with a sequence of superbly short poems that were as literary as they were hilarious. 

The mic was then turned over to the superstar judges, including Doomtree CollectiveDessa, renowned quizmaster Rob Callahan (author of Hellbound Snowballs and Damaged Goods), and awesomeness instructor Dennis Cass (author of My New Look). In the packed house, the judges took turns standing on a leather settee to celebrate the readers in kind, with Cass (judging intangibles) even turning to some closely-seated onlookers to assist with comments. After they finished their light-hearted critiques, they deliberated, with Dessa taking the mic and announcing that the night's first finalist would be Beatty. 

After a booze-fueled intermission, round two began with poet/educator Darci Schummer (representing Conclave: A Journal of Character) leading off against Jodzio (author of the just-released If You Lived Here You'd Already Be Home). Schummer was excellent, straying from the humor that electrified the first round, and reading a perfectly-pitched tale that silenced the rowdy barroom. Up next was Jodzio, who performed a pair of pieces, first a story titled "I Totally Spaced Telling You About that Lair in my Basement" then following with a story from a midwest mattress that wanted to be put out of its misery. 

The judges again were tasked with a difficult decision, with Dessa pointing out that one belle from the audience laughed maybe too loudly at the "eerily silent sex" line in Jodzio's piece (only to find out the man she suggested was the belle's boyfriend was, in fact, her father). The moment passed with booming laughter, but the vote was still at hand, and after much consideration, the judges narrowly elected Jodzio to advance. 

Then came the finale, in which Beatty and Jodzio stood side by side, holding four foam baseballs and introduced to Minnesota's finest storytellers. Their goal: to throw them through the mouth of F. Scott Fitzgerald, through the cut-out cat's head in a Louise Erdrich photo, and finally through the cut away hat held by hometown baseball star Joe Mauer. Beatty was quick, and relentless winning F. Scott's point in only two throws before winning it all seconds later while Jodzio was still rocked by Beatty's dizzying accuracy. Beatty, winning 2-0, was crowned champ, and literary immortality was his. 


LDM Twin Cities sponsor

Reader Comments (2)

The Twin Cities LDM got a plug on Minnesota Public Radio:

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Beatty

Thanks to everybody who made it out to LDM at Club Jager. It was a lot of fun. My hat's off to John, Darci and John for their great works. Dessa, Dennis and Rob were hilarious judges, too. Todd and Steve rocked the hosting duties. That I won as a result of quasi-athletic skill is something I'll be working through for years. But that's why there's therapy.

April 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian Beatty

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