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Thursday
Sep202012

Twin Cities, Ep. 8

September 20, 2012 — The blood-thirsty crowds that packed The Nomad World Pub to celebrate LDM's 8th visit to Minneapolis (plus the launch of Lara Avery's Anything But Ordinary) saw the closest LDM finish in history as poet Heid E. Erdrich outdueled R. Vincent Moniz, Jr. in a Books by Numbers finale, winning by a final score of 2287 to 2286 to win her the LDM Twin Cities crown!

To kick things off, R. Vincent Moniz Jr. took to the stage like an “urban Res rocket” and covered topics ranging from Juliette Lewis’ ethnocentrism to his girlfriend’s love of Hans Solo. His opponent, Lara Avery responded with a brilliantly-performed SNL-worthy comic reading (along with statuesque and glittery-sweatered Ross Nervig) from her debut YA novel, Anything But Ordinary.  

The mic was handed over to the night's trio of all-star judges: author/LDM champ Peter Bognanni (author of The House of Tomorrow), writer/musician Dylan Hicks (author of Boarded Windows), and comedian/polka brillianteur Mary Mack (the mind behind the comedy CD Pinch Pinch Finger Girl). After reeling off scores of hilarious responses, the frybread-loving Vincent was deemed the first round champ.

Next up was Round 2, which pitted Minnesota Book Award-winner Erdrich (author of Cell Traffic, and winner of the 2009 Minnesota Book Award for National Monuments) against dashing Mill City Bibliophile founding editor and writer Patrick Nathan. Erdrich wowed with lines like “Pantene waxy” and “veal in a school bus.”  Then Nathan painted vignettes of intimacy and familial strain with mesmerizing dialogue.

Again the judges were handed the mic, and again the bemused and amused and mused, before deciding it would be Erdrich who took round two. 

Then up stepped LDM creator and host Adrian Todd Zuniga and LDM Twin Cities executive producer Sarah Moeding. Zuniga explained the grand finale, which had 17 audience members holding pictures of famous authors who had written a novel with a number in the title. After an opening that had one finalist granted 1984 points (Orwell) and the other 1985 points (Burgess), the final moment came down to Moniz Jr. down two points, with one card to play. He selected Ken Kesey, but it was 1 Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which means Erdrich was champ, winnning not only the Literary Death Match crown, but literary immortality to go with it. 

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