This is a first-come, first-served seated event. Seating is limited and not guaranteed; please arrive early.
In what promises to be one of the most electric nights in literary history, the LDM sets foot onto the Le Poisson Rouge stage for the first-time ever to launch one of the ambitious/surprising/fascinating novels we’ve read in ages: Shya Scanlon’s Forecast (which the first 100 guests will receive with the price of admission). The trio of judges includes Guggenheim fellow and The Believer book-award champ Sam Lipsyte (author of the LDM-lauded The Ask), general mayhemist and The Talent Show co-host Kevin Townley (lead singer of Bamb�), and superstar New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast (Theories of Everything). The literary combatants are comprised of a no-way-really!? foursome featuring The Smart Set critic-at-large and Flux Factory founder Morgan Meis, the wondrously talented Anya Ulinich (author of Petropolis), contagious hyper-performer James Freed (author of The Unfulfilled and The Illiterate), and the uber-delightful Amy Shearn (How Far Is the Ocean from Here). Hosted by LDM creator Todd Zuniga and all-new LDM NYC co-producer M.G. Martin.
Literary Death Match, co-created by Opium�s founding editor, Todd Zuniga (pictured above), marries the literary and performative aspects of Def Poetry Jam, rapier-witted quips of American Idol�s judging (without any meanness), and the ridiculousness and hilarity of Double Dare.
Each episode of this competitive, humor-centric reading series features a thrilling mix of four famous and emerging authors (all representing a literary publication, press or concern � online, in print or live) who perform their most electric writing in seven minutes or less before a lively audience and a panel of three all-star judges. After each pair of readings, the judges � focused on literary merit, performance and intangibles � take turns spouting hilarious, off-the-wall commentary about each story, then select their favorite to advance to the finals.
The two finalists then compete in the Literary Death Match finale, which trades in the show�s literary sensibility for an absurd and comical climax to determine who takes home the Literary Death Match crown.
It may sound like a circus � and that’s half the point. Literary Death Match is passionate about inspecting new and innovative ways to present text off the page, and the most fascinating part about the LDM is how seriously attentive the audience is during each reading. We’ve called this the great literary ruse: an audacious and inviting title, a harebrained finale, but in-between the judging creates a relationship with the viewer as a judge themselves.
Our ultimate goal is to perform the Literary Death Match all over the world, and to continue to showcase literature as a brilliant, unstoppable medium.
Photos by Erica Carpiniello