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On the auspicious date of Friday, August 13, M.G. Martin and Alia Volz took over as hosts of the Literary Death Match. It was a bloodbath. Not only were judges whipped, but there was semi-nudity, a near challenge to a duel, tittie jokes, gunshots, a bathroom abduction, loss of virginity, water soaking, and an all around good time. This is high literary culture in San Francisco? You bet.
Notwithstanding the mayhem, contestants Tanya Gibson, Matt Stewart, Jamey Genna and D. A. Powell delivered the literary goods. The Literary Death Match may not be to everyone’s taste (I am myself a bit ambivalent) but behind all the circus hijinks, it is after all about presenting quality writing to the community. What else would you expect from an event sponsored by Opium Magazine? So, I’m saying, if you haven’t yet attended one of these, give it a try. There’s nothing else quite like it.
Although it is true that Tony DuShane nearly found himself in a duel with Tanya Egan Gibson’s husband (reference “tittie jokes” above), the judges overall maintained a semblance of much needed dignity. There was, of course, the matter of Russell Blackwood’s riding crop and flamboyant costume, but this was no surprise from the artistic director of the renowned San Francisco theater company Thrillpeddlers (billed as a unique blend of horror and fetish)? Distinguished novelist K. M. Soehnlein, who currently teaches at the University of San Francisco, carried the banner for academic respectability. Hopefully, no tenure committee will be privy to the events of Friday the 13th.
And speaking of Friday the 13th, your reporter did not escape without feeling the curse of the date. Too late, he realized that the memory card on his camera could not contain everything that occurred. Sadly, he ran out of space in the midst of Death Match winner D. A. Powell’s second poem and also missed the second round of judging. My cup of regret runneth over. Nevertheless, I have posted as much of the poem as possible (it is worth your attention even in truncated form). Happily, I recovered my technical mojo in time to record the final death match and the deflowering of the hosts.
Enjoy the video. — Charles Kruger
Upate :: Due to technical difficulties, Jamey Genna’s performance has also slipped through the cracks. We are so very sorry about this (really sorry, actually, as I will never be able to see it and absolutely love her). — ek
Introduction + Judges
Tanya Egan Gibson
Hosts Banter and Judges Judge
Judges respond to Matt Stewart
Judges respond to Tanya Egan Gibson
D. A. Powell
Hosts Banter #2
The Death Match