Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Hi everyone! We just wanted to let everyone know in NYC (and possibly Boston) about this great event that we are going to be attending on Thursday. Taking place on December 17th 2009, the Literary Deathmatch is an event that is not to be missed. It is a free event hosted at the Bowery Poetry Club; doors at 7:00pm & the show at 8:15pm. Drinks until 10pm! There is also an after party at Von, located at 3 Bleeker street. Here is more information about Literary Deathmatch from their website, for those who are interested in attending:

Opium’s Literary Death Match, co-created by Opium’s founding editor, Todd Zuniga (pictured), Elizabeth Koch & Dennis DiClaudio, 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--either online or in print) who perform their most electric writing (in eight 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. Opium and the Literary Death Match have long been passionate about inspecting new and innovative ways to present text on the page and off of it, 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.

As a gift to all ye literary faithful, this shortened holiday episode will be free (a gift to our fans)! Plus, so we can celebrate with you with time to spare, we'll be doing a "lightning round" version of the event, in which readers read for four minutes or less, and judges have a minute and a half time limit (and the holiday-themed finale is not to be missed).

Judges include
Ben Greenman of the New Yorker, Devorah Rose (Social Life magazine), Jared Bloom (Full Ginsburg) and readers Terese Svoboda (Weapons Grade), Elna Baker (The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance), James Yeh (of Gigantic) and LDM first-timer Jason Helm!

Plus, a holiday-themed finale that will revolutionize literary events forever!

Literary Deathmatch
December 17
Bowery Poetry Club (map), Doors: 7:00, Show: 8:15 (sharp), Drinks: until 10!
Afterparty at Von at 10 p.m. (map)
Sponsored by Against Nature