Literary Death Match, Episode 8

KAT KLUEGEL | Updated 9/21/2012

Sweet stylistic freedom at the Nomad.

The blood-thirsty crowds that packed Nomad bar for Minneapolis’ eighth installment of Literary Death Match proved yet again that our local lit scene is not just surviving, but thriving.  Masterminded by the maddeningly-dapper Todd Zuniga and produced by local wizardress of arts and letters, Sarah Moeding, last night’s circus delivered plenty of juicy bang.

Freed from the restraints of respectability and publicly intoxicated with stylistic freedom– judges judged, writers read, and spectators got riotous.  Unsuspecting contestants were ruthlessly judged in Dance Fever-reminiscent categories.  Prior LDM champ Peter Bognanni quipped on literary merit, local scribe-musician darling Dylan Hicks analyzed performance, and bat-shit brilliant humorist Mary Mack was appropriately assigned to the beloved category of “Intangibles.”

Vincent Moniz Jr. took to the stage large-and-in-charge like an “urban Res rocket” and covered topics ranging from Juliette Lewis’ ethnocentrism to his girlfriend’s love of Hans Solo.  His opponent, Laura Avery responded with a brilliantly-performed "SNL"-worthy comic  reading (along with statuesque and glittery-sweatered Ross Nervig) from her very own book, Anything But Ordinary.  Frybread-loving Vincent was deemed the first round champ.

Round two pitted Minnesota Book Award-winner and sassy beauty Heid E. Erdrich against dashing Mill City Bibliophile founding editor and writer Patrick Nathan.  Heid E. wowed the crowd with lines like “Pantene waxy” and “veal in a school bus.”  Then Patrick painted vignettes of intimacy and familial strain with mesmerizing dialog.  Heid E. took the round two belt.

The grand finale involved an audience-participatory contest of literary strength in which each round’s winners had to identify famous book titles containing numbers by photo prompts of fancy authors.  Points were somehow scored, people mobbed the stage, and Heid E. Erdrich won the title of LDM supreme grand champion and queen for a day. 

Todd Zuniga is currently seeking donations via Kickstarter to produce a televised version of this madness:  the pilot will be filmed on October 9th in Los Angeles and will feature all kinds of lit-loving celebrity eccentrics including Michael C. Hall, Susan Orlean, Moby, and Diablo Cody.  Donate $10,000 to and Todd will give you the designer suit right off his well-traveled back.