“Literary Death Match” Revitalizes the Coolitude of the Printed Word

Okay, maybe you haven’t heard of coolitude, but Interview Magazine uses this word to describe the impact of this ten-year-old phenomenon that came to dtla’s gorgeous United Artists Theater last Friday, April 1.

A friend who was an AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) participant clued me in–actually her daughter tipped off my daughter, and somehow we were all able to get last minute tickets to this sold-out event.

What is it?  Created and MC’d by Adrian Todd Zuniga, the evening consists of four emerging authors who each perform their writing in seven minutes or less, alternating with all-star “judges” who, after each pair of readings, share off-the-wall commentary about each story.  One of the first two readers is chosen to advance to the finals, which ultimately determine who takes home the Literary Death Match crown.

Seem incredibly silly?  Well, I’ve seldom been more entertained, and judging from the 1600-seat audience reaction, others felt the same way.  Zuniga reports that his ultimate goal is to perform the Literary Death Match all over the world, and to continue to showcase literature as a brilliant, unstoppable medium.  Wow–I admire his vision!

The show itself was not the only element to dazzle; Lucinda Belle’s singing and harp playing were hypnotic, and the venue for this year’s match–Ace Hotel’s United Artists Theater–was breathtakingly beautiful.  Designed and opened in 1927, this Spanish-Gothic picture palace features arched vaulted ceilings, elaborately painted murals, and a massive dome covered with thousands of mirrored discs and crystal pendants encircled by an enormous sunburst.

I’m just sorry that next year’s LDM will no doubt be in another city.  If you want to be on their mailing list, here’s where to go:









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