Literary Deathmatch

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Article that originally appeared in Urban Pie Magazine.

Reading as a contact sport

By Alan Forsythe

Are you like me, do you sit around with your friends and wonder who would win a cage match between Dorthy Parker or Ayn Rand? (personally I would say Rand, that bitch just wanted it more). Anyway this is really just a round about way of introducing Vancouver’s own Literary Death Match. Produced by Sean Cranberry and inspired by the original Literary Death Match series in London and co-created by Opium Magazine founding editor Todd Zuniga. Participant Sara Bynoe was immediately onboard since she first experienced Literary Death Match in London. “I was doing my Masters [in creative writing] at Goldsmith College and was introduced to so many fun literary events there,” said Bynoe, who is also the creative mind behind Teen Angst Poetry night and Say Wha?! Readings of Deliciously Rotten Literature. “When I cam back to Vancouver I was introduced to a few people, one them being Sean Cranberry. We met up and had a fantastic conversation about literary arts. We really broke it down and we both agreed that a lot of times the culture is seen as stuffy and a little elitist.” From there Bynoe and Cranberry set out to create their own death match event. “We’re affiliated with the original event, which is celebrating 100 matches in a number of cities, so we’re doing Vancouver.” On Friday at W2 (151 West Cordova St.) readers Steve Burgess, Charles Demers, Nikki Reimer and Bynoe (among others) will take to the stage in a no holds barred fight to the death. Well no, there won’t actually be any bloodshed, but it does promise to be a fun, entertaining evening. “We start off matched against another reader and do seven minutes of material. The judges pick two finalists to square off based on literary merit, performance and ‘intangibles,” said Bynoe. Intangibles she explains can be anything from wearing the judge’s favourite colour to being drunk to Mercury being in retrograde. “A good level of tipsiness can help. But not drunkenness, I guess it all depends on how well you hold your liquor.” In the final round readers compete in a more complex contest that includes trivia, questions on literary art and general goofiness. “This is a very open free for all sort of event, I guess sort of like a poetry slam but definitely with a humourous focus. Basically American Idol for writers,” said Bynoe. The judges include actor/playwright Paul Anthony, creative director/visionary Bob Kronbauer and comedian/ corporate trainer Diana Francis. So of course what really want to know is who is the Simon Cowell of the three? “I suppose Paul, since he’s a graduate of Studio 58 and if he’s true to their training he’ll be harsh. And who would be the Paula Abdul? “Again Paul, he’s very flexible.” Bynoe adds that the literary scene in Vancouver is quite rich. “We have so much talent here, it’s actually really awesome. UBC has a great MFA program and there are a lot of fantastic independent publishers so I think this is an event whose time has come. This has become a huge event in other cities, Moby was a judge at one event and it’s showcased a lot of up and coming talent along with established writers.”

Submitted: June 17, 2011

© Copyright 2021 Alan Forsythe. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



This is well written!
It wouldve been better though, if you spaced out the words a little bit... made paragraphs and such...
I am pretty sure you did and booksie changed it..
If that is the case, go on portfolio and edit it...
Keep writing

Thu, June 30th, 2011 1:58pm

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