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Literary Death Match




You are visiting the 2014 page for Literary Death Match. To view the page for the event on April 2, 2016, click here.

About Literary Death Match

"...the most entertaining reading series ever."

LA Times

Literary Death Match 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 ofDouble 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 — online, in print or live) who perform their most electric writing in seven 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. Literary Death Match is passionate about inspecting new and innovative ways to present text off the page, 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 VIP reception is SOLD OUT but General Admission tickets are available for $10 and can be purchased at the box office of the Empire Theatre.  These seats to "LDM Live" are on the 2nd floor Mezzanine and include music (Cryin’ D.T. Buffkin & the Bad Breath) from 5:30-6:30pm and a cash bar. The LDM program begins at 6:30pm.

San Antonio Book Festival: 

Literary Death Match:

Charline McCombs Empire Theatre:

A special thanks to Las Casas Foundation