Liveliest Reading Series

Literary Death Match

San Francisco is a city of readers, and therefore of reading serieses. With so many events to choose from, each happening needs to set itself apart. Porchlight offers real-life storytelling, Writers with Drinks skews toward the naughty and offbeat, Lit & Lunch presents translated classics alongside French pastries. For its part, Literary Death Match succeeds as being the goofiest, free-wheelingest, most competitive event. Each month, four talented authors read stories (or poems) that are judged (often humorously) for literary merit, performance, and intangibles. Two finalists then do battle via some nutty, off-the-cuff challenge like laser tagging, song recognizing, or scavenger hunting. Past challengers have included Lemony Snicket author Daniel Handler, poet Kim Addonizio, sexpert Carol Queen, and provocateur Stephen Elliott, who threw a beer on Zyzzyva editor Howard Junker. Anything can happen at Literary Death Match, and it often does.


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