For those of you attending this year's AWP conference in the Windy City: have we got a night of fun for you! Hayden's Ferry Review will be participating in the first ever Chicago-based Literary Death Match, an ongoing event (usually in New York or San Francisco) sponsored by Opium Magazine that regularly turns lit mags into friendly combatants. This year, HFR goes up against The Southeast Review, Hobart, Juked, Quick Fiction and the Dollar Store Reading Series.
A writer nominated by each journal will perform his/her most electric writing (for five minutes) before a huge audience and a panel of three all-star judges including Kevin Guilfoile (author of Cast of Shadows), Matt Herlihy (founder of Sweet Fancy Moses) and Mark Bazer ("The Interview Show"). After a pair of readings, the judges take turns spouting affectionate, off-the-wall commentary about each story, each focusing on one of the three categories: literary merit, performance, and intangibles. They then select their favorite two writers to advance to the finals.
For the finale, we trade in the show's literary sensibility for an absurdly comical climax to decide who takes home the Literary Death Match crown. Think of a Laser Tag Duel or a blindfolded money-grab where each bill features the face of literary giants like JD Salinger, Emily Dickinson and Truman Capote. It may sound like a circus--and that's half the point. Opium and the Literary Death Match have long been passionate about inspecting new and innovative ways to present text on the page and off of it.
HFR's reader is Gwendolyn Knapp, whose essay "Instead of the Rat Pack" appeared in issue #40, and who has promised to "bring it." You should bring "it" (your "self"), too.
What: Literary Death Match!
When: Wednesday, February 11, 6:15 (doors at 6:00)
Where: The Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia Ave., Chicago, IL
Cost: $5 (another $5 scores you the Opium Print of your choice--a $10 cover price)