Literary Death Match Combines Readings, Silliness

By Matt Erickson
Office of University Communications

October 7, 2013 —  

Four respected authors rise, one by one, and read selections from their work for an attentive crowd.

An author reading at Literary Death Match

The affair is sponsored by an exactingly selective literary magazine.

But, of course, no one knows what will happen when the event reaches its thrilling conclusion: when the authors must put on blindfolds and attempt to attach a moustache to a portrait of Ernest Hemingway. Or throw cupcakes at a picture of George Saunders.

This is a Literary Death Match.

“The thing about the Literary Death Match,” said Kathleen Volk Miller, “is that you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Literary Death Match is a traveling series of reading events featuring big names in literature and an air of goofy humor, encapsulated in the absurd finale that determines each event’s winner. And after Volk Miller, an associate teaching professor in Drexel’s Department of English and Philosophy, witnessed one at a conference in Washington, D.C., she had to help reproduce the experience in Philadelphia.

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