46 Minna Street
San Francisco, California 94105

July 17, 2007
Opium’s Literary Death Match, San Francisco, Episode I...
What is it: Opium’s Literary Death Match challenges the notion that a reading series has to be a mind-numbing affair hosted in a drafty room with no booze breaks. The Death Match is a competitive, humor-centric reading series that features four literary publications (both online and in print) in an edge-of-your-seat read-off. Readers do their thing for eight minutes or less, and three guest-star judges affectionately discuss their favorites in terms of literary merit, performance and everything in between.
Where: Harlot (46 Minna St., San Francisco)
When: July 17, 2007
Time: Doors open at 7:30, reading goes from 8:30 until 9:43. Doors close at midnight.
Four literary magazines—online and print—are invited to participate.

McSweeney’s, Stephen Elliott
McSweeney's Quarterly Concern publishes on a roughly quarterly schedule, and tries to make each issue very different from the last. One issue came in a box, one was Icelandic, and one looks like a pile of mail. In all, they give their audience ground-breaking fiction and much more.
Stephen Elliott is the author of six books including Happy Baby, a best book of 2004 in Salon.com, Newsday, Chicago New City, the Journal News, and the Village Voice. His most recent book is an almost all true sexual memoir called My Girlfriend Comes To The City And Beats Me Up. He’s been featured in Esquire, The New York Times, GQ and Best American Non-Required Reading.

Kitchen Sink, Sam Hurwitt
Four-time Best of the Bay winner Kitchen Sink is a non-profit, quarterly print magazine exploring thought, art, culture, identity and politics. It is the premiere program of the Neighbor Lady Community Arts Project (501 c3), an Oakland-based arts organization. The recently published KS16 is its final issue.
Sam Hurwitt is the film editor for Kitchen Sink. His fiction and non-fiction can be found in Fourteen Hills, The Misfit Library, the Doubleday anthology Voices of the Xiled, Salon, Variety, and the Budapest Sun.

Canteen, Joyce Maynard
Canteen, named after a San Francisco restaurant, is backed by New York gambling money. The magazine is famous for bribing writers and artists with food to uncover their most powerful creative secrets. Between its covers: original essays on creativity, new fiction, poetry, and eye-catching visual arts.
Joyce Maynard has been a reporter for the New York Times, a magazine journalist, radio commentator, and syndicated columnist, as well as the author of five novels, including To Die For. Her best-selling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into nine languages. She appears regularly as a storyteller with The Moth in New York City, runs the Lake Atitlan Writing Workshop in Guatemala and teaches memoir and personal storytelling at my home in Mill Valley.

Fiction Attic, Michelle Richmond
Fiction Attic began six years ago with a story in translation by Albanian writer Jiri Kajane. Home of the Flash in the Attic contest, Quoth the Raven, and the Tao of Wade, Fiction Attic has a strong Bay Area bent.
Michelle Richmond's latest book is THE YEAR OF FOG. Originally from Alabama, she may be the only person in the Avenues who knows how to suck a crawfish head.

The Judges:
Howard Junker, ZYZZYVA
Beth Lisick, “Everyone Into the Pool”
Jon Wolanske, Killing My Lobster

Why you should go: Opium’s Literary Death Match is not your dull as ditchwater, leave-you-fish-eyed-and-yawning reading series. You will laugh, sometimes hard enough to cry. If the stories don’t wow you, the judge’s commentary certainly will.

The Reward: Literary infamy, Opium’s Literary Death Match trophy, and championship headware for the evening. We’ll also hype the winning reader and publication on OpiumMagazine.com, and will feature the winning reader’s story in podcast form on OpiumLive.com.

Added by OpiumTodd on July 16, 2007



Literature was the winner. Howard Junker was the loser.