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WeHo Reads x Literary Death Match

November 8, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm

Coming to West Hollywood: 4 authors, 3 judges, 2 finalists, 1 champion, and all kinds of hilarity in between.

The City of West Hollywood and WeHo Reads are partnering with Literary Death Match for what promises to be a blazingly-bright night of lit, wit, silliness and belly laughs, to boot. This is Literary Death Match’s first-ever show in West Hollywood!

Our brilliant lineup is set to ensorcell and inspire with judges Rasheed Newson (TV writer, showrunner and author of My Government Means to Kill Me, a Lambda Literary Award Finalist) and Pickle (West Hollywood’s Drag Laureate), and readers R.K. Russell (former NFL player and author of The Yards Between Us), Melissa Chadburn (activist and author of A Tiny Upward Shove), Jessamyn Violet (drummer and author of Secret Rules to Being a Rockstar) and Kyle Siebel (veteran and short story scribe). There will be a special bonus reading by West Hollywood City Poet Laureate Jen Cheng, and other talent to be announced.

This in-person event is free to attend. Please RSVP here to attend. More info at

Book Soup will be at the event selling books written by the readers and judges, and an after event gathering will take place from 8:30pm -10pm, location TBA.

Literary Death Match, co-created by Adrian Todd Zuniga, 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 of Double Dare.

Each episode of this competitive, humor-centric reading series features a thrilling mix of four famous and emerging authors 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 is how seriously attentive the audience is during each reading. Literary Death Match has been called a 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.

WeHo Reads is a literary series presented by the City of West Hollywood. More information and events at BookSwell, a literary events and media company dedicated to lifting up writers from historically excluded communities, is producing the WeHo Reads 2023 season. Additional support is provided by UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and Poets & Writers as well as media partnerships with, Book Soup, and Los Angeles Review of Books.

625 N. San Vicente Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069 United States

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