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Literary Death Match Hits Nashville

Special Event to Take Place at Third Man Records

The worlds of music and literature will collide on Oct. 11 for a Literary Death Match, presented by the Southern Festival of Books, the Porch Writers’ Collective and Third Man Records. The collaboration will bring together an always eclectic mix of Nashville’s music, literary lovers and creators for an exciting, live event in the name of the written word.

Performed and celebrated in 55 cities worldwide, this marks the debut of the Literary Death Match craze in Nashville. Authors Bret Anthony Johnston (More Than Heavy Rain), Patricia Lockwood (Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexual), Adrian Matejka (The Big Smoke) and Abraham Smith (Only Jesus Could Icefish in Summer)are appearing on behalf of 26th annual Southern Festival of Books, which begins on Friday, Oct. 10 and continues through Sunday, Oct. 12.

Bringing new meaning to the saying “bury yourself in a book,” the authors will challenge each other to their (literary) death. Johnston, Lockwood, Matejka and Smith will read their most electric work for seven minutes or less to local celebrity judges Ben Swank (co-founder of Third Man Records), Antonya Nelson (acclaimed author of short stories) and Teresa Mason (owner and operator of the delicious Mas Tacos Por Favor).  


The judges will go back and forth spouting outlandish, off-the-wall commentary based on the categories of literary merit, performance and intangibles, eventually selecting their two favorites to advance to the finals. The finalists will compete in a (vaguely) literary competition to determine who takes home the Literary Death Match crown.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11 for the 8 p.m. event. Tickets are $15 and they can be purchased at Please note that this is a 21 and older event.

The Porch Writers’ Collectiveis a non-profit literary center which fosters the artistic and professional development of writers and promotes a vibrant and diverse literary culture in Nashville through educational, inspirations, and community-building opportunities and event for adults and youth.

Third Man Recordsis an independent record label founded by musician and music producer Jack White, which releases White’s and label artist albums and singles primarily on vinyl record.