Writer Thomas Sayers Ellis reads his piece at the Literary Death Match as judges (left to right) Parul Sehgal of the New York Times Book Review, poet Tony Hoagland, and comedian Steve Macone listen. The Literary Death Match was held at The Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 8, 2013. (Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe)
Writer Thomas Sayers Ellis reads his piece at the Literary Death Match as judges (left to right) Parul Sehgal of the New York Times Book Review, poet Tony Hoagland, and comedian Steve Macone listen. The Literary Death Match was held at The Middle East in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 8, 2013. (Kayana Szymczak for the Boston Globe)

“Townie” author Andre Dubus III won Friday’s Cambridge installment of Literary Death Match, an ongoing global series that features writers reading their works and playing ridiculous book-themed games in front of not-so-serious judges. As always, Adrian Todd Zuniga was in town to host the event and wore his standard uniform, a Justin Timberlake-worthy suit and tie. The night’s contestants — “Skin, Inc.” poet Thomas Sayers Ellis, National Book Award finalist Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Amelia Gray, and Dubus — performed in front of three judges: Boston’s funny guy Steve Macone, National Book Critics Circle finalist Tony Hoagland, and Parul Sehgal , a New York Times Book Review editor. Dubus won the competition by out-reading Ellis and then beating Bynum in a cupcake-tossing competition that challenged them to hurl baked goods at a poster of writer George Saunders. This round of Literary Death Match was held at the 500-plus capacity Middle East nightclub in Central Square to accommodate the hundreds of extra guests in town for the AWP Conference & Bookfair. The big literary expo took place in Boston over the weekend and drew such
A-list authors as Seamus Heaney, Cheryl Strayed, and Don DeLillo.

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