Winner Named in Eighth Haiku Death Match
Fairmont State’s 8th Haiku Death Match: New Blood Edition took place on Friday, Sept. 11, in the Ruth Ann Musick Library Multi-media Room A.
Unlike past competitions, this match featured contestants who had never before competed. The judges, however, were all past competitors. This year’s contenders were Zack “Count Zackula” Curry, Bessie “The Syllable Samurai” Detwyler and Linda “Dame of Death” O’Connor: Poetic License to Kill. Curry is Program Assistant in Department of Language and Literature, Detwyler is an admissions counselor and O’Connor is an Academic Labs Manager in the School of Fine Arts.
The haikus were judged by Charley “Poison Pen” Hively, Dr. Anne “The Dragon Lady” Patterson and Dr. Christina “The Godmutha” Lavorata, who won the previous death match and had the duty of relinquishing her crown to this year’s winner. Hively is a librarian, Patterson is Professor of Music and Lavorata is Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.
As with every haiku death match, the haiku topics were written by audience members before the competition began and pulled out of a hat, dubbed the Death Hat, by the master of ceremonies, Dr. John “Dr. Zero” O’Connor. The original Death Hat went missing three years ago, but its absence was supplied this year by a Darth Vader mask donated to the event by Count Zackula.
The contestants had 90 seconds to write a haiku before presenting it to the judges. Theme music would be played during writing sessions to inspire the contestants and keep the audience entertained. Velicia Darquenne, an English major at Fairmont State, was the DJ for this match.
Linda “Dame of Death” O’Connor was crowned this year’s winner, with Bessie “The Syllable Samurai” Detwyler coming in second place.
“I think the Death Match is a delightful activity contributing to the community spirit of the University. It’s a great way for the students to get together, have a good time and still be surrounded with academia. I thought that the death match was quite good, and I’m very proud of my spouse,” said John O’Connor.
Dr. Elizabeth Savage, the founder of the Haiku Death Match said, “The Haiku Death Match, originally conceived as mere performance art, has become an exquisite expression of all that is good about FSU—the collective spirit, the ingenuity, the disregard for rank, the love of raunchy egalitarianism and the ability to think on our feet with energy and good will.”College of Liberal ArtsLanguage & LiteratureHaiku Death MatchElizabeth SavageJohn O'ConnorZack CurryBessie DetwylerLinda O'Connor