Write behind the mic

Sandpoint Literary Collective open mic comes to the winery

By Lyndsie Kiebert
Reader Staff

Sandpoint has long been home to lively community open mics, the most recent of which is the Pop-Up Open Mic Series organized by the Sandpoint Literary Collective.

Christine Holbert performs at a previous Pop-Up Open Mic night at Pend d’Oreille Winery. Photo by Dan Earle.

“SLC started the Pop-Up Open Mic in response to so many open mics closing,” said Lost Horse Press Publisher Christine Holbert, making specific note of the Five Minutes of Fame open mic, which ran for 20 years. The last Five Minutes of Fame took place at Foster’s Crossing in April 2018. SLC held its first open mic in August 2018.

The SLC open mic happens every two or three months, this month coming to the Pend d’Oreille Winery on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. The event is free to attend, but wine and food will be available for purchase. Attendees are encouraged to share Halloween-themed poems and stories.

In true “pop-up” fashion, Holbert said the open mic is meant to be mobile.

“We are happy to pop up in locations other than Pend d’Oreille Winery,” she said, noting that while the winery is the event’s “home,” SLC has hosted pop-up open mics elsewhere. “We just need to be invited.”

For SLC Pop-Up Open Mic Series frequenter Desiree Aguirre, the benefits of attending the events are two-fold.

“I am drawn to these events because I love hearing local artists read their prose and poetry or perform original songs,” she said. “Plus, it gives me an opportunity to do the same with new material.”

Aguirre is a local writer and musician known to read original poems and perform on the banjo, guitar or ukulele at the pop-up events. She said she’s seen the power of open mics in how they’ve helped her daughter — who began attending such events at age 12 — develop “confidence and poise.”

“I believe that any venue that supports local artists is good for the community. It brings us together in a situation where there is mutual respect and consideration,” Aguirre said. “It is a live event for the community where people can share their experience, strength and hope with each other. Beats the heck out of watching television.”

Those with questions about the SLC Pop-Up Open Mic Series — or who want to host one of the events — can reach Holbert at 208-255-4410 or [email protected]

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