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Local Lion lets customers do the talking

Article Published: Jul. 26, 2012 | Modified: Jul. 27, 2012
Local Lion lets customers do the talking

Alex Klinestiver recites a poem at Local Lion’s spoken word open mic last Thursday.

Photo by Michael Bragg

One of Boone’s newest businesses, Local Lion, has opened its doors to live entertainment and recently featured the spoken talents of writers from the area.

The doughnut and coffee shop held its first ever spoken word open mic last Thursday, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. – past normal business hours – to anyone who wanted to share a few stanzas, thoughts and ideas.

“I think it went fabulous,” Local Lion owner Josiah Davis said. “I mean, it was the first time we ever did it, it was a summer night – hot night – and we had a full parking lot and full room.”

In the nearly two hour time slot, only four poets stepped up to the microphone, including Davis, and shared their work for their friends and fellow coffee patrons to hear.

“I thought the opening stuff was really powerful,” Davis said. “Some people really came burning to share, and I think people really knew what they were doing. The poetry really came ready. They were skillful and did well. I wish there had been a few more.”

Among those who performed was Appalachian State University junior social work major Regina D’Auria, who read from two untitled, original poems with biblical themes and inspiration and said she got into writing poetry when she started college. D’Auria said she hopes Local Lion continues open mic nights for poetry readings and would even return to the microphone again.

“It not only taught me to be a better listener, but encouraged my writing, because it makes me want to go deeper and do more maybe abstract things, so it was encouraging,” she said. “I really liked it.”

Angel Cordero, a junior international criminal justice major at Appalachian, performed several pieces, including two of what he said were very powerful and personal to him – “Liberty” and “I am From.”

Cordero is also a member of Sacrificial Poets, a poetry group based out of Chapel Hill that friend and fellow poet at the reading Alex Klinestiver started. Cordero has had experience with open mics before and praised the others who got up in front of the coffee shop crowd.

“Praise to the poet,” he said. “People are more afraid of speaking in public than they are of death.”
Coffee shops can be a stereotypical location for poetry readings and open mic sessions, but both Cordero and Davis said they see why that is.

“Because I think the coffee wakes you up,” Davis said. “It’s also such a chill atmosphere. Alcohol is not the focus, but they’re good hangout spots, so people aren’t, like, losing their minds. They’re pretty sober and they’re taking from words.”

Cordero said it is a place to converse and share ideas with others.

“It’s not that weird of a thing to happen and for that reason, because you’re in a place where your mind is being invigorated by the coffee,” he said. “It’s a good environment in which to impart ideas. Where I want to go and have a slam or where I want to go and have an open mic, while coffee machines can be loud, I want it to be where ideas are imparted onto others.”

But besides enjoying a cup of coffee and listening to the words, Cordero said these readings are great for new ideas to be introduced to others.

“It’s a very good thing to see people talking about new ideas, because if there is one thing Western civilization needs right now, it is new ideas, because the old ones are not worth it anymore,” he said.
Davis said he plans to have another open mic for poetry about once a month and biweekly if it grows.

“I would just like to encourage writers to know that they have the space that they can come and collaborate, and it’s a place where we are going to build people up.”

Local Lion is open Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., and closed on Sundays. More information on upcoming events can be found at or on its Facebook page,

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