Poet, Writer, Educator

Saturday Night Special

A Virtual Open Mic

SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL, an East Bay Open Mic is a monthly literary reading series, in its tenth year, hosted by Hollie Hardy.  In pre-covid days, SNS made its home at Nick’s Lounge in Berkeley, but now it happens virtually via Zoom on the last Saturday of every month, from 7 to 9:30pm.   

SNS began in July of 2011 and acquired a huge following and a reputation for being diverse, loud, gritty, sexy, supportive, inclusive, and loaded with local talent. Loudness has since turned to quiet intimacy online, Zoom has become a well-attended, supportive space for sharing work, and local talent has spread to include writers across the coast.

Each month SNS features two talented writers and 20-30 open mic slots, as well as an optional writing theme. The new theme is announced at the end each month’s reading, and posted on our Facebook page. Some themes we’ve had in the past include:  “the body,” “juicy,” “bloody,” “disobedient” "ekphrastic," “secrets,” “scars,” “change,” “surreal,” “tenderness,” "reflection," "empowerment" and "transformation."   

We'd love to hear your (three-minute) poems, stories, comedic sketches and occasional songs on our optional theme (or any topic). 

The open mic list is first come first served. Sign-up starts a week in advance and closes when it fills up or when the reading starts.  To sign up, email holliehardy@gmail.com or put your request in the event comments on Facebook. 

Each reader will have 3 minutes maximum. For prose writers, this is about one and a half double-spaced pages. Please time yourself in advance.

Follow SNS on Facebook for event announcements, featured readers, and monthly themes.

SNS Open Mics:

January 31, 2015

Featuring: Jaz Sufi & Jennifer Blowdrier

Theme: Feral

February 28, 2015

Featuring:  Madison Young and Ivan Hernandez

Theme: Bad Romance

​March 28, 2015

Featuring: Martha Grover and Harold Terezón

Theme: Dangerous

​April 25, 2015

Featuring: Katie Wheeler-Dubin and Elwin Cotman

Theme: Poison

​May 30, 2015

Featuring: Lake Lady and Wonder Dave

Theme: Slippery

​June 27, 2015

Featuring: Keenan Norris and Amy Berkowitz

Theme: Nasty

July 11, 2015

Beast Crawl Presents: Saturday Night Special! 

Featuring:  Peter Bullen, Maisha Z Johnson,

Hollie Hardy, Jason Schenheit, Chad Sweeney, William Taylor Jr., and Sarah Wisby

​July 25, 2015 

Featuring: Joshua Mohr 

Theme: Shameless

August 29, 2015

Featuring: Amos White and Indiana Pehlivanova

Theme: Hungry

September 26, 2015

Featuring: Siamak Vossoughi and Terry Taplin

Theme: Hidden

October 31, 2015

Annual Halloween Reading & Costume Contest! 

Featuring: C Anne Gardener and Tracey Knapp

Theme: Deadly

November 28, 2015

Featuring: JK Fowler and Geraldine Kim

Theme: Sick

No SNS in December

January 30, 2016

Featuring: Lisa Martinovic & Freddy Gutierrez

Theme: Lonely 

February 27, 2016

Featuring: Kimberly Reyes & Joseph Rios

Theme: Filthy

March 26, 2016

Featuring: Rei Jackler & Garrett Murphy

Theme: Colorful

April 30, 2016

Featuring: Karen Penley & James Cagney 

Theme: Broken

May 28, 2016

Featuring: Barbara Saunders & Tim Donnelly

Theme: Sullied

June 25, 2016

Featuring: Marguerite Munoz

Theme: Birthday

July 16, 2016


Featuring: Peter Bullen, Dennis Cruz, Hollie Hardy, Tomas Moniz, Karen Penley, and April Sinclair

July 30, 2016

Featuring: Kelly Landmine & Fisayo Adeyeye

Theme: Jiggle

August 27, 2016

Featuring: Natasha Dennerstein & Gabe Gusman

Theme: Music

September 24, 2016

Featuring: Richard Loranger & Venus Jones

Theme: Fairytale

October 29, 2016

Featuring: Laura Zink

Theme: Heroes & Villains

November 26, 2016

Featuring: Hugh Behm-Steinberg & Keenan Norris

Theme: Surreal

No SNS in December

January 28, 2017

Featuring: MK Chavez & Alexandra Kostoulas

Theme: Animal

February 25, 2017

Featuring: Bri Blue & Bradley Penner

Theme: Hope

March 25, 2017

Featuring: QR Hand & Paul Corman-Roberts

Theme: Get Off My Lawn

April 29, 2017

Featuring: K.R. Morrison & Robert Andrew Perez

Theme: Elevator Pitch

May 27, 2017

Featuring: Jennifer Lewis & Cleavon Smith

Theme: Invisible

June 24, 2017

Featuring: Rebecca Gaydos & Tomas Moniz

Theme: Family

July 29, 2017

Featuring: Bronwyn Emery & René Vaz

Theme: Freedom

August 26, 2017

Featuring: Vernon Keeve III & Joel Landmine

Theme: Confession

September 30, 2017

Featuring:  Vanessa Rochelle Lewis & Zephir O'Meara

Theme: Impermanence 

October 28, 2017 (HALLOWEEN READING)

Featuring: Abe Becker & Kwan Booth

Theme: Night Circus

November 25, 2017

Featuring: Barbara Saunders & Andrew J Thomas 

Theme: Beginnings & Endings

No SNS in December

January 27, 2018

Featuring: Doug Cordel & Jason Bayani

Theme: Foreign

February 24, 2018 

Cassandra Dallett & Mimi Gonzalez

Theme: Shades of Gray

March 31, 2018

Featuring: Miah Jeffra and Clive Matson

Theme: Ekphrasis

April 28, 2018

Featuring: Don Gonzales Filmmaker & Jan Steckel

Theme: Dating

May 26, 2018

Featuring: Christine No & Melissa Stein

Theme: Salty

June 30, 2018

Featuring: Ruth Crossman & Maw Shein Win 

Theme: Fantasy

July 28, 2018

Featuring: Cyrus Armajani

Theme: Surprise

August 25, 2018

Featuring:  Heather June Gibbons & Rohan DaCosta

Theme: Nighttime

September 29, 2018

Featuring: Carson Becker & Keith Donnell

Theme: Rupture & Regret

October 27, 2018

Featuring: Ari Moskowitz & Kelly Landmine

Theme: Incognito

November 24, 2018

Featuring: Poet E Spoken & Kelliane Parker

Theme: Restless

No SNS in December

January 26, 2019

Featuring: Freddy Gutierrez & Sam Sax

Theme: Chaos 

February 23, 2019

Featuring: G. Macias Gusman & Kim Shuck

Theme: Temderness

March 30, 2019

Featuring: Anna Allen & Iván Argüelles

Theme: Transformation

April 27, 2019

Featuring: Chad Sweeney & Hollie Hardy

Theme: The Smallest Door

May 25, 2019

Featuring: Drew Sage & Keith Gaboury

Theme: Private in Public

June 29, 2019

Featuring: Hugh Behm Steinberg & Wesley Cohen

Theme: The Next Day

July 27, 2019

Featuring: Josiahluis Alderete and Tarin Towers

Theme: Sunshine Holiday

August 31, 2019

Featuring: Alexandra Mattraw & Amber McCrary

Theme: Us

September 28, 2019

Featuring: Tomas Moniz & Preeti Vangani

Theme: Brown Bag

October 26, 2019

Featuring: Nancy Au & Zarina Zabrisky

Theme: Halloween Prom

November 30, 2019

Guest curator: Abe Becker

Theme: Obsession

No SNS in December

January 25, 2020

Featuring: Vernon Keeve III & Alvin Orloff

Theme: Out of the Dark

February 29, 2020

Featuring: Yume Kim & Georgina Marie

Theme: Disobedient

March 28, 2020

Cancelled due to Coronavirus

April 25, 2020 (online)

Featuring: Halim Madi & Rebecca Foust

Theme: Scandal(ous)

May 30, 2020 (online)

Featuring: Vida Felsenfeld & José Luis Gutiérrez

Theme: Escape

June 27, 2020 (online)

Featuring: Alia Volz & Tess Taylor

Theme: Summer

July 25, 2020 (online)

Featuring: Thea Matthews & Cassandra Dallett

Theme: (em)Power(ment)

August 29, 2020

Featuring: Carvell Wallace & Greer Nakadegawa-Lee
Theme: (re)Imagine(nation)

September 26, 2020

Featuring: Jennifer Sweeney & Kimi Sugioka

Theme: Reflection

October 31, 2020

Featuring: Heather Quinn & Lee Foust

Theme: Metamorphosis

November 28, 2020

Featuring: Sara Biel & Shawna Sherman

Theme: Silver Linings

No SNS in December

January 30, 2021

Featuring: M.G. Martin & Jennifer Hasegawa
Theme: The Aftermath

February 27, 2021

Featuring: Norm Mattox & Sandra Wassilie

Theme: Love

March 27, 2021

Featuring: Elijah B. Pringle III & Keith Gaboury

Theme: The Body