A couple of nights ago, I went to see a poet at a venue in Los Angeles. He doesn't do features very often, so I wanted to take advantage of this rare opportunity to see him.
Unfortunately, the turnout was small. And, I'm assuming that part of the reason was that some of the poet's friends/colleagues don't go or don't want to go to that venue. And the poet featuring there wasn't going to be enough for those friends/colleagues to make a one-time exception.
This happens a lot.
People don't go to poetry venues for one or more of these reasons:
A. Dislike of the host/hosts
B. Not wanting to travel a long distance
C. Start time of the reading being too early/too late
D. Perception of the venue as being "bad" or "uncool" or insufficiently literate
E. Perception of the venue as being unappreciative of their poetry
F. Dislike of the host/hosts' choice of features
If you're a poet in LA/OC, you've probably nixed going to venues (at one time or another) for at least three of the reasons listed above.