Here's a Cobalt Poets (available to the public via Yahoogroups) listserve post from veteran SoCal performance poet Bowerbird Intelligentleman, written in 2006. It's slightly dated since the 2012 scene has shrunk somewhat in terms of venues and featuring opportunities, but worth sharing nonetheless:
i see from an e-mail in my in-box
that venue hosts are
"the unsung heroes" of the scene...
yes, hosts do a lot
of work, it's true.
and if you've never done it yourself,
underestimate, by half,
the amount of hassle that it can be,
dealing with a bunch of
ego-maniacs who want the stage...
look at the other side too...
first, producing gives you a huge
in visibility, and perceived "importance",
not to mention stage-time
of your own,
and without having to fight anyone for it.
ability to _book_others_
means that you have "a favor to trade",
favor-trading is very obvious...
indeed, when deserving poets come to me
ask how they can get more feature invitations,
i regularly give them
1. just plain ask, and several will follow, and
start up your own series and book hosts,
as that's a sure way to get return
so let's not pretend that hosting is selfless.
it cuts both
how these competing factors "balance"
is up to each one of us to
i think the fact that there is no shortage
of poetry series --
each with a host --
indicates how most poets weigh it out.
were really "the unsung heroes",
there wouldn't be so darn many of
because poets are _not_ very altruistic,
as anyone with experience
will tell you.
(and hosts will be the first to verify that.)
we have a clear _shortage_
is with the number of poets who are
come to a show and _listen_,
without a strong ego-need for the
_that_ is how selflessness reveals itself...
so if you're
looking for "unsung heroes"
in _this_ scene, look for _those_ people.
hey, best of luck on finding any...)
as it is, any events that "host the
or "honor the poetry series in our scene"
looks like just another
in the perpetual circle-jerk of our scene
perspective of _this_ observer...