Your programs sound delightful, but there is no way I can ever attend one. I am way down here in San Antonio,Texas and don't have the funds or the health to travel to Michigan, although that would be great fun.
We have the same problem down here with small turnouts for great poetry. A lot of people just don't know what they are missing in camaraderie and inspiration. We have venues all over town at the various Barnes & Nobles and at other coffee houses and cafes. Our city really has a great community of poets and I am very active in as many as possible. I am the current Poet Laureate for the San Antonio Poets Association and I am a councilor for the Poetry Society of Texas and a board member of the Laurel Crown Foundation (a non-profit literary foundation for the promotion of poetry in the San Antonio area). I am also the editor of The Encore, the anthology of prize poems for the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.
I applaud your efforts to keep poetry alive and well in Michigan. Do you know Margo Lagattuta. She is a friend of mine in Rochester, Michigan—very active in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies.
Good luck with your Carl Sandburg event.