About the activity: from June 2005 to 2009, the River Junction Poets hosted readings on the occasions of birthdays of poets at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Saginaw, Michigan. Several of these blog posts describe these events, which were announced by the bookstore in its monthly in-store Newsletter. One of the store managers was so enthused by what our group was doing, he arranged for a sign to announce our activity and also arranged a shelf of poetry books near our group. Often, we sent a birthday card to the poet whose work we read, and we included the store newsletter that mentioned the event after we had all signed the card. We've received Thank You notes from several of these poets, which you can see in blog posts here.
If you are wondering what it would be like to host such an event yourself, consider what it would be like to sit and read poems by yourself in a place where others could join you. When we did this in Saginaw, we decided together on the dates to meet at the bookstore, and then I e-mailed the dates to the manager at the Barnes & Noble. At least one of us chose to act as host for each occasion, but, officially, no one signed up to attend any events; usually, however, people in our group would say if they were planning to be there or not. For me, it wasn't time wasted if I was host and no one showed up. That happened once, when I was the only one at the Lewis Carroll birthday reading. I actually ended up talking about Lewis Carroll, his poetry, and our group with two shoppers who happened to be there at the time. It was obvious that I was there for the occasion because there was a sign there announcing the event, and I was sitting there reading work by Lewis Carroll.