Every so often I'll notice one or two "slam luminaries" in my home venue, not featuring or anything, just soaking it all in. Maybe they've come to see the feature, maybe they had hoped to feature but the scheduling didn't work out, or maybe they came to listen and learn. I don't know how many have come expressly to listen, but I like that idea.
I'm not a slam luminary, but I'd like to go on a listening tour this fall. I'm thinking two weeks, six to eight cities, suitcase, railpass, that sort of thing. Wind up someplace far and fly back to Boston...or maybe just stay put someplace far and see how that goes.
Mike McGee and others have written extensively, and well, on how to tour as a "touring poet," but not all of that advice seems relevant to the kind of passive touring I have in mind. For example, I'd have no scheduling pressure: if I missed the train to Springfield, I might miss the Springfield reading, but the Springfield reading wouldn't miss me. On the other hand, I'd be unable/unwilling to avail myself of the Touring Poet Hospitality Network, since I wouldn't be singing for my supper.
Have any of you done this kind of tour before? What did you learn?
What are the must-see venues, slam or otherwise? I'd like to visit a blend of national powerhouses and "best-kept secrets."
While any road trip is a test of serendipity, I'd prefer to help serendipity out by focusing on reliable, established readings where a guy from out-of-town can be reasonably sure of getting a seat.
Anybody know of back-to-back kind of events, where I could attend (for example) a workshop one day and an open mic the next day? Spending multiple days in one town would let me do some touristy stuff...and possibly some laundry.
Thanks in advance for any links or suggestions.