Thank you so much for the responses.
Scott, you definitely bring up a good point that I left out so I will do my best to explain this to the best of my ability.
I have faded in and out of the poetry community since I was heavily focused on college and work. Once I finished college in December, I thought that I would be able to continue going to open mics and slam venues, but the position I received meant I had to relocate. I have been in Ohio since January, but lived with my father for most of the year. My girlfriend, also a poet and a powerful writer, was still living in Jersey while I was in Ohio and we planned the time she would be moving out here. I mentioned to her that we would concentrate on our involvement with the poetry community considering how much we enjoyed it in New Jersey.
My job sent me out to Phoenix, AZ for three weeks. While I was there, I added numerous poets onto my facebook page in order to form a network because knowing my girlfriend was coming out here I would have a stronger chance of forming something great, but it was only a thought at this point. On July 29, I attended an event in Tempe, AZ that Jared Paul's band was involved in. Jared Paul is heavily involved in the poetry community so I thought this would be a great way to gain an insight into setting up a slam venue. I did speak to him for a good amount of time and while I was there, I met Corbet Dean and ended up speaking to him regarding everything. Corbet Dean has been involved in the poetry community since 2000. He helped me understand that forming a slam venue wasn't just about being a host, it was about having a huge involvement in the community that venue is located in and how much dedication it takes to show the community how it will benefit them. I never realized how much of an effect having a slam venue had until he mentioned that. I always saw these locations as a way for people to be able to express themselves, but never this underlying beneficial manor directed toward the community as a whole. For instance, Columbus and Cleveland are happy to have PSi certified venues to help individuals go from writing poems to competing against poets across the world and standing out in front of thousands, if not millions, of people. This brings out the spirit of these communities and develops into a unity across the area. It becomes a home to even traveling poets looking to make a presence and introduce new ideas to upcoming writers looking for new inspiration. It just sounds incredible.
My girlfriend just moved out here and we got an apartment in the neighborhood of Mt. Washington. This gives me the opportunity to see what areas are good and bad around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. I have been forming connections between people after attending a few open mic locations and there are still locations to be visited. I have some venues in mind based upon a few qualities I have been considering, such as location, current interest level from community, convenience, etc. We definitely want to come visit Columbus and Cleveland at some point. And yes, I am considering stopping by for iWPS and have been researching the hotel costs and such. It would be great to actually meet you all and see one of these events first hand.