One thing I’ve found digging through old newspapers is that as recently as the 1940s poetry in print was much more widely accepted as a form of entertainment than it is now. The local Long Island newspapers I’ve source mined tend to be filled with poems that range from humor and satire to more dramatic topics including aspects of World War II and the home front experience. I doubt that really reflects in anyway on the acceptance of poetry readings in the popular culture of the period but I suspect it is evidence that poetry wasn’t always seen as the highbrow art form it is now…..I blame the beatniks.