New Catskills Poetry Center Announces Novel Roundup of Summer Events

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Poetry Barn, a new literary center in the Hudson River Valley, announces “Last Saturdays at the Barn," a series of one-day writing retreats that connect poetry with the area's rich cultural and environmental legacy.

Poetry Barn, West Hurley, NY

Poetry Barn, West Hurley, NY

We want people to experience the happy confluence of poetry and nature. We'll read, talk, eat, drink, write, walk, and gawk poetry, fields, forests, trails, birds, reservoirs, and streams.

The first event in the series, “Skywriting: Poems & Planes” (May 28), pays homage to the barn's former incarnation as the Harry Everett Smith Memorial Library. Smith, a prominent member of the Beats and close friends with Allen Ginsberg, was an avant-garde artist, filmmaker, musicologist, and collector, who donated the largest known paper airplane collection in the world to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

Participants will read and write poems about flight and transformation, then print them out on templates designed to fold into paper airplanes. The event, open to all ages, costs $25 and includes materials and a mid-day writing break with refreshments. Advance registration is required.

Each last Saturday from May through October will feature a unique theme that underscore's the area's beauty, history, and surroundings. "We want people to experience the happy confluence of poetry and nature," Kiernan says, adding, "We'll read, talk, eat, drink, write, walk, and gawk poetry, fields, forests, trails, birds, reservoirs, and streams."

Future events include A Feast for Bards: Farm to Table Poetics, Punch & Awl: Book Binding for Beginners, and Hudson Valley Haiku: Painting with Black Ink, among others.

Located in West Hurley, a bucolic town just 20 minutes from Woodstock and approximately two hours from New York City, Poetry Barn is also curating a comprehensive, independent poetry library. Kiernan notes: “While the rhythms, roots, and immersive experience of poetry can open new worlds, poetry holdings are often limited in regional libraries. We want to provide locals and visitors alike with an accessible resource for experiencing all the pleasures of poetry.”

For more information, please visit http://www.poetrybarn.co/

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Since 2007, Poetry Barn, LLC has been dedicated to promoting, fostering, and inspiring the reading and writing of poetry by a) facilitating a cross-cultural network of information-sharing on the art of poetry, b) helping develop the voices of underserved poets, c) encouraging peer-to-peer feedback, and d) committing to the greater good benefits of working collaboratively. They are a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts service organization.

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Lissa Kiernan
Poetry Barn
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