Poetry Barn Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Summer Of Love

Events Pay Homage to Counterculture Movement

Events Pay Homage to Counterculture Movement

“Summer of Love: #PeaceLovePoetry” is a series of poetry events inspired by the underground literary and arts flourish leading up to 1967. From Flower Power: Poetry of War and Healing, to Significant Others: The Women Beats, the fiftieth anniversary of the cultural phenomenon will be explored through the Poetry Barn’s home neighboring Woodstock.

“The core values of the movement—compassion, social consciousness, and environmental awareness—are undergoing a resurgence,” observes Poetry Barn’s founding director Lissa Kiernan.

A female demonstrator offers a flower to military police on guard at the Pentagon during an anti-Vietnam demonstration, 1967, National Archives

A female demonstrator offers a flower to military police on guard at the Pentagon during an anti-Vietnam demonstration, 1967, National Archives

The series will begin on June 24 with an outdoor book festival set at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, an organization named for the NY Congressional leader who was key in bringing such environmental issues as fracking and acid rain to the fore.

On July 21, Poetry Barn will present “Peace Love Poetry,” a reading benefiting the ACLU, and the following day will host a house concert, The Company We Keep: The Relations of Word & Music, in homage to the original summer of love’s musical renaissance.

Poet Perry Nicholas and singer/songwriter Maria Sebastian

Poet Perry Nicholas and singer/songwriter Maria Sebastian

The series will conclude with Dharma Bums: Hiking and Haiku, a two-day gathering that will adopt one of Jack Keruoacs’ novel's central points of inspiration: mountains.

Kiernan notes: “The inspiration of the Catskill mountains, after more than thirty years of living in New York City, has been nothing short of transformative for me, as it has for generations of artists, musicians, and writers.”

In a final nod to the values of the original summer of love, all Poetry Barn’s Summer of Love events will be available via a "pay-what-you-want" donation, with the first workshop offered gratis  to veterans. For more information, please visit http://poetrybarn.co/summeroflove.