About Us

A Pollinator Habitat for Poetry


Poetry Barn’s mission is to nurture poetry education, inspiration, and appreciation by sponsoring poetry-related workshops, retreats, readings, and a comprehensive contemporary poetry library freely accessible to the public.

Nestled in the foothills of Catskill Park in Hudson Valley, we are surrounded by the protected lands of the Ashokan Reservoir, part of the New York City watershed.

A fiscally-sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)(3) organization, your donations are gratefully welcomed and fully tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.



June- December
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1693 State Route 28A
West Hurley, NY 12491






Onsite and Online Workshops

Offering online workshops since 2007, we also offer a monthly workshop at the barn for members, along with ad-hoc readings and other events.


We hold over 2,500 volumes of poetry, freely accessible to the public and lendable to members.


We design signature seasonal retreats in our inspiring location with peer poets and master teaching artists.


We sponsor ad-hoc readings benefiting local charities.




Poetry Students

Some have published their first poems from our workshops. Others have honed award-winning collections.



Workshops Served

Working poets value our online self-paced workshops led by master teaching artists on diverse themes.



Teaching Artists Supported

We're honored to provide teaching artists with fulfilling work.



You have the best writing site on the web. Congratulations and thanks for all you do.
— Sue Brannan Walker, Publisher, Negative Capability Press, former Poet Laureate of Alabama
I wanted to write and tell you how thankful I am for Poetry Barn’s online workshops! I’ve been prepping a few poetry submissions and I am so happy with the work I generated in the three workshops I took last year. Just wanted to give you and your wonderful teachers a shout-out!
— Emily K. Michael, Blind poet, musician, writing teacher. Disability activist, nature lover, feminist. ENFJ. Body politics.
Kim’s workshops have been nothing short of inspirational. More than that. Inspiration is a small part of the writing process...from process to product. She has such a clear eye in her critiques, and she somehow manages to point to poet indulgences while providing over the top encouragement. I feel so good about myself as a poet, thanks to her. And I see my own work better, with a clear eye. What a gift. I honestly feel that these workshops are the equal of mini-MFA’s.
— Matthew Krasner
There are poetry workshops, and then there are poetry workshops! From day one of the Poetry Barn’s unique and intense workshops, you are drawn right into the fold, with an intelligent and insightful treasure trove of literary nuggets and rich comments from the brilliant instructors and talented poets they attract. Each robust lesson is designed to provide creative stimulation and memorable food for thought long after the workshop ends. If you’re looking for a trough to replenish your poetry feedbag, this is the only barn to graze in.
— Cindy Hochman, Editor-in-Chief, First Literary Review-East
I’ve taken several workshops and gained a great deal from each. The instructors are stellar and read and comment on everyone’s poems in great depth and with insight into not just the poem’s intention, but suggestions to clarify and expand the poem if desired. I’ve also appreciated the community of poets I’ve met in the workshops and learned from them as well. A very friendly, inspiring, and supportive atmosphere.
— Karen Neuberg, author of Myself Taking Stage and Detailed Still
With the Poetry Barn, Lissa Kiernan has created a venue for new writers to dip into poetry, and offers more experienced students fresh ways to hone their craft. Kiernan is the real deal: A professional who understands the needs of both the instructor and student, and finds creative ways to implement them. I am privileged to know Lissa, and to be among the teaching artists: all hard working, innovative, empathetic practioners of the form.
— Tina Barry, author, Mall Flower
My first experience with Poetry Barn was with Kim Noriega’s “Into That Darkness Peering” (Poe) workshop. It was remarkable. I was reticent to make the plunge, because both my work and personal life were so overwhelming that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to dedicate enough time to it. But the description was so enticing and I knew I was in need - so I went for it, and I’m so glad I did. Kim’s assignments, explanations, references and challenges were like poems in and of themselves. On top of that was the extraordinary graphics, the look and feel of the whole experience …all this made it impossible not to be inspired! Add to that the encouragement from Kim, as well as from the others taking part in the course, and although I indeed did not have the time I would have loved to spend on every aspect of the course, it was still a beautiful, affirming experience. I can’t wait for the next one. Kudos to Poetry Barn! What an exquisite interface you have created.
— Danielle LoPresti Musician / Teacher
It is not at all an exaggeration to say that Poetry Barn has provided me with a poetry community with whom I can have conversations without any fear. I couldn’t have asked for a better place that would allow me to accomodate poetry writing, while working full-time in an academic job.
— Nandini Dhar, publisher of Elsewhere Lit
The workshop was a fabulous experience for me and helped to break a bad block I have had for a while! I was able to comfortably fit the assignments into my very busy work week because of the online format, and ended up generating more pieces than were required for the course.
— Ami Kaye, Publisher & Editor of Glass Lyre Press and Pirene’s Fountain
The Poetry Barn workshop (Punch and Awl Bookbinding) I attended yesterday was entirely pleasurable and instructive — first-rate setting, excellent workshop accommodations, delicious lunch on a lovely picnic table, professional supplies, convivial conversation, and, most of all, open-hearted people.
— Theresa L. Broderick, Albany Poets
An environment where great ideas are nurtured in a professional, warm manner. The quality of faculty is equal to any live professional workshop I have participated in including the San Miguel Poetry Week.
— Lois P. Jones, poet and host of Poets Cafe (Pacifica Radio) in Los Angeles and co-producer of Moonday East and West
I have grown in confidence, in ability, in critical judgment - the workshops and the ripples afterwards have made me feel I’m part of a community of writers.
— Kim Peter Kovac, Producing Director, Theater for Young Audiences, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
A sui generis seismic experience. No other cyberhub has so fruitfully convulsed the creative tectonics of my mind.
— Chris Crittenden, Professor, University of Maine, Machias
As a teaching artist for the Poetry Barn for over 5 years all I can say is I’ve been astounded at the professionalism with which Lissa Kiernan has set up and run her online poetry cooperative and gallery of wonderful intensive poetry classes. She seems to attract only the highest quality teaching artists, and I’ve been thrilled to be a part of this group. I’ve also marveled at the talent and diversity of my poetry students and the supportive, dynamic poetic discussions we’ve been able to develop in the user-friendly, visually satisfying online space that The Poetry Barn creates for its workshop participants. Offered at reasonable prices, these intensive month-long workshops provide challenging, yet open-minded workshops, equally stimulating for published poets looking for new sources of inspiration as they are for emerging poets wanting to stretch their poetic voice in new and unexpected ways.
— Alexandra van de Kamp, Creative Writing Classes Program Director, Gemini Ink
Poetry Barn gave me the chance to take several affordable online courses, to strengthen my writing, and to explore new, creative possibilities. The instructors that Lissa Kiernan has engaged and the sense of community she has fostered are extraordinary. The courses present unique writing challenges and provide encouragement and critical feedback. At the same time, work can be done at any hour, allowing me to participate fully around my work schedule. In this milieu, while living in Texas, I had the chance to meet and work with poets around the country—and sometimes overseas. Poetry Barn courses gave me insight into craft and introduced me to a range of writers and poetic approaches. This has strengthened my work. Being part of a creative vibrant writing community has been the best experience. I am grateful to Poetry Barn and to everyone who has helped to make it happen.
— Laurie Posner, M.P.A
Poetry Barn has been a prayer answered. Years ago I was looking to learn more about poetry and the writing of poetry but have a busy work schedule and getting to night classes proved difficult. So I looked around and found the Poetry Barn. I have now taken over 10 classes and each class (except for one) has been wonderful in its own way. And as if that weren’t enough, I have become part of a poetry community that has supported my love of writing and introduced me to others who are as passionate as I am about writing and poetry. after the classes are over, we find each other on email and on Facebook and share ideas, classes, poems, competitions, other poets stories etc. And during the few years I have taken classes, I have gone from someone who wanted to learn about poetry to someone who has been published in over 20 journals and has been a finalist in a few competitions. The care, attention and support from the instructors is exemplary and the writing shared in the classes has been stunning, which inspires me forward. I love the classes. I love the lessons, I love the teachers and I love the writers. And Lissa Kiernan is the inspiration and the glue behind it all. I bless her everyday.
— Alicia Elkort, Poet & Filmmaker, From the Heart Productions

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