Reflections on Poetry Barn's First Retreat

On the first day of Poetry Barn’s first annual Peak Color Retreat, while I stood in the barn as I have done many times before, the importance of the moment held a weight that I had not expected. Perhaps because Second Draft Sundays and the new lending library have both been creating an electricity within the stacks. Maybe because of the many weeks of brainstorming and execution that led up to the weekend. Or maybe because of the Rebel Poet—Philippe Petit—we were all anticipating. As cars full of poets pulled up the Poetry Barn’s steep driveway I truly felt as though I was being joined on a precipice.

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Lissa Kiernan Comment
Announcing The Poetry Distillery

During the Poetry Barn’s ribbon cutting ceremony last October, I wondered how the words that dispersed into that evening’s sunset could be represented in a publication, how the many voices could be curated in a way to represent the Poetry Barn’s array of talent.

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Lissa KiernanComment
Opening the Oak Door

In contemplating how best to honor Poetry Barn’s Indiegogo supporters, I gradually became obsessed with the metaphorical possibilities of the oak tree. We are blessed with a beautiful location in Catskill Park, a 700,000-acre forest preserve which includes many noble oaks, and is happily protected from many forms of development.

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Lissa KiernanComment
Ribbon Cutting at the Barn

The Poetry Barn’s ribbon-cutting was filled with excitement and verse. From fire spinners to an open mic, the intimacy and breadth of the Poetry Barn was on display the entire night. The opening of the lending library was an exclamation point at the end of an already thriving artist community

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Lissa KiernanComment
The Tyranny of Silence

Flower Power: The Poetry of War and Healing, a workshop at the Poetry Barn led by Doug Anderson, who has written about his experiences in the Vietnam War in both poetry (The Moon Reflected Fire, winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award) and nonfiction (Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties, and a Journey of Self-Discovery), at once placed me in a rightfully uncomfortable space while freeing me from the idea that I could not engage with the subject matter.

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Lissa KiernanComment
Poetry Barn at the Catskill Interpretive Center Book Fair

A remarkable mix of publishers, exhibitors, workshops and authors—including two special guests with books of regional significance—are coming together for the Second Annual Catskill Interpretive Center Book Fair at the Center on Route 28 in Mt. Tremper on Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Catskill Interpretive Center Book Fair is a working collaboration between the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, Writers in the Mountains and Poetry Barn.

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Lissa KiernanComment
Poetry Barn Celebrates 50th Anniversary Of Summer Of Love

“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.

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Lissa KiernanComment