The Poetry Barn in West Hurley, NY

Poetry barn - children's books

If you do a search on “Poetry Barn,” Google will first serve you an ad for Pottery Barn. Scroll right past that and you’ll arrive at the right destination — The Poetry Barn in West Hurley, New York, a private library and workshop/event space dedicated to all things poetic.

The Poetry Barn is the creation of founding director Lissa Kiernan, who converted a small barn into housing for an inviting 3,000+ volume lending library. In the surroundings of contemporary and classic poetry books, the space is a haven for a myriad of ongoing virtual and in-person workshops and occasional events.

The venue is located on a quiet residential road near the beautiful Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County, in the Catskill foothills region of New York State. If the weather cooperates, try to schedule some time to walk around the reservoir if you’re making a special trip. 

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Poetry barn in West Hurley, NY

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How to visit

Make an appointment for a visit: Make sure not to just show up, whether you’ve traveled from near or afar — you’ll need to make a reservation, especially important at this time, for a visit. Here is The Poetry Barn’s visit scheduler

Tuesday-Friday, 12-6 PM (by appointment)
Saturdays 12-4 PM (by appointment)

Web: The Poetry Barn
Contact: Email:  |  Phone: (845) 280-0430

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Poetry barn- children's section

The children’s corner
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The Poetry Barn’s mission, in a nutshell

From The Poetry Barn’s website, here is their mission: 

“The Poetry Barn nurtures poetry education, inspiration, and appreciation through workshops, retreats, readings, and a comprehensive poetry lending library made freely accessible to the public. Nestled in the foothills of Catskill Park in Hudson Valley, surrounded by the protected lands of the Ashokan Reservoir, we take nature as inspiration, and act as a pollinator habitat for poetry and its sister arts.”

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Poetry barn - coworking and workshop space

Poetry barn - sample workshops

This image displays just a small sampling of the workshops offered.
Explore the entire range of workshops here
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Poetry workshops all year round

The Poetry Barn offers an amazing array of workshops year -ound. Some are asynchronous (meaning you sign up for it and do the workshop on your own time, not in real time), while others are real-time Zoom events. One-on-one mentoring with noted posts is also available. 

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Poetry barn - events

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The Poetry Barn hosts, onsite and off, wonderfully rich poetic events — readings, book launches, intimate concerts, and special workshops and classes. Check the calendar for upcoming events.

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Poetry barn shelf close-up
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The library

At the heart of The Poetry Barn is, as mentioned earlier, a 3,000+ volume lending library. It’s open year-round by appointment. Books may be borrowed by members — see below. 

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Poetry barn chapbooks


Membership begins at $25 per year and includes these benefits: Borrowing books from the library, 10% discounts on workshops, and invitations to exclusive events. Here’s how to become a member.

Poetry barn - art exhibit and coffee

Poetry barn- retail gifts

Plus …

Enjoy a little poetic retail therapy with books, journals, unusual paper, and other objects for the poet in your life (or for yourself!). Grab a cup of coffee and find a cozy chair to read for an hour or so, and view the rotating display of local art.

See more of this site’s Literary Travels features.

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