Thanks for visiting, and thanks for your interest in the Carriage House Series. Walt Whitman wrote, “To have great poets, there must be great audiences.” Whether we meet electronically or in person, we're happy to share our commitment to poetry and to poets with you, our "great audience."

The Carriage House Poetry Series was established in December of 1998. The initiative began as a project funded in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.

The series features some of the finest contemporary poets each year in the Kuran Arts Center (a nineteenth century carriage house, formerly known as the Fanwood Carriage House and for which the series was named). The Arts Center is located on the grounds of Borough Hall, facing Watson Road off Martine Avenue (GPS use 75 N. Martine Avenue) in Fanwood, New Jersey. Readings are held at 8PM on the third Tuesday of each month from February - July and from September - November.

All readings are free and open to the public. Most readings include an open mic after the feature, and audience members are invited to share their poems.

The Carriage House Series is pleased to feature a wide range of both nationally-known and local poets. Past readers have included (among numerous others), Gerald Stern, Mark Doty, Stephen Dunn, Alicia Ostriker, Patricia Smith, Taylor Mali, Maria Mazziotti Gillan, and Laura Boss.

The Series has been funded by the Borough of Fanwood with additional grants from such generous organizations as the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders (HEART Grants), the Union County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, and the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Service League.

Please scroll down for our current calendar; and please take a moment to view our slideshows in the sidebar (just click on the arrows in the center).

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 Calendar

January – Winter Hiatus

February 10, 2019 – Sunday, 3-5 PM – Book Launch for Charlie Bondhus

February 19, 2019 – “Sweetheart Night” with Gretna Wilkinson

Gretna Wilkinson, Ph.D. was born and raised in Guyana, SA. She began her teaching career as a missionary teacher in the jungles there. A former college professor for sixteen years, she now teaches creative writing in the Visual and Performing Arts Academy of Red Bank Regional High School. Wilkinson speaks to issues of human suffering, political and social commentary, children's issues and love; as well as aspects of Guyanese culture.

March 19, 2019 – Bernadette McBride & Hayden Saunier

Bernadette McBride, author of four full-length poetry collections, has taught creative writing and literature at Temple University and is poetry editor for the Schuylkill Valley Journal. A three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, 2009 Poet Laureate for Bucks County Pennsylvania, and second place poetry winner for the International Ray Bradbury Writing Award, her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologiesin the U.S. and abroad, including in the UK, Canada, and on PRI’s The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor.

Hayden Saunier is a poet, actor, and teaching artist living in the Philadelphia area. Her acting resume includes film and television appearances in The Sixth Sense, Philadelphia Diary, House of Cards, Mindhunter, Hack, and Do No Harm, and numerous roles at regional theatres such as the Guthrie Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Interact Theatre, and People's Light and Theatre Company. She has published four collections of poetry, and her work has been awarded the 2013 Gell Poetry Prize, 2011 Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, and the 2011 Rattle Poetry Grand Prize. Hayden has been Poet Laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

April 16, 2019 – Edwin Romond & Deborah LaVeglia

Edwin Romond is the author of eight collections of poetry and has been awarded writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and from the New Jersey and Pennsylvania State Councils on the Arts. He is the recipient of the 2013 New Jersey Poetry Prize. Ed was a public school teacher for 32 years at Jerstead-Agerholm Junior High School in Racine, Wisconsin and at Metuchen High School, NJ, Thorne Middle School, Port Monmouth, NJ, and Warren Hills Regional High School, Washington, NJ before retiring in 2003. Romond now works part-time in the poetry program of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Deborah LaVeglia is director of "PoetsWednesday" at the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge, the longest running poetry series in New Jersey. A Cranford, NJ resident, Deborah has published poetry and essays in numerous journals and anthologies. She was a guest on National Public Radio and has been a featured poet at readings in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Her chapbook, Vigil, was published in 2000. Former poetry editor of Black Swan Review, Deborah conducts poetry workshops in schools, colleges, and other venues, and is the creator and director of the Woodbridge Township High School Annual Poetry Slam and the Woodbridge Literary Festival.

May 21, 2019 – Judith Christian & Elaine Koplow

Judith A. Christian is a former president of South Mountain Poets. Her experience in technical publishing was instrumental in Judith’s editing and production of various South Mountain New Jersey poetry anthologies. Along with writing poetry, she creates digital photo art for sale and public exhibition. Her collection of poems, A Certain Knowing, was published by the Paulinskill Poetry Project in 2018.

Elaine Koplow was born in Washington, DC. and attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin where she worked as a union organizer before moving to New Jersey and teaching high school English. She is the Director of the Sussex County Writers’ Roundtable, Assistant Copy Editor of The Stillwater Review, and Associate Editor of The Paulinskill Poetry Project. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems appear in such journals as Spillway, Edison Literary Review, Wawayanda Review, Exit 13 Magazine, U.S.1 Worksheets, and Journal of New Jersey Poets. Elaine lives in the Kittatinny Mountains area of northwest New Jersey.

June 18, 2019 – Maria Giura & Penny Harter

Maria Giura, Ph. D. has won awards from the Academy of America Poets, Paterson Literary Review, and the Center for Women Writers at Salem College. She was also a finalist for the Milton Center Fellowship. Maria has taught writing at St. John’s University, Montclair State University, and Binghamton University. She has also written for Telecare TV, CBS Newspath, and New Morning TV. The founder of St. Francis Catholic Singles, she is a workshop leader on topics including memoir, contemplative prayer, and teaching creative writing. Her poems have appeared in a range of journals, and her poetry collection What My Father Taught Me was published in 2018.

Penny Harter is the author of numerous books and chapbooks. She has received three fellowships in poetry from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a fellowship in teaching writing from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). She also received the Mary Carolyn Davies Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and the William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award. She has worked as a teaching artist for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts AIE program, the New Jersey Writers Project, and the Dodge Foundation. Her poems and short fiction appear in numerous anthologies and magazines worldwide.

July & August – Summer Hiatus

September 17, 2019 – Darla Himeles & James Arthur

Darla Himeles is a poet, translator, and essayist with roots in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and coastal Maine. Her work has been published in various journals. She is an associate editor for The Stillwater Review and holds an AB in English from Bryn Mawr College and an MFA in poetry and poetry in translation from Drew University. She is currently a doctoral candidate in American literature at Temple University, where she teaches undergraduate poetry workshops, first-year writing, and literature classes. A 2018 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award recipient, Darla lives in Philadelphia with her wife and daughter and is the author of the chapbook Flesh Enough.

James Arthur was born in Connecticut and grew up in Canada. He is the author of the poetry collection The Suicide's Son. His debut collection, Charms Against Lightning, is available from Copper Canyon Press. His chapbook Hundred Acre Wood was published in 2018. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Poetry, The New York Review of Books, and The London Review of Books. He has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Poetry Scholarship, a Hodder Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, a Discovery/The Nation Prize, a Fulbright Scholarship to Northern Ireland, and a visiting fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford. He teaches in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

October 22, 2019 – “Wax Museum” (Our Annual Autumn/Halloween Reading)


Amanda Berry, Tony Gruenewald, Deborah LaVeglia, Nancy Lubarsky, John McDermott, Michelle Ortega, Tom Plante, and Gary Szelc

Wear a costume, bring a Halloween or seasonal poem 
to read in the open, 
and be prepared for a "Wax Museum" that includes
a werewolf, a vampire, and other ghoulish poetry delights!

November 19, 2019  – 21st Anniversary Celebration, “Zen Night” with Ray Cicetti

Ray Cicetti is a poet and Zen practitioner who lives in Mountain Lakes NJ. He also owns a private psychotherapy practice in Morristown, NJ. He is a member of the White Plum lineage of Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi Roshi and is the resident lay teacher at Empty Bowl Zendo in Morristown. He authored a chapter in the book Walking In Two Worlds: The Relational Self In Theory, Practice, And Community. Active in workshops and readings, Ray received a 2018 Carriage House Poetry Award, and his poems have appeared in such journals as Tiferet, Exit 13, and The Metaworker.

December – Winter Hiatus