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. With the support of additional grants and the Fanwood Borough Mayor and Council, the series features some of the finest contemporary poets each year. All readings are held 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 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 - June and from September - December. All readings are free and open to the public.

The Carriage House Series is pleased to feature a wide range of both nationally-known and local poets. Readers include Gerald Stern, Mark Doty, Stephen Dunn, Alicia Ostriker, Patricia Smith, Taylor Mali, and Maria Gillan. Most readings include an open mic after the feature, and audience members are invited to share their poems.

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

John McDermott 2016 Carriage House Poetry Prize Winner

John McDermott 2016 Carriage House Poetry Prize Winner

2016 Carriage House Poetry Prize Winner

The Fanwood Arts Council is pleased to announce that the Carriage House Poetry Series 2016 Poetry Prize Winner is John McDermott. Judge Laura Boss, founding publisher and editor of Lips Magazine selected McDermott’s poem, “Census 2016.” A total of 821 entries was received, and all entries were judged anonymously.

Held biennially by the Carriage House Poetry Series in conjunction with the Fanwood Shade Tree Commission, the guidelines require some mention of a tree or trees. The winner receives a $300.00 cash prize and publication in Tiferet Journal’s 2016 print issue.

McDermott is professor emeritus of English as a Second Language at Union County College and former poetry editor of US1 Worksheets. He has twice been invited to perform his work at the Dodge Poetry Festival and serves as a Dodge Poet, working with teachers and students. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Paterson Literary Review, Lips, and Frogpond, as well as the Mainichi Daily News in Japan. The first full-length book of his poetry “The Long Way Home” was published in 2005 and the CD version was released in 2010. He and his wife Mila live in Cranford, New Jersey.

Finalists are Albert W. Starkey of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts for his poem “Muir Woods,” and Greg Beatty of Bellingham, Washington for his poem “Naming the Trees.”

McDermott will be present to read his winning poem at the Shade Tree Commission’s annual Arbor Day celebration in Carriage House Park on Watson Road in Fanwood. The free event is open to the public and will take place on Friday, April 29th at 4 PM.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Calendar

 ("Their Legacy of Words," 17th Anniversary Celebration, November 2015)

 2016 Calendar


February 16 – John Barrale, Loren Kleinman, Jill Stein

March 15 – John Richard Smith and John McDermott

April 19 – Diane Lockward and Bernadette McBride (Celebrating Food in Poetry)

May 17 – Ed Romond and BJ Ward

June 21 – Melissa Studdard and Amy King

July 19 – Deborah LaVeglia and Mary Redus


September 20 – Maria Gillan and Joe Weil

October 18 – R. G. Rader, Alan Pizzarelli and Jean LeBlanc (Haiku Night)

November 15 – Svea Barrett and Paul-Victor Winters

December17 – Tiffert Journal Issue Launch and Holiday Celebration. Featured Readers: Cat Doty, Priscilla Orr, Donna Baier Stein, John McDermott, Nancy Lubarsky, Bob Rosenbloom, Basil Rouskas.

Please Note: In the event of inclement weather, check this site, or click here to check the Carriage House page on Facebook. It is always our policy to err on side of safety, and readings are cancelled if the weather is in any way unsafe.