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).

Fanwood Arts Council

In 1998, 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 Carriage House Poetry reading Series was established in Fanwood. This project brought eight of the finest contemporary poets in the United States into our community, including New Jersey's first Poet Laureate, the 1998 National Book Award Winner, and a Pulitzer Prize recipient. The Reading Series was so well received during its 1998-99 season that former mayor Maryann Connelly and grant author/series director Adele Kenny began to discuss the establishment of a more comprehensive arts program for the community. In March 1999, The Fanwood Cultural Arts Committee was established as a special Mayor´s Committee.

The site chosen for community cultural arts events - the Patricia M. Kuran Cultural Arts Center (formerly the Fanwood Carriage House) - is one of Fanwood's historic landmarks, a 19th century building that once housed the carriages, sleighs, and horses for the Homestead, a popular country resort before the turn of the 20th century, which stood where the present Borough Hall is located. In 2005 the Arts Committee's name was changed by Mayor Colleen Mahr to the "Fanwood Arts Council."

The Arts Council seeks:
  • To maintain a cultural arts program that will provide a wide range of arts experiences for Fanwood's residents as well as guests from other communities.
  • To create a venue in which New Jersey artists will bring their particular gifts and talents to the public.
  • To preserve and develop the Kuran Center as a diversified and fully functioning arts center.
  • To present programs that will encourage cultural arts awareness, appreciation, education, and participation.
  • To work cooperatively with the Mayor and Council and other Borough commissions and committees for the benefit of our residents.
The committee holds as its "motto" Tolstoy's statement in What is Art? - "Art, like speech, is a means of communication and therefore of progress, that is, of the movement of humanity towards perfection." many Arts Council events have been taped and shown on Fanwood's community access television station, Channel 35 (Verizon Channel 24)
Arts Council members are appointed by the Mayor, but volunteers are always needed to assist with various activities. Grants, Fanwood´s Council, and donations from our local merchants have helped support past programs. Donations are always needed and are gratefully received.