Poetry Festival News

Billy Collins is Sold Out!

Information for ticket holders

We are excited to welcome you to the Sunken Garden on Wednesday, June 21 for Billy Collins at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.  Please note the following:

Parking

Please carpool to the Poetry Festval. Parking will fill to capacity. Beginning at 4 pm, We will run a shuttle bus to and from the parking lot of a local business park located at 1690 New Britain Avenue in Farmington – just minutes away from Hill-Stead. Once Hill-Stead’s lots are filled, visitors must park in the shuttle lot at 1690 New Britain Avenue in Farmington or find parking within walking distance of the Festival. Pay close attention to “no parking” signs on side streets and park only where it is legal and safe to do so.

Weather

Pay attention to the weather. In the event of steady rain, the festival takes place under an event tent in Hill-Stead’s Kitchen Garden. In that case, we would expect an overflow of visitors, so please dress in layers and grab an umbrella and poncho if rain is predicted. This event is rain or shine – there will be no refunds issued for weather.

Food

We are pleased to offer you three dining choices this evening: Iron & Grain, Co. and Avon Prime Meats will be located on the front lawn, and Culteavo in The Tea Room located on the east side of the Garden in the Stone Garage. We will also have a bartender serving red and white wine in the Garden. You are welcome to bring your own picnic dinners and beverages to enjoy on the grounds and in the Garden.

Prelude

The Prelude Interview with Colin McEnroe and Billy Collins will begin at 5 pm in the Garden on the main Poetry stage. Music and poetry performances will begin at 6.

See you in the garden!

2017 Fresh Voices Finalists Announced

Hill-Stead is honored to announce the finalists for the 2017 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition:

 

Michelle Chen
Sophia Durand
Grace Gonzalez
Joyce Hida
Mechelle Horelick
Rachel Horowitz-Benoit
Abigail Howard
Nadia Jalal
Samantha Lewis
Verne Mackoff
Kimberly McGuire
Quinn Miller
Sydney Parrott
Mae Santillo
Sonali Singh
Sophie Spaner
Michael Williams

Thank you to the record number of students who submitted their poetry this year!

Emily Jungmin Yoon chosen as winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Maggie Smith has chosen Ordinary Misfortunes by Emily Jungmin Yoon of Chicago, Illinois, as winner of the 2017 Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize.

Emily will perform her work in at Hill-Stead’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Wednesday, July 19.  For tickets, visit Sunken Garden Poetry Festival 2017.

I’m completely taken in by these poems, how they deftly balance lyric and narrative, history and the present, body and mind. These are poems of violence–against women, and against Korean women in particular–but they are also poems about the pain and pleasure in language itself: ‘pear in Korean is a homonym for ship or boat’; ‘A homonym for apple is apology.’ Ordinary Misfortunes is a remarkable collection.
—Maggi Smith

 

Emily Jungmin Yoon‘s poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Offing, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. For her poetry, she has received awards and fellowships from Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, AWP’s WC&C Scholarship Competition, The Home School in Miami, the Aspen Institute, New York University, and the University of Chicago. She is the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is a PhD student in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department at the University of Chicago.

Announcing the 2017 Sunken Garden Poetry Roster

SGPF_LOGO_25_2017-copy

The 25th Anniversary Season of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival features new talent, like Jamaal May and Ocean Vuong, as well as the return of Festival favorites Billy Collins and Mark Doty. The summer begins here.

For more information and to purchase tickets, see 2017 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, or our Calendar.

— 2017 ROSTER —


Billy 2croppedBilly Collins
Wednesday, June 21

The author of ten collections of poetry, Billy Collins was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001-03, and Poet Laureate of New York from 2004-06. The evening will feature a special reading by Connecticut State Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin and music by Plywood Cowboy.


 Jamaal May & Tarfia Faizullah
Sunday, July 9

tarfiaAward-winning poets, Jamaal May and Tarfia Faizullah, co-direct Organic Weapon Arts. The evening will feature a Poetry Jam/Urban Poetry Conversation and musical spoken word performance by Tang Sauce and DJ Stealth.


Cornelius Eady
Wednesday, July 19

CorneliusCornelius Eady’s work as been nominated for a NAACP Image Award and the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. Eady will be joined by his band Rough Magic for music and poetry to delight and inspire. Also performing: Sunken Garden Poetry Prize winner (TBA this spring), sponsored by Tupelo Press.


 Mark Doty & Eileen Myles
Sunday, August 6

Mark DottyHill-Stead welcomes back beloved poet Mark Doty, New York Times bestseller and National Book Award winner. Doty will be joined by acclaimed poet Eileen Myles, with musical guests The Girls from Ruby Falls.


 Ocean Vuong & Young Poets Day
Wednesday, August 16

A Ocean VuongRuth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, 28-year-old Ocean Vuong is the recipient of several awards including the 2016 Whiting Award. Hill-Stead’s own Fresh Voices Poetry Competition winners will also perform their work in the Garden.

CT Humanities Awards $50K for a Second Consecutive Year!

A $50,000 grant awarded by Connecticut Humanities to Hill-Stead Museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival will connect the public to current United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and a showcase of Latino poetry and music.  The Latino Poetry weekend will include a Poets and Authors Community Conversation with local writers and is open to all Festival attendees.  This year’s Festival also provides exposure to and awareness of Veteran’s poetry and art which will include a 2-hour art workshop by a Veteran “iPhonographer,” and an art show of Veteran’s art in Hill-Stead’s Stone Garage gallery.  All event dates will include poetry-writing workshops and interactive Prelude Interviews with headlining poets.

Hill-Stead Museum is thrilled to receive this grant to present the 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.  With the support of CT Humanities for this acclaimed public program, the museum anticipates its best Sunken Garden Poetry Festival season yet!

Susan Ballek, Executive Director and CEO, Hill-Stead Museum

 

ch_logoweb-(1)Connecticut Humanities, a nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, supports cultural and historic organizations that tell the state’s stories, build community and enrich lives.

 

 

Fresh Voices WINNERS Announced!

Hill-Stead is proud to announce the 2016 Fresh Voices WINNERS:

  • Owen Elphick
  • Chloe Ezzo
  • Leah Nashel
  • Jossary Padilla
  • Abbey Rose Popolizio

Hill-Stead is proud to announce the 2016 Fresh Voices Finalists:

  • Jenna Baig
  • Kaitlyn Carr
  • Olivia Coleman
  • Rachel Currie
  • Sarah Ferrigno
  • Selena Muniz
  • Winona Scheffn
  • Owen Elphick
  • Chloe Ezzo
  • Rachel Horowitz-Benoit
  • Jacob Lowell
  • Leah Nashel
  • Jossary Padilla
  • Abbey Rose Popolizio
  • Curtis Scheffel

Richard Blanco Reading in the Libraries of Hill-Stead

Richard Blanco performed in the Libraries of Hill-Stead Museum to support The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Thursday, March 3.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPQXDUL2bgg&width=750&height=423&centervid=1[/embedyt]

 

Richard performed at the Festival in 2013 and also served as Inaugural Poet for President Barak Obama. Hill-Stead was honored to have him headline last night’s benefit reading.

For more information about the festival, see 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

Announcing the 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Performers

Current US Poet Laureate to Perform at 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

Hill-Stead Museum is thrilled to announce the 2016 line up for its renowned and highly-anticipated Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

Poetry2016_logoWednesday, June 22
Heather McHugh
& the Sunken Garden Poetry Chapbook Winner
Sunday, July 10
Brian Turner 
& Doug Anderson
Wednesday, July 20
Edward Hirsch 
& Clare Rossini
Sunday, August 7 
Juan Felipe Herrera, United States Poet Laureate 
& Peg Boyers
Wednesday, August 17
CT YOUNG POETS DAY 
Kwame Dawes 
& Fresh Voices Student Competition Winners

The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival is a unique outdoor arts event located on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark in the heart of Farmington. Beginning on June 22, the festival presents the first of five performances, scheduled for three Wednesday and two Sunday evening throughout the summer. Adding to the humanities-rich content of the festival, Hill-Stead offers poetry writing workshops prior to all performances. The community cherishes this series of readings and music concerts in the informal outdoor setting of the Hill-Stead estate. Visitors can come early to tour the museum’s world-class Impressionist art collection, walk the trails or attend the pre-performance prelude conversations with the headlining poets.

Festival Schedule

Gates open at 4:30 pm; prelude conversation with headlining poet at 5 pm; opening poet at 6:00 pm; music begins at 6:30 pm; headlining poet begins at 7:15 pm

(August 7th also features a community reading of Latino/Latina poetry at 3 pm)

Admission

$12 advanced on-line purchase, $15 at the gate, ages 18 and under free. Parking is free.

Seating

Bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating in and around the garden, or join Hill-Stead’s Live Poets Society to receive premier reserved seating. To join Live Poets Society, contact Kirsten Fuchs at 860-677-4787, x181, or visit www.hillstead.org.

Food

Al fresco dining is allowed on the grounds. Festival attendees are welcome to bring their own picnic suppers or purchase food/beverages on site from gourmet food vendors.

Featured Poets

Wednesday, June 22
Heather McGrathHeather McHugh

Heather McHugh is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including Eyeshot, which was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, and Hinge and Sign, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. She is the recipient of the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and her work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, PEN, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2006 and is currently the Millman Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Sunday, July 10
Brian TurnerBrian Turner

Brian Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and lived abroad in South Korea for a year before serving for seven years in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 with the 10th Mountain Division. Then in November 2003, he was an infantry team leader for a year in Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. His first book, Here, Bullet, chronicles his time in Iraq. Turner has been featured on National Public Radio, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer and the BBC. He has received a NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry, the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship and a fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. Turner has taught English at Fresno City College.

Doug AndersonDoug Anderson

Poet Doug Anderson served as a combat medic in the Vietnam War. He has written about his experiences in the Vietnam War in both poetry and nonfiction. He is the author of the poetry collection The Moon Reflected Fire (1994), the winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award; and Blues for Unemployed Secret Police (2000). In 2000 he published his memoir, Keep Your Head Down: Vietnam, the Sixties, and a Journey of Self-Discovery.

Wednesday, July 20
 Ed HirschEdward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch is a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry. He was born in Chicago in 1950—his accent makes it impossible for him to hide his origins—and educated at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in Folklore. Edward Hirsch’s first collection of poems, For the Sleepwalkers (1981), received the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. His second collection, Wild Gratitude (1986), won the National Book Critics Award. Since then, he has published six additional books of poems.

Claire RossiniClare Rossini

Clare Rossini is the author of three collections of poetry: Lingo (The University of Akron Press, 2006); Winter Morning with Crow (University of Akron Press 1997), chosen by Donald Justice for the Akron Poetry Prize and one of two finalists for PEN’s first Joyce Osterweil Award; and Selections from the Claudia Poems (Minnesota Center for the Book Arts, 1996), an art book edition.

Sunday, August 7
Juan Filipe HerreraJuan Felipe Herrera – United States Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United State (2015-2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. From 2012–2014, Herrera served as California State Poet Laureate. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage; Senegal Taxi; Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems, a recipient of the PEN/Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross The Border: Undocuments 1971-2007. He is also the author of Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse, which received the Americas Award. His books of prose for children include SkateFate; Calling The Doves, winner of the Ezra Jack Keats Award; Upside Down Boy, which was adapted into a musical for young audiences in New York City; and Cinnamon Girl: Letters Found Inside a Cereal Box. Herrera is also a performance artist and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth.

Peg BoyersPeg Boyers

Poet Peg Boyers was born in San Tomé, Venezuela, but spent her childhood on the move, living in such countries as Libya, Italy, Indonesia, and Cuba. Her collections of poetry are Hard Bread (2002), Honey with Tobacco (2007), and To Forget Venice (2014). Hard Bread contains a series of poems written in the voice of Natalia Ginzburg (1916–1991), an Italian writer, editor, and mother who witnessed World War II. Boyers carefully reconstructed Ginzburg’s experiences by illuminating the historical details of her life.

Wednesday, August 17
Kwame DavisKwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, including, most recently, Duppy Conqueror, Wheels, Back of Mount Peace, and Hope’s Hospice. He has also published two novels, Bivouac and She’s Gone, winner of the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Best First Novel. An accomplished actor, playwright, and producer, fifteen of his plays have been produced, and he has acted in, directed, or produced several of these productions himself, most recently One Love at the Lyric Hammersmith in London. His essays have appeared in numerous journals including Bomb Magazine, The London Review of Books, Granta, Essence, World Literature Today, and Double Take Magazine. Until July 2011, Dawes was Distinguished Poet in Residence, Louis Frye Scudder Professor of Liberal Arts, and founder and executive director of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative.

The Sunken Garden Poetry Prize for Chapbooks Now Open for Submissions

$1,000 Prize
Deadline: October 31, 2015 (postmark or online submission-date)
Final Judge: C. D. Wright

The Sunken Garden Poetry Prize is a prestigious national prize for adult writers of chapbook-length poetry collections. Established in 2002, the Prize has drawn submissions from around the country that have been judged by renowned poets such as Martha Collins, Patricia Smith and Tony Hoagland. The winner receives a $1,000 cash prize, publication, and an introductory reading at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival (check out the Festival here). The winner’s chapbook will be published by Tupelo Press in time for a reading at Sunken Garden next summer! Manuscripts are read and judged anonymously, and all finalists will be considered for publication.

The Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize is open to anyone writing in the English language, whether living in the United States or abroad. Translations are not eligible for this prize, nor are previously self-published books. Employees of Tupelo Press and authors with books previously published by Tupelo Press are not eligible. Poets submitting work for consideration may be published authors or writers without prior book publications.
Please read the complete guidelines here.

For information on this year’s winner, see 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize.
$1,000 Prize