In the Makeshift Theater
5 pm Prelude Interview
In the Sunken Garden
6 pm Sunken Garden Poetry Prize Winner performs
6:30 pm Cornelius Eady performs
7:00 pm Cornelius Eady and Rough Magic perform
8 pm Book Signing
For additional Poetry Events, see our Calendar.
- $12 advance online purchase, $15 at the gate, ages 18 and under free.
- Tickets for opening night are $20 advance online and $25 at the gate.
- Parking is always free.
- Bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating in and around the garden.
- Join Hill-Stead’s Live Poets Society to receive premier reserved seating. For more information, see Live Poets Society Benefits 2017.
- Al fresco dining is allowed on the grounds.
- Festival attendees are welcome to bring their own picnic suppers.
- Food, wine and other beverages may also be purchased on site from gourmet food vendors.
Cornelius Eady is the author of several books of poetry, including the critically acclaimed Hardheaded Weather, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award, Victims of the Latest Dance Craze, winner of the 1985 Lamont Prize from the Academy of American Poets, and The Gathering of My Name, which was nominated for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. With poet Toi Derricote, Eady is cofounder of Cave Canem, a national organization for African American poetry and poets. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Literature, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to Bellagio, Italy and The Prairie Schooner Strousse Award
The Sunken Garden Poetry Prize Winner, sponsored by Tupelo Press, will be announced this spring.
Rough Magic is a New York-based band sprung from Cornelius Eady’s long and celebrated literary life, and calls upon troubadour traditions and evokes the sounds and storytelling of blues greats like Muddy Waters, folk legends such as Woody Guthrie and the unexpected grooves and subject-matters of the Talking Heads. The musicians of Rough Magic have performed in New York City and internationally, drawing upon Eady’s prolific lyricism and texts by other poets such as Edna St. Vincent Millay, Aliki Barnstone and Mary Molyneux. Rough Magic is: Cornelius Eady- voice and guitar, Robin Messing- voice, Charlie Rauh- guitar, Lisa Liu- guitar and keyboard, Leo Ferguson- drums, Emma Alabaster- bass and voice, and special guest Concetta Abbate- violin and voice.
Thank you to our sponsors