2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

Poetry2016_logoHill-Stead Museum’s renowned Sunken Garden Poetry Festival is a unique outdoor arts event located on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark in the heart of Farmington.  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 prelude conversations with headlining poets. Picnics are welcome and food and wine can be purchased from festival vendors.  Guests bring their own chairs and blankets and relax among the flower beds in the historic Sunken Garden, surrounded by eight foot stone walls and the sounds of nature. For all poetry events, see our Calendar.

Many thanks to our 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Sponsors.


Festival Dates

Wednesday, June 22

Sunday, July 10

Wednesday, July 20

Sunday, August 7

Wednesday, August 17 –  CT YOUNG POETS DAY

  • Kwame Dawes & Fresh Voices Student Competition Winners
  • Music by the Mystic Jammers
  • For details, see our Calendar

Festival Infomation

Schedule
  • 4:30 pm   Gates open
  • 5:00 pm   Prelude conversation with headlining poet
  • 6:00 pm   Opening poet at 6:00 pm
  • 6:30 pm   Music
  • 7:15pm   Headlining poet

August 7 also features a Latino Poets and Authors Community Conversation at 2:30 pm and most events also offer a separate poetry writing workshop with the featured poets.  Please check our Calendar for details.

Please note, this year the schedule is the same for both Wednesday and Sunday events.

Admission
  • $12 advanced on-line purchase, $15 at the gate, ages 18 and under free.
  • $40 Season Pass for remaining nights.
  • 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, fuchsk@hillstead.org or 860-677-4787, x181.  For more information, see Live Poets Society Benefits  or visit Make a Gift to Hill-Stead.

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 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 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 an 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 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 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.

Clare RossiniClaire 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 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 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 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.


Many thanks to our 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Sponsors

Presenting Sponsor

Print

Supporting Sponsors

ct latino news

Duncaster

FOX61_ExpectMore_Hope

 FurnitureBarn_CMYK_hor_logo

Hoffman Auto Group 

Elizabeth M. Landon & Harriette M. Landon Charitable Foundation

Seabury_logo_tag

logo seasons

skylogo