Monthly Archives: March 2015

An Eve of Poetry in the Libraries

Eve of PoetryLogoOn April 10 from 5:30-7:30 pm. Hill-Stead Museum’s Live Poets Society will presents an Eve of Poetry in the Libraries, to benefit the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.  Light food, wine, and a reading and book signing by Sue Ellen Thompson.  $100/person.

For tickets and information, contact LIsa Lappe, or 860-677-4787, x111 or see Eve of Poetry in our calendar.

Announcing Poets for 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

Hill-Stead Museum is thrilled to announce the 2015 line up for its renowned and highly-anticipated Sunken Garden Poetry Festival:

  • Wednesday, June 24 – Ted Kooser, United States Poet Laureate (2004-2006) and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
  • Sunday, July 12 – Marie Howe, 2012-2014 Poet Laureate of New York State
  • Wednesday, July 22 – Vijay Seshadri, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet
  • Sunday, August 9 – Li-Young Lee & Tina Chang
  • Wednesday, August 19 – CT Young Poet’s Day – Natalie Diaz & Aja Monet


  • Wednesday: 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
  • Sunday: Gates open at 2:30 pm; prelude conversation with headlining poet at 3 pm; opening poet at 4:00 pm; music begins at 4:30 pm; headlining poet begins at 5:15 pm


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


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


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.

Hill-Stead Awarded $50K Grant For Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

We are thrilled to report that Connecticut Humanities awarded a $50,000 grant to Hill-Stead Museum due to the humanities-rich content of the proposed 2015 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, which will include poetry writing workshops, interactive Prelude interviews with headlining poets, and opportunities to better-engage the community in poetry and language arts.  Especially of interest to CT Humanities was a shift in dates to allow for increased Festival attendance – a later start-date on June 24, and two weekend performances during the summer.  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.

Inspired to Write!

student5Thanks to the SBM Charitable Foundation, students from Rockville High School and their Creative Writing Teacher Vicky Nordlund recently toured Hill-Stead Museum while “free-writing” about art with museum educators. After the tour, students gathered in the Makeshift Theater and used their writing to create poems inspired by the museum and its collection.

Hill-Stead Museum’s Maureen O’Brien, who is also a published poet/author and teacher at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, worked with the students and facilitated group discussions on the art of poetry writing. Ms. O’Brien will visit their school next week, as an outreach to help students finalize their poems.

We look forward to posting some of their poetry and hope that these students will submit their poems to the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition!

Attention High School Students and Teachers

The deadline for submissions to the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition is fast approaching– Friday, March 27, 2015.   Fresh Voices is an outstanding program that offers high school students and their teachers a chance to work together writing, revising, and preparing poems suitable for publication.

The Fresh Voices Poetry Competition provides Connecticut high school poets the experience of a lifetime; the winners will be invited to participate in a performance workshop with professional poets from the region.  They will also have their work published in a chapbook, and they will share the podium with a great American poet, reading their own work before a large, receptive audience in the breathtaking Sunken Garden at Hill-Stead Museum!

Please call Kate Ebner at 860.677.4787 ext. 142 for entry requirements and more information.

Meet Our New Festival Manager

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHill-Stead is very pleased to announce that Lisa Lappe has accepted the dual position of Marketing and Public Relations Manager/Sunken Garden Poetry Festival (SGPF)  Program Manager, effective February 2.

Lisa has an extensive background in public relations, advertising and event management.  She has served as a public relations coordinator at Mintz & Hike in Avon and Rensselaer in Hartford and  has worked in the college relations office at the University of Saint Joseph.  Lisa holds a BA in Economics and Art History from Mount Holyoke College.

A New Book from Brad Davis

Brad Davis, founding editor of Hill-Stead’s online poetry journal, Theodate, and editor of the festival’s 20th anniversary anthology, Sunken Garden Poetry 1992-2011, has had a new book of his own poems, Still Working it Out, published in the Poiema Poetry Series. It is available online from Cascade Books or your favorite online bookstore.