Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

Hill-Stead Museum’s renowned SunkenSGPF_LOGO_25_2017-copy 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.

Featured Poets

Billy Collins

Billy 2croppedWednesday, 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 to 2006.

The evening will also feature a special reading by Connecticut State Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin and music by Plywood Cowboy.

Related Events

For more information see our Calendar.

Poetry of Our World: Jericho Brown & Ladan Osman

Sunday, July 9
Purchase ticket for July 9
Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ladan Osman is a Somali born artist whose work is a lyric and exegetic response to problems of race, gender, displacement, and colonialism.

The evening will feature a Poetry Jam/Urban Poetry Conversation and musical spoken word performance by Tang Sauce and DJ Stealth.

Related events

  • Jericho Brown will lead Jump-Start, a poetry writing workshop on July 9 at 10am . Register here
For more information see our Calendar.

Cornelius Eady

CorneliusWednesday, July 19
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Cornelius 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: Emily Jungmin Yoon, winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize winner sponsored by Tupelo Press.

Related events

  • Cornelius Eady will lead a poetry writing workshop on July 19 FROM 1 – 3PM. Register here
For more information see our Calendar.

Mark Doty & Eileen Myles

Sunday, August 6
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Hill-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.

Related events

  • Mark Doty will lead a poetry writing workshop on August 6 at 10am. Register here
  • Eileen Myles will lead a poetry writing workshop on August 6 at 10 am.  Register here.
For more information see our Calendar.


Ocean Vuong & Young Poets Day

Ocean VuongWednesday, August 16
Purchase tickets for August 16
A Ruth 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 and the very special musical guest is Braiden Sunshine!

For more information see our Calendar.

Thank you to our sponsors!