100Celebrate Poetry at Hill-Stead
One of Hill-Stead’s most popular annual events is the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. Now entering its 29th year, this one-of-a-kind event continues to celebrate poets laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, and prestigious award recipients.
The community cherishes this annual series of readings and music performances on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark in the heart of Farmington, CT.
Our 2021 Festival will take place on the West Lawn where attendees will be properly socially distanced. Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic. Inspired by the surroundings, many attendees take the opportunity to write their own poetry and prose, lingering after dusk to finish their poems and conversations.
Seating is limited and advance purchase of admission is strongly encouraged. Don’t fret if you cannot be there in person. You can tune in from the comfort of your home with a Livestream presentation as it happens.
Hill-Stead is proud to make the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival accessible to all. Learn More
Jenny Xie was born in Hefei, China, and raised in New Jersey. She is the author of Eye Level (Graywolf Press, 2018), which was selected by Juan Felipe Herrera for the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. Eye Level received the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University, and was named a finalist for the National Book Award and a PEN Open Book Award, and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her chapbook, Nowhere to Arrive, won the Drinking Gourd Prize, and was published by Northwestern University Press.
About Xie’s debut poetry collection, Eye Level, the former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera writes: “We go places; we enter multiple terrains of seeing; we cross cultural borders of time, voices, locations—of consciousness. Then—we notice we are in a trembling stillness with all beings and all things. Jenny Xie’s Eye Level is a timely collection of beauty, clarity, and expansive humanity.”
Xie holds degrees from Princeton University and NYU, and has received grants and support from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and Poets & Writers. Her work appears in Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, and Tin House, among other publications.
She has taught creative writing at NYU and Princeton University and currently lives in New York.
Elizabeth Metzger, winner of the Sunken Garden Poetry Prize from Tupelo Press, is the author of The Spirit Papers (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017), winner of the Juniper Prize for Poetry, and the chapbook The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (Horsethief Books, 2017). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Nation, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, among others. Her prose has recently been published in Conjunctions, Literary Hub, Guernica, and Boston Review. She is a poetry editor at The Los Angeles Review of Books. You can find more of her writing at elizabethmetzger.com. Photo by Attanasio_HEADSHOTS
Martín Espada has published more than twenty books as a poet, editor, essayist, and translator. His new book of poems from Norton is called Floaters. Other books of poems include Vivas to Those Who Have Failed (2016), The Trouble Ball (2011), The Republic of Poetry (2006), and Alabanza (2003). He is the editor of What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (2019). He has received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Creeley Award, an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, the PEN/Revson Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. The Republic of Poetry was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. The title poem of his collection Alabanza, about 9/11, has been widely anthologized and performed. His book of essays and poems, Zapata’s Disciple (1998), was banned in Tucson as part of the Mexican-American Studies Program, outlawed by the state of Arizona, and reissued by Northwestern. A former tenant lawyer in Greater Boston, Espada is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Margaret Gibson, current State of Connecticut Poet Laureate, is the author of 13 books of poems, all from LSU Press, most recently Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, 2018. A new book, The Glass Globe, is forthcoming in August 2021. Awards include the Lamont Selection for Long Walks in the Afternoon, her second book (1982); the Melville Kane Award (co-winner) for Memories of the Future (1986); and the Connecticut Book Award for One Body (2008). The Vigil was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry in 1993. Broken Cup was a Finalist for 2016 Poets’ Prize, and the title poem from the book won a Pushcart Prize for that year. “Passage,” from Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, was included in The Best American Poetry, 2017. She has written a memoir, The Prodigal Daughter, University of Missouri Press, 2008. Gibson is Professor Emerita, University of Connecticut.
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Live Poet’s Society
We need your donations to help us keep the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, one of the premier poetry events in the country, alive and well. All gifts will directly support the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.
- A gift of any amount is appreciated and will make an impact. Donate Now
- Donors who gift $100 or more to the Live Poets Society receive special benefits including reserved priority seating for the 2021 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. For more information, see Live Poets Society Benefits.
Thank you to our Sponsors
Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust
The Goldfarb Family
Elizabeth M. Landon & Harriette M. Landon Charitable Foundation