Poetry Festival News

Announcing the winners of the 2020 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition

Congratulations, Poets!

The winners are:

Haneen Alkabasi, Avon High School
Alicia Chiu, William H. Hall High School
Jake Colangelo, Joel Barlow High School
Olatunji Osho-Williams, Westminster School
Maggie Munday Odom, The Grove School
Charlotte Watts, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts

 

For the first time, the Fresh Voices readings were performed live via zoom.  Many things were missing from the event—the historical and beautiful setting, the applause of the crowd, live music, and contemplative silences between each reading.  Zoom can never replace live art.  But even virtually, the students’ poetry was transcending.  For one evening, these young poets created a community through their creativity, intense curiosity, and commitment.

Hill-Stead Museum is grateful to all the Fresh Voices Finalists for their efforts and willingness to participate. We are immensely appreciative of the Fresh Voices Judges, who had a challenging task this year!  Thanks, too, to parents and teachers who supported our poets! A special thanks to Hill-Stead Museum’s sponsors and donors, especially the Ellen Jean Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust, our members, and our amazing interns and volunteers.

A video compilation of the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition reading will be coming soon for everyone to enjoy!

Please join us at the opening of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Sunday, August 9. Winners will read their poems in person at Young Poets Day featuring acclaimed spoken word poet and activist, Mahogany L. Browne.

Learn more about the Fresh Voice Poetry Competition 

2019 Fresh Voices Finalists Announced

Hill-Stead is honored to announce the finalists for the 2019 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition:

  • Riley Arellano – Naugatuck High School
  • Emily Benoit – Westover School
  • Sophia Ciraldo – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • Elizabeth Cook – Westover School
  • Danny Diaz- Villafane – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
  • Emily Fisher – Rockville High School
  • Liza Freeman – Westover School
  • Stella Georgian – East Lyme High School
  • Krista Mitchell – Stafford High School
  • Fiona Mucaj – The Ethel Walker School
  • Autumn Munsell – Granby Memorial High School
  • Jillian Potter – Naugatuck High School
  • Camden Robertson – Granby Memorial High School
  • Abigail Tyrrell – Rockville High School
  • Ava Varano – Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts

2018 Fresh Voices Finalists Announced

Hill-Stead is honored to announce the finalists for the 2019 Fresh Voices Poetry Competition:

Vanecia Fultz
Jamie Masthay
Sarah Lewis
Elliana Branchesi
Ellis McGinley
Adena Ajike
Abigail Tyrrel
Lauren Dionne
Molly Galusha
Kennedy King
Molly Alexander
Kimberly McGuire
Daniel Diaz-Villafane
Alex Nordlund
Youssef Mezrioui
Rachel Justice

 

WINNER ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2018 SUNKEN GARDEN POETRY PRIZE

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Major Jackson has selected Chaun Ballard as the winner of the 2018 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize!

Chaun Ballard will be reading at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on July 11, 2018.  For details, see our Calendar.

Flight by Chaun Ballard

Chaun Ballard was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and San Bernardino, California, and has an MFA from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. For eight years now, he and his wife have been teaching in the Middle East and West Africa. Chaun Ballard’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in ANMLY (FKA Drunken Boat), Columbia Poetry Review, Frontier Poetry, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Puerto del Sol, Rattle, and other literary magazines. His work has received nominations for both Best of the Net and a Pushcart Prize.

 

The poems in Flight unspool a rich and charmed history of survival into songs that celebrate the miracle of endurance in a country defined by the peculiar phenomenon of race; many of the poems in this collection explore (or allude to) the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson with a brilliance that is underscored by the poets’ extraordinary sense of sound to etch a new reality in our ears. Here the poet employs the perennial powers of poetic forms (pantoum, ghazals, and sonnets, not to mention the Stevens imitation of 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird) to refresh staid conversations and to lyrically give voice to the good fortune of travel and language. Whether reveling in having reached middle-age or recalling that fateful day, September 11th, Flight issues its own battle cry and imaginatively addresses one of the great complexities of our time.

—Judge’s Citation by Major Jackson

Finalists

Symptoms by Nava EtShalom
Adoption by Adam Falkner
Dislocated Cities by Lisa Hiton
Speyer by Lisa Hiton
Where’s The Heat by Maggie Millner
Subnivean by Emily Pittinos
One Sentence To Save in a Cataclysm by Stephanie Strickland
Hallelujah in a Dead Tongue by Mark Wagenaar
What Follows by H.R. Webster

Semifinalists

In the Herald of Improbable Fortunes by Robert Campbell
Desert Selkie by Avra Elliott
Year of the Girl by Karen Harryman
The Old Works by Whittney Jones
Sublingual by Joan Kane
Big Man by Michael Marberry
Sympathy by Dusty Neu
Respira by Valorie Ruiz
This Late Hour by Joe Wilkins
The Escapist: Poems by Marco Yan

We’d like to recognize and thank so very appreciatively our extraordinary panel of preliminary readers: Maureen Alsop, Claudia Cortese, Noah Falck, Toby Martinez de las Rivas, Michael Robins, Henk Rossouw, Shelly Taylor, and Allison Titus.

 

Emily Jungmin Yoon chosen as winner of the Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize

Tupelo Press is delighted to announce that Maggie Smith has chosen Ordinary Misfortunes by Emily Jungmin Yoon of Chicago, Illinois, as winner of the 2017 Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Prize.

Emily will perform her work in at Hill-Stead’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Wednesday, July 19.  For tickets, visit Sunken Garden Poetry Festival 2017.

I’m completely taken in by these poems, how they deftly balance lyric and narrative, history and the present, body and mind. These are poems of violence–against women, and against Korean women in particular–but they are also poems about the pain and pleasure in language itself: ‘pear in Korean is a homonym for ship or boat’; ‘A homonym for apple is apology.’ Ordinary Misfortunes is a remarkable collection.
—Maggi Smith

 

Emily Jungmin Yoon‘s poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Offing, The Literary Review, and elsewhere. For her poetry, she has received awards and fellowships from Ploughshares’ Emerging Writer’s Contest, AWP’s WC&C Scholarship Competition, The Home School in Miami, the Aspen Institute, New York University, and the University of Chicago. She is the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is a PhD student in the East Asian Languages and Civilizations Department at the University of Chicago.

Announcing the 2017 Sunken Garden Poetry Roster

SGPF_LOGO_25_2017-copy

The 25th Anniversary Season of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival features new talent, like Jamaal May and Ocean Vuong, as well as the return of Festival favorites Billy Collins and Mark Doty. The summer begins here.

For more information and to purchase tickets, see 2017 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, or our Calendar.

— 2017 ROSTER —


Billy 2croppedBilly Collins
Wednesday, 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 2004-06. The evening will feature a special reading by Connecticut State Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin and music by Plywood Cowboy.


 Jamaal May & Tarfia Faizullah
Sunday, July 9

tarfiaAward-winning poets, Jamaal May and Tarfia Faizullah, co-direct Organic Weapon Arts. The evening will feature a Poetry Jam/Urban Poetry Conversation and musical spoken word performance by Tang Sauce and DJ Stealth.


Cornelius Eady
Wednesday, July 19

CorneliusCornelius 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: Sunken Garden Poetry Prize winner (TBA this spring), sponsored by Tupelo Press.


 Mark Doty & Eileen Myles
Sunday, August 6

Mark DottyHill-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.


 Ocean Vuong & Young Poets Day
Wednesday, August 16

A Ocean VuongRuth 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.

CT Humanities Awards $50K for a Second Consecutive Year!

A $50,000 grant awarded by Connecticut Humanities to Hill-Stead Museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival will connect the public to current United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and a showcase of Latino poetry and music.  The Latino Poetry weekend will include a Poets and Authors Community Conversation with local writers and is open to all Festival attendees.  This year’s Festival also provides exposure to and awareness of Veteran’s poetry and art which will include a 2-hour art workshop by a Veteran “iPhonographer,” and an art show of Veteran’s art in Hill-Stead’s Stone Garage gallery.  All event dates will include poetry-writing workshops and interactive Prelude Interviews with headlining poets.

Hill-Stead Museum is thrilled to receive this grant to present the 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.  With the support of CT Humanities for this acclaimed public program, the museum anticipates its best Sunken Garden Poetry Festival season yet!

Susan Ballek, Executive Director and CEO, Hill-Stead Museum

 

ch_logoweb-(1)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.

 

 

Fresh Voices WINNERS Announced!

Hill-Stead is proud to announce the 2016 Fresh Voices WINNERS:

  • Owen Elphick
  • Chloe Ezzo
  • Leah Nashel
  • Jossary Padilla
  • Abbey Rose Popolizio

Hill-Stead is proud to announce the 2016 Fresh Voices Finalists:

  • Jenna Baig
  • Kaitlyn Carr
  • Olivia Coleman
  • Rachel Currie
  • Sarah Ferrigno
  • Selena Muniz
  • Winona Scheffn
  • Owen Elphick
  • Chloe Ezzo
  • Rachel Horowitz-Benoit
  • Jacob Lowell
  • Leah Nashel
  • Jossary Padilla
  • Abbey Rose Popolizio
  • Curtis Scheffel

Richard Blanco Reading in the Libraries of Hill-Stead

Richard Blanco performed in the Libraries of Hill-Stead Museum to support The Sunken Garden Poetry Festival on Thursday, March 3.

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPQXDUL2bgg&width=750&height=423&centervid=1[/embedyt]

 

Richard performed at the Festival in 2013 and also served as Inaugural Poet for President Barak Obama. Hill-Stead was honored to have him headline last night’s benefit reading.

For more information about the festival, see 2016 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.