Sunday, August 9th: Sunken Garden Poetry Festival admission rates apply ALL DAY for ALL EVENTS – $12 advance online purchase, $15 at the gate

Asian Ad croppedSunken Garden Poetry Festival, Outspoken Celebration of Asian Poetry, August 8th & 9th.

Hill-Stead hosts a culturally-rich weekend of Asian poetry, art, music, and conversation.  For the complete details and a schedule, see Outspoken Celebration in our calendar.

Celebrate the joy of poetry at Hill-Stead as we:

  • Showcase the work of award-winning poets Li-Young Lee and Tina Chang
  • Bring together writers, poets, and lovers of poetry for writing and recitation workshops
  • Engage in dialogue about Asian and Asian-American poetry and the issues of language, bi-cultural identities, and assimilation experienced by Asian Americans living in America
  • Gather voices of Asian poetry in a community reading to be performed in English as well as in native languages and dialects
  • Display Asian art from Hill-Stead’s collection – rarely-seen original Japanese woodblock prints, Chinese porcelain, and other fine and decorative arts
  • Feature Chinese classical and folk music performed on Chinese instruments: erhu, yangqin, dizi, and gehu

Fresh Voices Winners Announced

And the winners are…

  • COLE ADAMS – Kingswood-Oxford
  • AVERY CHRISTENSEN – Rockville High School
  • KHADIJA HUSSAIN – Wilber Cross High School
  • JOSCELYN NORRIS – Westover
  • KALEIGH PERKINS – Rockville High School 

Fresh Voices finalists read their poetry for a panel of judges on Friday in Hill-Stead’s Makeshift Theater, in front of 60 family members, friends, and supporters.  At the conclusion of the readings, the judges deliberated for some time and revealed the five winners.  “This year’s Fresh Voices submissions were some of the best this competition has seen,” said Executive Director and CEO, and Fresh Voices Judge Susan Ballek. “Congratulations to the Fresh Voices Finalists and Winners and thank you to all the students who participated, and to the teachers and parents who support them.” The Fresh Voices Poetry Competition provides Connecticut high school poets the experience of a lifetime, while offering students the opportunity to write and prepare poems suitable for presentation and publication.

The five winners will participate in a performance workshop with professional poets on May 31st, and their poetry will be published in a chapbook by Antrim House Press.  Winners will also share the podium with Nationally-Recognized Poets Natalie Diaz and Aja Monet on August 19th, reading their own work before a large, receptive audience in the breathtaking Sunken Garden at Hill-Stead Museum!  For more information see CT Young Poet’s Day.

An Eve of Poetry in the Libraries

Hill-Stead Museum recently hosted Eve of Poetry in the Libraries to kick off the 2015 Live Poets Society appeal, which benefits our beloved Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. This was the very first time Hill-Stead held a benefit event in the historic libraries. About forty lucky guests enjoyed an hour of live jazz, wine, and hors d’oeuvres as they mingled with new and old friends, and toured the museum at their leisure.

Then a very special reading of Hill-Stead’s own poetry collection commenced. The delicate books were handled with care by members of our Poetry Advisory Committee, who served as opening poets for the event.

  • Ciaran Berry, delivered a gentle rendition of Ode to a Nightingale by John Keats.
  • John Stanizzi read from Fir-Flower Tablets (an English translation of Asian poetry) by Amy Lowell (1921).
  • Rennie McQuilkin shared selections from Edna St. Vincent Millay’s Second April (1921).
  • The star of the evening was Sue Ellen Thompson, who shared an intimate reading from her most recent bookThey. The audience was moved to laughter and tears by her personal family stories. Ms. Thompson treated those in attendance to a book signing over coffee and desserts following her reading.

Join Live Poets Society

To join Live Poets Society and to enjoy its many benefits, see our Support the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Page, or contact Lisa Lappe, Sunken Garden Poetry Festival Manager at lappel@hillstead.org or 860-677-4787 x111; or Susan Orred, Director of Development at orreds@hillstead.org or 860-677-4787 x131.

Thank you Deborah Key Mundair, Morrow Jones, and John Stanizzi for donating their photography and videography services to Eve of Poetry in the Libraries.

CONGRATULATIONS to the Fresh Voices finalists

CONGRATULATIONS FINALISTS!

Hill-Stead Museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival is thrilled to announce the 2015 Fresh Voices Student Poetry Competition FINALISTS!

  • Cole Adams
  • Kelly Boggan
  • Owen Elphick
  • Michaela Godding
  • Khadija Hussain
  • Avery Christensen
  • Katherine Farnam
  • Rachel Kaufman
  • Courtney Lavalee
  • Ellie Luisi
  • Joscie Norris
  • Kaleigh Perkins
  • Emmy Roday
  • Priya Swyden

THANK YOU to all the students who participated in the competition, and to the teachers and parents who support them.

The Fresh Voices Poetry Competition provides Connecticut high school poets the experience of a lifetime, while offering students the opportunity to write and prepare poems suitable for presentation and publication.

Fresh Voices finalists will read their poetry for a panel of judges on April 24th at 6:00 pm. At the conclusion of the readings, 4 to 6 winners will be announced.

The winners will participate in a performance workshop with professional poets on May 31st, and their poetry will be published in a chapbook by Antrim House Press. Winners will share the podium with nationally-recognized poets Natalie Diaz and Aja Monet on August 19th, 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 x142 for more information.