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


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.

2017 Summer Photo Contest Winner Announced

The results are in!


Summer Photo Contest Winning Photograph by Agnes Wnuk

Photograph by Agnes Wnuk

The winner of the Summer Photo Contest is Agnes Wnuk.  













Photograph by Dana Sears

Photograph by Dana Sears

Dana Sears was the runner-up.


Winners will receive a FREE family membership and a $10 gift certificate to the Museum Gift Shop!

For more information, see Hill-Stead Summer Photo Contest.

Congratulations to all!

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.



Museum Shop Grand Re-Opening!

Discover unique gifts and delightful treasures at Hill-Stead’s gorgeous new Museum Shop

IMG_1089 1The museum recently unveiled a complete renovation of the Museum Shop and welcomed Interior Designer Paula Perlini as the new Buyer and Merchandiser.

The new shop offers a lovely assortment of ceramics, figurines, books, toys, candles, jewelry, prints, local artwork and many more surprises.


Theodate’s Suffrage Journey on Grating the Nutmeg

Listen to Hill-Stead’s curator, Melanie Anderson Bourbeau, discuss Theodate Pope Riddle’s suffrage journey on Grating the Nutmeg –  The Podcast of Connecticut History. 



Theodate’s story begins at 32:15 

Grating the Nutmeg offers stories about Connecticut history that you can listen to on your phone, tablet, or computer whenever you want. Brought to you by Connecticut Explored and the Office of the State Historian.

Albano Ballet at Hill-Stead Museum for PINK PARTY

Family-Friendly Day of Art, Ballet and Fun

Photo by Christine Petit.

Photo by Christine Petit.

Hill-Stead Museum invites everyone ages 4 and up to a Pink Party inspired by Degas’ Dancers in Pink on March 20from 2 to 4 pm.  Wear your favorite pink outfit and learn more about French artist Edgar Degas’ famous dancers. This family-friendly event features a performance by the acclaimed Albano Ballet dancers and a tour of Hill-Stead Museum, including rarely-seen prints by Edgar Degas.  Light refreshments included with program fee.

Children ages 4 and over welcome. Space is limited so please register by visiting our calendar.

$15 per person, includes admission to the museum.


The Countess of Carnarvon comes to Hill-Stead

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Lord and Lady CarnarvonHill-Stead Museum Announces…an Encore Event with The Right Honorable Countess of Carnarvon

Due to overwhelming popularity, Hill-Stead has secured The Countess of Carnarvon for a second speaking engagement in May, this time on the topic of Entertaining at Highclere.

The Right Honorable Countess of Carnarvon resides at Highclere Castle, the primary filming location for the Emmy Award-winning PBS television series Downton Abbey. On Friday, May 27, Lady Carnarvon will share stories on entertaining at Highclere, and the Castle’s decor and ongoing restoration. A book signing will follow the event, with copies of Lady Carnarvon’s best-selling books available for purchase.

Hill-Stead Museum is the perfect backdrop for The Right Honorable Countess of Carnarvon’s lectures, as her family story and its Downton Abbey references coincide with the life story of Hill-Stead’s founder, Theodate Pope Riddle.

For more information, see Search entertaining The Countess of Carnarvon: Entertaining at Highclere.

Tickets and seating

  • $100 per person.
  • Seating is limited and will be assigned based on the order of purchase.
  • Up to 10 tickets may be purchased with each transaction, and individuals purchasing 10 tickets in a single transaction will be assigned their own table.
  • We will attempt to keep tickets purchased in blocks less than 10 together at the same table, but tickets bought individually will be seated in the order of purchase.
  • Admission to the museum is included in the cost of tickets, and there will be an Open House format for visitors to tour the period rooms from 11 am to 1 pm that day.
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untitledOn Thursday, May 26, The Right Honorable Countess of Carnarvon will be the Guest of Honor at Hill-Stead’s Monet’s Circle patron’s reception, of which she serves as Honorary Chair this year. Following the reception, Lady Carnarvon will attend the museum’s dinner auction gala, Hill-Stead’s largest annual fundraising event. For more information or to purchase tickets to this event, see The Grand Tour Benefit Dinner Auction in our calendar.

The Countess of Carnarvon and the Real Downton Abbey May 25, 2016Highclere Castle is one of England’s most beautiful Victorian castles, set amidst 1,000 acres of spectacular parkland. The Carnarvon family has lived at Highclere since 1679, and the current castle stands on the site of an earlier house, which in turn was built on the foundations of the medieval palace owned by the Bishops of Winchester for some 800 years.

 Lady Carnarvon is married to George Herbert, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, thus making her the 8th Countess. The Countess has already had a fulfilling career encompassing a number of positions and professions. A former auditor at Coopers & Lybrand, Lady Carnarvon is perfectly suited to run the affairs at Highclere Castle, where she and the Earl of Carnarvon reside. Their guardianship of the estate extends to its grounds, gardens and events.

A celebrated author, Lady Carnarvon has written four books chronicling her family’s history, drawing on a rich store of materials from Highclere Castle’s archives, including diaries, letters, and photographs. The first two books are focused on the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb with Howard Carter in 1922. Through discovery and purchase, Lord Carnarvon amassed one of the most extraordinary Egyptian collections in the world. Following his death in 1923, the collection was sold by his widow to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to pay death duties. The Egyptian Exhibition at Highclere Castle celebrates the 5th Earl’s achievements.

Lady Carnarvon’s third book, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere, was a New York Times Bestseller. Lord Julian Fellowes, the writer and creator of Downton Abbey, was moved by the remarkable life of Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon and inspiration for Downton Abbey’s Cora Crawley. Lady Carnarvon’s 2013 companion publication, Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, tells the story of the spirited American woman who marries into the Carnarvon family in the 1920’s.

Tickets are non-refundable