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Molly McCully Brown & Margaret Gibson at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

June 20, 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Featuring Molly McCully Brown & Margaret Gibson

Music by The Hot Flashes

Purchase a Season Pass
Purchase tickets for June 20


5 pm           Prelude Interview with Molly Brown & Margaret Gibson
6 pm           Margaret Gibson
6:45 pm     Music by Amy Gallatin & The Hot Flashes
7:15 pm     Molly McCully Brown
8 pm          Book Signing


  • $15 advance online purchase, $20 at the gate, ages 18 and under free.
  • Parking is always free.


  • PLEASE NOTE: This event will take place on the museum’s West Lawn to maximize accessibility for performers and visitors.
  • Bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating in and around the garden.
  • Join Hill-Stead’s Live Poets Society to receive premier reserved seating. For more information, see Live Poets Society Benefits 2018.


  • Food, wine and other beverages may also be purchased on site from gourmet food vendors.
  • Iron & Grain Co. will be located on the front lawn.
  • Culteavo in The Tea Room located on the east side of the Garden in the Stone Garage.
  • A bartender will be serving red and white wine in the Garden.
  • Festival attendees are welcome to bring their own picnic suppers.

For additional poetry events, see our Calendar.

Molly McCully Brown is the author of The Virginia State Colony For Epileptics and Feebleminded (Persea Books, 2017), which won the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. Raised in rural Virginia, she is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Stanford University, and the University of Mississippi, where she received her MFA in poetry.

Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Ninth Letter, Pleiades, Kenyon Review, Image, Colorado Review, TriQuarterly Online, The Rumpus, Meridian, and elsewhere. She’s been the recipient of fellowships and scholarships from the Civitella Ranieri foundation, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the University of Mississippi, where she was a John and Renée Grisham fellow. Beginning in September 2017, she is the inaugural Jeff Baskin Writers Fellow at The Oxford American magazine. She is at work on a collection of essays about disability, poetry, religion, and the American South that explores the relationship between the body and that intangible other we sometimes call the soul.

Margaret Gibson’s Broken Cup brings a breath-taking eloquence to what Gibson has called “traveling the Way of Alzheimer’s” with her poet-husband David McKain.  After his initial and tentative diagnosis she wrote no poems for two years, but then poetry returned, and writing became a lightning rod that grounded her and allowed for moving ahead and for transformation.  “Poetry,” Gibson has written, “is an animate form.  It breathes; it discovers and restores voice.  A poem is another way of being present.”

Also the author of a memoir about growing up in Richmond, Virginia, Gibson has lived for forty years in Preston, Connecticut, with her husband.  She has taught in many colleges and universities, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, most recently as Professor in Residence at the University of Connecticut from 1993-2006.

Amy Gallantin & The Hot Flashes, an exciting trio of female vocalists, has reunited after thirteen years to once again feature their tight vocal harmonies and solid instrumentation. The Hot Flashes are Amy Gallatin, who with her expressive, soulful singing has made a name for herself on the Americana music scene both in the USA and in Europe; award-winning singer/songwriter Gail Wade, and multi-instrumentalist Peggy Harvey, founding member of the long-running bluegrass group Traver Hollow and who performs with Gail in her band Turning Point.

Peggy made guest appearances with Amy Gallatin & Stillwaters for many years during and after her Traver Hollow years, and Gail and Amy were drawn together through music, their mutual love of horses, and the Western life. All three share a passion for acoustic music, and together they have amassed a wealth of beautifully performed songs drawn from the bluegrass, folk, vintage country, swing, jazz, and blues genres, with a few cowgirl and traditional tunes thrown in for good measure.

Backed by the solid chops of mandolinist/guitarist JD Williams, Dobro veteran Roger Williams—both from Gallatin’s band Stillwaters–and bassist John Urbanik, the instrumentation also includes the occasional clawhammer banjo. As a group, these six veteran musicians meld their collective experiences, voices and instruments into a unique and rousing musical experience as the three women fuse their distinct voices into one soaring, harmonious musical element.

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