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Poetry of Our World at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

July 25, 2018, 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Solmaz Sharif & Javier Zamora

Purchase Tickets for July 25

Bring your own chairs, blankets and sun hats for sitting in this outdoor venue. You may also bring your own coolers of food and adult beverages, or purchase from gourmet food trucks and bartender. For reserved seating with chairs provided, please join The Live Poets Society.

For additional poetry events, see our Calendar.


5 pm           Prelude Interview with Solmaz Sharif & Javier Zamora
6 pm           Solmaz Sharif
6:45 pm     Music by Mikata Salsa & Latin Jazz Orchestra
7:15 pm     Javier Zamora
8 pm          Book Signing


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



  • Food, wine and other beverages may also be purchased on site from gourmet food vendors.
  • Food trucks: Iron & Grain Co. and the Moon Rock Cookie Truck
  • A bartender will be serving red and white wine in the Garden.
  • Festival attendees are welcome to bring their own picnic suppers.

Accessibility at the SGPF

Hill-Stead is proud to make the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival accessible. Wheelchair ramps are available, and many volunteers are on hand to assist the mobility impaired. An accessible section is reserved close to the main stage.

For additional poetry events, see our Calendar.

Solmaz Sharif was born in Istanbul to Iranian parents, Solmaz Sharif holds degrees from U.C. Berkeley, where she studied and taught with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People, and New York University. Her debut collection LOOK (Graywolf Press) was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 PEN Open Book Award. In 2017, Sharif was the recipient of the 27th annual PEN Center USA Literary Award in Poetry for LOOK. Sharif has published poetry in the New Republic and Poetry and has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University.

Javier Zamora was born in La Herradura, El Salvador, in 1990. His book Unaccompanied, tells of the 4000 miles he traveled across multiple borders—at age 9—from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with his parents. He holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied and taught in June Jordan’s Poetry for the People program Zamora earned an MFA from New York University and is currently a 2016–2018 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He is the recipient of the 2017 Narrative Prize as well as fellowships from CantoMundo, Colgate University (Olive B. O’Connor), MacDowell Colony, Macondo Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Saltonstall Foundation, and Yaddo. In 2016, Barnes & Noble granted him the Writer for Writers Award for his work with the Undocupoets Campaign. He was also the winner of the Ruth Lilly/Dorothy Sargent Fellowship and is a member of the Our Parents’ Bones Campaign, whose goal is to bring justice to the families of the ten thousand disappeared during El Salvador’s civil war.


Mikata Salsa and Latin Jazz Orchestra has been delighting audiences around the USA, in Canada and abroad for over 30 years. Recipient of the New Haven Arts Council Award for “outstanding contribution to the cultural life of the community”, and the HPN Latin Music Achievement Award, Mikata has performed at clubs in New York City, (S.O.B.’s, Heart Break, Danceteria, Pyramid Club), at colleges and universities around the country and at concerts and festivals in the US, Canada and Japan.

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