The community cherishes this five-event series of readings and music performances in the tranquil and historic Sunken Garden. Visitors can arrive early to tour the museum’s world-class Impressionist art collection, walk the trails or attend the prelude conversations with headlining poets.
Picnics are welcome and food and wine can also be purchased from festival vendors. Guests bring their own chairs and blankets and choose a spot among the flower beds, surrounded by eight-foot stone walls and the sounds of nature.
Inspired by the surroundings, many attendees take the opportunity to write their own poetry and prose, lingering after dusk to finish their poems and conversations.
For additional poetry events, see our Calendar.
Season Pass | $65
Online advance ticket | $15
At the gate | $20
Under 18 | Free
For reserved seating with chairs and VIP parking, please join The Live Poets Society.
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, and a large-print edition of the program book is available on-site.
Hill-Stead makes every effort to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing people feel welcome. ASL interpreters are provided at the main Poetry stage (depending on interpreter availability) or by request in advance by calling 860-677-4787 x111.
Aracelis Girmay was born and raised in Santa Ana, California, poet Aracelis Girmay earned a BA at Connecticut College and an MFA from New York University. Her poems trace the connections of transformation and loss across cities and bodies. In her 2011 online chat interview with the Rumpus Poetry Book Club, Girmay discussed innovative and hybrid poetric forms, stating, “I wonder what new explorations of form might have to do with documenting the new and old ways of thinking about power. Of how we’ve been taught to think by our families, institutions, television, computer culture, etc. [….] Perhaps the so-called hybrid poems are about dislocating or splintering the central lens.”
Andrew Motion was born in London and raised in Stisted, Essex. He attended Radley College in the late 1960s and began reading the work of Thomas Hardy, John Keats, and William Wordsworth. He read English at Oxford University, where he worked with W.H. Auden and wrote on the poetry of Welsh poet Edward Thomas for his MLitt. He later taught English at Hull University, where he befriended Philip Larkin. Motion has served as editor for the Poetry Review and as editorial director and poetry editor for Chatto & Windus; he was knighted in 2009. From 1999–2009, he was poet laureate for the UK.
Thank you to our sponsors