Music by The Meadows Brothers
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.
Ellen Bass is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her most recent book, Like a Beggar (Copper Canyon Press, 2014), was a finalist for The Paterson Poetry Prize, The Publishers Triangle Award, The Milt Kessler Poetry Award, The Lambda Literary Award, and the Northern California Book Award. Previous books include The Human Line (Copper Canyon Press, 2007) and Mules of Love (BOA Editions, 2002) which won The Lambda Literary Award. She co-edited (with Florence Howe) the first major anthology of women’s poetry, No More Masks! (Doubleday, 1973).
Nick Flynn was born in Scituate, Massachusetts. His debut poetry collection, Some Ether (2000), won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, for which the judges’ statement read: “These poems establish their emotional authority through their very movement—their wayward, whispering music. At once reckless and demure, outrageous and delicate. . . .” Most of the poems in Some Ether focus on Flynn’s tumultuous family life and include a detached yet affecting look at childhood and trauma. Having written about his family in both poetry and prose, Flynn has said, “The way I write I don’t see much distinction between the two, although prose seems more suited to daylight, and poetry to night. I try to cook both down to something essential—by the end hopefully some balance between mystery and clarity remains.”
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