Music by Jose Gonzalez and Criollo Clasico
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.
Forrest Gander is a poet, writer, translator and editor of several anthologies of writing from Spain and Mexico. He is celebrated for the richness of his language and his undaunted lyric passion. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including collaborations with notable artists and photographers.
Gander’s collection Be With won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. Concerned with the way we are revised and translated in encounters with the foreign, his wide-ranging poetry volume Core Samples from the World (2011)—a collaboration studded with the work of three great photographers, Graciela Iturbide, Raymond Meeks, and Lucas Foglia—was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Gander’s other collections include Eye Against Eye, with photographs by Sally Mann; Torn Awake; and Science & Steepleflower.
In 2008, Gander was named a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow, one of 50 artists to be recognized for artistic excellence, unique artistic vision, and significant contributions to their fields. Gander is also the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim, Howard, Whiting, and United States Artists Foundations. He has been a Library of Congress/Witter Bynner fellow and a finalist for the Pulitzer and National Book Critics Circle awards.
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. He is the author of Cenzontle, which was chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. Prize published by BOA editions in 2018, as well as the winner of the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writer Award for poetry, the 2019 Golden Poppy Award from the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association, and the Bronze in the FOREWORD INDIE best book of the year. Cenzontle is also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, the California Book Award, the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry, and the Northern California Book Award. Cenzontle was listed among one of NPR’s and the New York Public Library top picks of 2018. His first chapbook, DULCE, won the Drinking Gourd Poetry Prize published by Northwestern University press. His memoir, Children of the Land is forthcoming from Harper Collins in 2020.
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