With the winner of the Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Poetry Prize
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, novelist, essayist and Spanish translator. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 2019 for his latest collection, Be With, published by New Directions. Also longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry 2018, these elegiac poems were the subject of a rhapsodic article in the New Yorker. Born in the Mojave Desert in Barstow, California, Forrest Gander grew up in Virginia and spent significant years in San Francisco, Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, Eureka Springs, AR and Providence, RI. He married the poet C.D. Wright with whom he has a son, Brecht Wright Gander. Forrest Gander holds degrees in both geology and English literature.
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.