with the winners of the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition
The Young Poets Day of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival features Mahogany L. Browne, a California-born, Brooklyn-based writer, educator, activist, mentor, and curator. She is joined by the winners of the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition.
Hill-Stead welcomes moderator Kamora Le’Ella Herrington, founder of Kamora’s Cultural Corner. An active Cultural Humility presenter and educator, she has worked with numerous organizations and groups committed to marginalized communities and serves as a member of the National Black Justice Coalition’s (NBJC) Leadership Advisory Council; a founding member of CT Black Women; and recipient of 2018 Advocate magazines Champion of Change for the state of CT.
This year’s event will take place on the West Lawn and attendees will be properly socially distanced in clearly-marked pods. Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic. 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.
Don’t fret if you cannot be there in person. You can tune in from the comfort of your home with a Livestream presentation as it happens.
For additional poetry events, see our Calendar.
In-person ticket | $20 per person
Tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the gate. Purchase in-person tickets here.
Livestream ticket | $10 per household
Enjoy the world-class Sunken Garden Poetry Festival from the comforts of your own backyard or couch! Purchase livestream tickets here.
For reserved seating with chairs and VIP parking, please join The Live Poets Society.
Signed Poetry Volumes Available
Please check out these must-read picks from the celebrated poets of Hill-Stead’s 2020 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. Click on a title to be taken to RJ Julia Booksellers to purchase. You will receive a signed bookplate by either Joy Harjo and Mahogany L. Browne, depending on the title purchased.
Mahogany L. Browne
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.
Mahogany L. Browne was born in Oakland, California but has been based in Brooklyn, NY for over 15 years. She has been featured in HBO’s Brave New Voices as the artistic director at Urban Word NYC. Browne is the publisher of Penmanship Books, curator of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Friday Night Slam, founder of the Women Writers of Color Reading Room, and the director of Black Lives Matter at Pratt Institute. A Cave Canem fellow and Agnes Gund Fund Recipient Browne has published several poetry collections and books, including Black Girl Magic, Kissing Caskets, Redbone, and Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online. She has also released five LPs, including a live album, Sheroshima.
The Fresh Voices Poetry Competition is an outstanding program that offers students the opportunity to write and perform poems suitable for presentation and publication. Since 1993, student poets from all corners of Connecticut have entered this competition and mentoring program. The Fresh Voices Poetry Competition is now open to all New England high school students.