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Poetry of Our World: Mai Der Vang & Chris Abani – Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

July 31, 2019, 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Clare M. Rossini, Artist-in-Residence at Trinity College, will be the moderator for the Prelude discussion
World Music by Criollo Clasico Trio

Purchase Tickets for July 31

Picnics are welcome and food and wine can also be purchased from festival vendors. Guests bring their own chairs, blankets and sun hats and claim a spot among the flower beds, surrounded by eight-foot stone walls and the sounds of nature.

For reserved seating with chairs and VIP parking, please join The Live Poets Society.

For additional poetry events, see our Calendar.


12 pm      Poetry Writing Workshop
5 pm        Prelude Interview
6 pm        Mai Der Vang
6:30 pm   World Music by Criollo
7 pm         Chris Abani
8 pm
         Book Signing


Season Pass  | $65
Online | $15
At the gate
Children under 18
Parking is always free.

Related Events

For additional poetry events, see our Calendar.


Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award in Poetry, and a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She was also the co-editor of the anthology How Do I Begin? A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Heyday, 2011). In Fall 2019, she will teach in the Creative Writing MFA Program at Fresno State University.

Chris Abani’s books of fiction include The Secret History of Las Vegas; Song for Night; The Virgin of Flames; Becoming Abigail; Graceland; and Masters of the Board. His poetry collections are Sanctificum; There Are No Names for Red; Feed Me the Sun: Collected Long Poems; Hands Washing Water; Dog Woman; Daphne’s Lot; and Kalakuta Republic. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the Hurston Wright Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Hebrew, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bosnian and Serbian.

Clare Rossini has published three collections of poems. Her poems and essays have appeared in journals and anthologies such as The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, The Iowa Review, Ploughshares, Poetry, and the Best American Poetry series. Her poems have been featured on Connecticut Public Radio and the BBC. She has received fellowships and awards from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Maxwell Shepherd Foundation, and the Bush Foundation. Rossini taught for many years in the Vermont College low-residency MFA Program. She currently serves as Artist-in-Residence in the English Department at Trinity College, teaching creative writing courses and directing an arts outreach program which places college students in Hartford public school art classrooms.

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.

Thank you to our sponsors


Elizabeth M. Landon & Harriette M. Landon Charitable Foundation


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