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Sunken Garden Poetry Festival – Poets and the Earth

September 12, 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm

featuring Connecticut State Poet Laureate Margaret Gibson

Check back soon to purchase tickets!

The day will include poetry workshops and readings by a selection of poets from Waking Up to the Earth: Connecticut Poets in a Time of Global Climate Crisis, a new anthology.  Selected poets from the anthology will read poems that celebrate the Earth, poems that warn, poems of grief and potential redemption.  Margaret Gibson will debut inaugural readings from her new book, The Glass Globe, to be released in August of 2021 from LSU Press.

The Festival will take place on Hill-Stead’s expansive and picturesque West Lawn, allowing attendees to be safely 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.

Seating will be limited, but a live-stream ticket option will also be available for those who may prefer to tune in from the comfort of home.

Schedule coming soon!

For additional poetry events, see our Calendar.


In-person ticket  Ticket link coming soon!
Livestream ticket  Ticket link coming soon!

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


© Photo by Mara Lavitt

Margaret Gibson, current State of Connecticut Poet Laureate, is the author of 13 books of poems, all from LSU Press, most recently Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, 2018. A new book, The Glass Globe, is forthcoming in August 2021. Awards include the Lamont Selection for Long Walks in the Afternoon, her second book (1982); the Melville Kane Award (co-winner) for Memories of the Future (1986); and the Connecticut Book Award for One Body (2008). The Vigil was a Finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry in 1993. Broken Cup was a Finalist for 2016 Poets’ Prize, and the title poem from the book won a Pushcart Prize for that year. “Passage,” from Not Hearing the Wood Thrush, was included in The Best American Poetry, 2017.  She has written a memoir, The Prodigal Daughter, University of Missouri Press, 2008. Gibson is Professor Emerita, University of Connecticut.

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.

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