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Sunken Garden Poetry Festival – State of Poetry in CT Panel

August 28, 2022, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

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This panel discussion includes local poets, Frederick-Douglass Knowles, Luisa Caycedo-Kimura, Benjamin Grossberg, and John Murillo. The panel will discuss poetry in Connecticut today, how it impacts our local community, how it has changed over the years, and how poets can continue to inspire.


$7 per person; $5 students & children under 18; $5 for museum members

Benjamin S. Grossberg is the author of Space Traveler (University of Tampa, 2014); Sweet Core Orchard (University of Tampa, 2009), winner of the Tampa Review Prize and a Lambda Literary Award; and Underwater Lengths in a Single Breath (Ashland Poetry Press, 2007), winner of the Snyder Prize. He has also published two chapbooks, The Auctioneer Bangs his Gavel, with Kent State University Press (2006) and An Elegy (Jacar Press, 2016). His poems have appeared widely, including in the Pushcart Prize and Best American Poetry anthologies, Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and the journals, Paris Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Southern Review, and The Sun. A recipient of individual artist grants from the states of Connecticut and Ohio, he is also an Assistant Poetry Editor and regular book reviewer for the Antioch Review. He teaches creative writing.

Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is a Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in his native city of Norwich, CT, and the inaugural Poet Laureate of Hartford, CT. He is the recipient of the Nutmeg Poetry Award and Connecticut of The Arts Fellow in Artist Excellence for Poetry/ Creative Non-Fiction. Knowles is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of BlackRoseCity.



Luisa Caycedo-Kimura is a Colombian-born writer, translator, educator, and former attorney. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her honors include a John K. Walsh Residency Fellowship at the Anderson Center, an Adrienne Reiner Hochstadt Fellowship at Ragdale, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship in Poetry. She serves as an Editor of Connecticut River Review; a board member of the Connecticut Poetry Society where she is the founding organizer and chair of conneCTions, a reading workshop series; and a member of the Hill-Stead Museum’s Poetry Advisory Committee.


John Murillo is the author of the poetry collections Up Jump the Boogie (Four Way Books, 2020; Cypher, 2010), which was a finalist for both the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Pen Open Book Award; and Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry (Four Way, 2020), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the Poetry Society of Virginia’s North American Book Award, and a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, and the NAACP Image Award.

Murillo’s second book, Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry, is a reflective look at the legacy of institutional, accepted violence against Blacks and Latinos and the personal and societal wreckage wrought by long histories of subjugation. Carolyn Forché describes the collection as, “a lyric burst of virtuosity and passion long in coming, something between song and prayer, centered on a fifteen-sonnet redoublé on the subject of murderous racism and the rage that pushes against it, the whole of the book becoming an ars poetica for memory as noose and history as burning church.”

He has received honors ranging from the Four Quartets Prize from the T.S. Eliot Foundation and the Poetry Society of America, two Larry Neal Writers Awards, a pair of Pushcart Prizes, the J Howard and Barbara MJ Wood Prize from the Poetry Foundation, to fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Fine Arts Work Center, and Cave Canem.

Recently, Murillo’s poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, and Best American Poetry 2017, 2019, and 2020.

He is an Associate Professor of English at Wesleyan University.

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35 Mountain Road Farmington CT 860.677.4787

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