2020 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

Celebrate Poetry in Hill-Stead’s Sunken Garden

Hill-Stead Museum’s renowned Sunken Garden Poetry Festival is a unique outdoor arts event that takes place on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark in the heart of Farmington, CT. The community cherishes this 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.

This year, the schedule for Hill-Stead Museum’s Sunken Garden Poetry Festival has been postponed until August and condensed to several dates (from its original five) due to the pandemic’s impact.
Confirmed events include:

August 9  |  Young Poets Day with Mahogany L. Browne
September 13  |  Joy Harjo


Tickets

Online advance ticket  |  $15
At the gate  |  $20
Under 18  |  Free

Hill-Stead is proud to make the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival accessible to all. Learn More

Join the Live Poets Society

We need your donations to help us keep the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival, one of the premier poetry events in the country, alive and well.  All gifts will directly support the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

  • A gift of any amount is appreciated and will make an impact. Donate Now
  • Donors who gift $100 or more to the Live Poets Society receive special benefits including reserved priority seating for the 2020 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. For more information, see Live Poets Society Benefits.

Sunday, August 9
Young Poets Day with Mahogany L. Browne

with the winners of the Fresh Voices Student Poetry Competition
Music by Jeff Barnhart Duo

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.
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Sunday, September 13
Joy Harjo

with Dujie Tahat, the winner of the Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Poetry Award
Music TBA

Joy Harjo was appointed the new United States Poet Laureate in June 2019 and is the first Native American Poet Laureate in the history of the position. Joy is an internationally renowned performer and writer of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the author of nine books of poetry, several plays and children’s books, and a memoir, Crazy Brave. Her many honors include the Ruth Lily Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award, a PEN USA Literary Award, Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund Writers’ Award, a Rasmuson US Artist Fellowship, two NEA fellowships, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Harjo is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she is a Tulsa Artist Fellow.

Dujie Tahat is the winner of the Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Poetry Award, a prestigious national poetry prize for adult writers.
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Thank you to our sponsors

 

Elizabeth M. Landon & Harriette M. Landon Charitable Foundation