2020 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

Celebrate Poetry in Hill-Stead’s Sunken Garden

One of Hill-Stead’s most popular annual events is the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival. Now entering its 28th year, this one-of-a-kind event continues to celebrate poets laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, and prestigious award recipients.

Our 2020 Festival honors its first Native American poet laureate, Joy Harjo. This year’s event will take place on the West Lawn and attendees will be properly socially distanced in clearly marked pods.

The community cherishes this annual series of readings and music performances on the grounds of this National Historic Landmark in the heart of Farmington, CT.

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.

Tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the gate.

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.

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

See all poetry events in our Calendar

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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

Woke: A Young Poet’s Guide to Justice 
Black Girl Magic  
Woke Baby 

Joy Harjo

An American Sunrise
When The Light of the World Was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through
Crazy Brave


In-person ticket  |  $20 per person
Tickets must be purchased in advance. No tickets will be sold at the gate. 

Livestream ticket  |  $10 per household
Enjoy the world-class Sunken Garden Poetry Festival from the comforts of your own backyard or couch!

Purchase in-person or livestream ticket by following the links below.

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.

Thank you to our sponsors

Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust

The Goldfarb Family

Elizabeth M. Landon & Harriette M. Landon Charitable Foundation