2020 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival


Celebrate Summer at the 2020 Sunken Garden Poetry Festival

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 five-event 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.

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


Season Pass  | $65

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.

Featured Poets

Joy Harjo
& the winner of the Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Poetry Award

Wednesday, June 17

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.

Forrest Gander & Marcelo Castillo

Sunday, June 28

Poet, novelist, essayist and Spanish translator, Forrest Gander, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry 2019 for his latest collection, Be With, published by New Directions. Also longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry 2018, these elegiac poems were the subject of a rhapsodic article in the New Yorker.

Aracelis Girmay & Andrew Motion

Sunday, July 8

Ellen Bass & Nick Flynn

Wednesday, July 22


Young Poets Day
with Mahogany Brown
& the winners of the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition

Sunday, August 11

Thank you to our sponsors


Elizabeth M. Landon & Harriette M. Landon Charitable Foundation