2019 Sunken Garden Poetry Video

The 2019 Festival Poets

  • Claudia Rankine
  • Emily Skillings
  • Terrance Hayes
  • Aimee Nezhukumatathil
  •  Rajiv Mohabir
  • Chris Abani & Mai Der Vang
  • Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Winners of the Fresh Voices Poetry Competition

Watch highlights from 2019

Claudia Rankine & with Emily Skillings

Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen: An American Lyric and Don’t Let Me Be Lonely; two plays including Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue; numerous video collaborations, and is the editor of several anthologies including The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. Rankine has won numerous awards for Citizen, including the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Terrance Hayes

Terrance Hayes is the author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassins, a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry; To Float In The Space Between: Drawings and Essays in Conversation with Etheridge Knight; How to Be Drawn; Lighthead, which won the 2010 National Book Award for poetry; Muscular Music; Hip Logic; and Wind in a Box.

Celebration of Indian Poetry & Culture

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four books of poetry: Oceanic; Lucky Fish, winner of the Hoffer Grand Prize for Prose and Independent Books; At the Drive-In Volcano; and Miracle Fruit. She is the poetry editor of Orion magazine and her poems have appeared in the Best American Poetry series, American Poetry Review, New England Review, Poetry, Ploughshares and Tin House.

Rajiv Mohabir is an Indo-Caribbean American author of two acclaimed poetry collections — The Taxidermist’s Cut and Cowherd’s Son — and four chapbooks. He is winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize, a 2015 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, a finalist for the 2017 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry, and has received fellowships from Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation.

Poetry of Our World

Mai Der Vang is the author of Afterland (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the 2016 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award in Poetry, and a finalist for the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. She was also the co-editor of the anthology How Do I Begin? A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Heyday, 2011).

Chris Abani is the author of Sanctificum; There Are No Names for Red; Feed Me the Sun: Collected Long Poems; Hands Washing Water; Dog Woman; Daphne’s Lot and Kalakuta Republic. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the PEN/Hemingway Award.

Young Poets Day

Elizabeth Acevedo received the 2018 National Book Award for her New York Times bestselling novel, THE POET X. She is also National Poetry Slam Champion, the winner of the Boston-Globe Hornbook Award Prize for Best Children’s Fiction and the author of the chapbook Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths.